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Bug#222374: d-i melts screen on sis 630 laptop

Joey Hess wrote:
maximilian attems wrote:

Thank your for your helpfull email!!

It sounds to me like there is a problem when the installer enables the
frame buffer. Unfortunatly, the boot documentation is wrong, and there
is no way to disable the framebuffer with beta 1 of the installer.
Could you please try downloading a current daily build of the debian
install (ISOs here: http://people.debian.org/~manty/testing/netinst/)
and boot it with "linux debian-installer/framebuffer=false", and let me
know if that solves your problem?

you are completly right
just tested aboves daily build and with aboves arguments,
i got into d-i on this sis-630 laptop :))

strange parsing of the kernel commandline, tried with aboves image
net video=sisfb:off which had no effect.

Well, I think this bug reort can now either be closed, or reassigned to
the debian kernel package. If there's a reasonable patch to get frame
buffer working on this laptop, then debian should arguably include it in
the kernel.

Sisfb should work on this hardware as of 2.4.18, but I am not sure. It's been a while since that came out. 2.4.20 is the oldest one I positively remember to contain a working sisfb.

But is it really the sis framebuffer driver that is activated during boot, and not eg vga16 or some other generic driver? AFAIK, there is no such thing as "auto-config" for framebuffers; one has to positively choose one by the kernel command line. Even if you compile all of them, none will be activated if no video=xxx is given. So, appending video=sisfb:off won't have any effect if another framebuffer driver is started with another video= switch.

Some old Debian installer (which I used about two years ago when I for the last time yet installed Debian on a 630 based laptop) did start vga16 - with the very same result that Maximilian experiences. I don't recall exactly what I did to work around this problem, but I assume it was appending "vga16:off" or something like this.

For the record: vga16 or whatever this thing is called can't work on that machine (not at least due to the LCD). It's either vesafb or sisfb (the latter with a recent enough kernel, of course).

In case the Debian kernel maintainer is interested: The current driver is available on my website as a complete replacement (which is for all kernels since 2.4.14). Due to the many different kernels out there, I can't provide a patch.


Thomas Winischhofer
thomas AT winischhofer DOT net          http://www.winischhofer.net/
twini AT xfree86 DOT org

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