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x errors in sid

hi folks,

posted this question in debian user before I thought to ask y'all,
apologies for cross-posting.  My partner's just bought a new laptop so
I finally get to convert our old blue and white g3 to debian (yay).  I
did a net install, andi mmediately upgraded to sid (since sid has
worked better for me with my x86 box at work).  the console works
fine, the network works fine, but xfree86 won't load.

after the initial ocnfiguration (via debconf) of xserver-xfree86,
strtx would generate the fllowing log file (heavily edited):

(==) Using config file: "/etc/X11/XF86Config-4"
(==) ServerLayout "Default Layout"
(**) |-->Screen "Default Screen" (0)
(**) |   |-->Monitor "adi microscan"
(**) |   |-->Device "ati rage 128"
(**) |-->Input Device "Generic Keyboard"
(**) Option "XkbRules" "xfree86"
(**) XKB: rules: "xfree86"
(**) Option "XkbModel" "macintosh"
(**) XKB: model: "macintosh"
(**) Option "XkbLayout" "de"
(**) XKB: layout: "de"
(==) Keyboard: CustomKeycode disabled
(**) |-->Input Device "Configured Mouse"
(WW) The directory "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/CID" does not exist.
	Entry deleted from font path.
(WW) The directory "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/cyrillic" does not exist.
	Entry deleted from font path.
(**) FontPath set to "unix/:7100,/usr/lib/X11/fonts/Type1,/usr/lib/X11/fonts/Speedo,/usr/lib/X11/fonts/misc,/usr/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi,/usr/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi"
(==) RgbPath set to "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/rgb"
(==) ModulePath set to "/usr/X11R6/lib/modules"
(--) using VT number 7

(WW) Open APM failed (/dev/apm_bios) (No such file or directory)
-------------snip ---------------
(II) ATI: ATI driver (version 6.4.16) for chipset: ati
(II) R128: Driver for ATI Rage 128 chipsets: ATI Rage 128 RE (PCI),
	ATI Rage 128 RF (AGP), ATI Rage 128 RG (AGP), ATI Rage 128 RK (PCI),
	ATI Rage 128 RL (AGP), ATI Rage 128 SM (AGP),
	ATI Rage 128 Pro PD (PCI), ATI Rage 128 Pro PF (AGP),
	ATI Rage 128 Pro PP (PCI), ATI Rage 128 Pro PR (PCI),
	ATI Rage 128 Pro ULTRA TF (AGP), ATI Rage 128 Pro ULTRA TL (AGP),
	ATI Rage 128 Pro ULTRA TR (AGP), ATI Rage 128 Mobility LE (PCI),
	ATI Rage 128 Mobility LF (AGP), ATI Rage 128 Mobility MF (AGP),
	ATI Rage 128 Mobility ML (AGP)
(II) RADEON: Driver for ATI Radeon chipsets: ATI Radeon QD (AGP),
	ATI Radeon QE (AGP), ATI Radeon QF (AGP), ATI Radeon QG (AGP),
	ATI Radeon VE QY (AGP), ATI Radeon VE QZ (AGP),
	ATI Radeon Mobility LW (AGP), ATI Radeon Mobility LX (AGP),
	ATI Radeon Mobility LY (AGP), ATI Radeon Mobility LZ (AGP),
	ATI Radeon 8500 QL (AGP), ATI Radeon 8500 QM (AGP),
	ATI Radeon 8500 QN (AGP), ATI Radeon 8500 QO (AGP),
	ATI Radeon 8500 Ql (AGP), ATI Radeon 8500 BB (AGP),
	ATI Radeon 7500 QW (AGP), ATI Radeon 9000 If (AGP)


(II) Setting vga for screen 0.
(II) Loading sub module "vgahw"
(II) LoadModule: "vgahw"
(II) Loading /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/libvgahw.a
(II) Module vgahw: vendor="The XFree86 Project"
	compiled for, module version = 0.1.0
	ABI class: XFree86 Video Driver, version 0.5
(II) R128(0): PCI bus 0 card 16 func 0
(**) R128(0): Depth 24, (--) framebuffer bpp 32
(II) R128(0): Pixel depth = 24 bits stored in 4 bytes (32 bpp pixmaps)
(==) R128(0): Default visual is TrueColor
(**) R128(0): Option "UseFBDev" "true"
(==) R128(0): RGB weight 888
(II) R128(0): Using 8 bits per RGB (8 bit DAC)
(**) R128(0): Using framebuffer device
(II) Loading sub module "fbdevhw"
(II) LoadModule: "fbdevhw"
(WW) Warning, couldn't open module fbdevhw
(II) UnloadModule: "fbdevhw"
(EE) R128: Failed to load module "fbdevhw" (module does not exist, 0)
(II) UnloadModule: "ati"
(II) UnloadModule: "vgahw"
(II) Unloading /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/libvgahw.a
(II) UnloadModule: "r128"
(II) Unloading /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/drivers/r128_drv.o
(EE) Screen(s) found, but none have a usable configuration.

Fatal server error:
no screens found


someone on debian-user suggested setting UseFBdev to "false", which I
did; this then generates the following (edited) log:

(EE) R128(0): Cannot read V_BIOS (5)
(--) R128(0): Chipset: "ATI Rage 128 RE (PCI)" (ChipID = 0x5245)
(--) R128(0): Linear framebuffer at 0x88000000
(--) R128(0): MMIO registers at 0x80c00000
(--) R128(0): BIOS at 0x80c20000
(--) R128(0): VideoRAM: 16384 kByte (128-bit SDR SGRAM 1:1)
(**) R128(0): Using external CRT for display
(WW) R128(0): Video BIOS not detected in PCI space!
(WW) R128(0): Attempting to read Video BIOS from legacy ISA space!
(WW) R128(0): Video BIOS not found!
(WW) R128(0): Can't determine panel dimensions, and none specified.
	Disabling programming of FP registers.
(II) R128(0): PLL parameters: rf=2950 rd=35 min=12500 max=25000; xclk=7501
(II) Loading sub module "ddc"
(II) LoadModule: "ddc"
(II) Reloading /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/libddc.a
(II) resource ranges after preInit:
	[0] 0 0	0x80c00000 - 0x80c03fff (0x4000) MS[B]
	[1] 0 0	0x88000000 - 0x8bffffff (0x4000000) MS[B]
	[28] -1 0	0x00001080 - 0x000010bf (0x40) IX[B]
	[29] 0 0	0x000003b0 - 0x000003bb (0xc) IS[B]
	[30] 0 0	0x000003c0 - 0x000003df (0x20) IS[B]
Symbol drmR128TextureBlit from module /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/drivers/r128_drv.o is unresolved!

Fatal server error:
Caught signal 11.  Server aborting


A quick search through the list archives suggests this has something
to do with aty128fb...  but I don't know what that is, how to
install/set it, or why it would solve the problem.  Anyone out there
know (a), what I should do to fix this, and (b) why the solution
works?  would it help if I downgraded xfree86 to testing?  am I doing
something wring in debconf post-install?

anyway, thanks for your help, 


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