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Re: Can I Install AND boot a new 2.4 Kernel on an OldWorld PMac 6500 with BootX?


Here's what I finally wound up doing...

-1) Remember, the original problem was to use BootX(*) to boot a
Debian 2.4.x kernel on my PowerMac-6500/225 and get it to use an
832x624 screen.  At first, I got a black screen.  Nathanael
explained that I had to turn off the "Force Video" checkbox for
2.4 kernels but not in 2.2 (black magic!).  When I did that I got
a 640x480 screen, and running "startx" gave me a GUI with
everything skewed and funny colors.

0) fbset didn't help.  The default "fb.modes" file doesn't have
any 832x624 modes in it.  And manually figuring out what the right
parameters _should_ be was too difficult for my poor brain.  Maybe
I'll write a separate posting about my experiences with fbset, but
for the time being suffice it to say that I gave up on fbset.

1) On another hint from Nathanael, I googled a bit for the
keywords vmode and cmode til I'd convinced myself that kernel args
"video-atyfb:vmode:13,cmode:16" was what I wanted.  So I put that
in the kernel args line of the BootX screen, crossed my
fingers/toes/eyes for luck, and hit the "Linux" button.  (Try it! 
It ain't easy mousing with you eyes crossed!  8->) 

2) I got an 832x624 text mode console right away -- no black
screens!  Whoopee!

3) When I typed "startx" to get a GUI, the colors were all wrong. 
But I'd seen this kind of behavior before (running Yellowdog) and
knew what to do. So I edited /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 to change the
DefaultDepth parameter from 16 to 15.  Then I tried "startx"
again, and lo, the colors were bright and lovely!

4) But, everything was *big*.  The stupid thing was using a
640x480 screen!  (The hint from the text screen wasn't getting
thru to the GUI... Who knows why?!  More black magic!)  So, on a
hunch, I edited the XF86Config-4 file again, and changed all
/"800x600" "640x480"/"832x624"/ .  Then "startx" gave me a GUI
with normal sized icons, and all now seems well.

5) Of course, it insists on putting me into KDE, while I prefer
Gnome, but that's a battle for another day! 

6) And of course, I've got a manually modified XF86Config-4 file,
which will probably get me into trouble when it gets over-written
by some Debian auto-configurator.  But I'll leave that for another
day, too!

7) And finally, video modes are still black magic as far as I'm
concerned!  Why vmode 13 means "832x624@75Hz" is a mystery.  Why
"cmode:16" works, but I need "DefaultDepth 15" (instead of 16) is
another.  But like the ancient alchemists, I've found a
combination that seems to do the job, and that's enough for me at 3AM!



PS: (*) I know, Christian, I could/should have been doing all this
with quik instead of BootX, but since the problems were all in the
Linux video driver area, using quik wouldn't have made any
difference.  Getting all this to work with quik is another battle
for another day!

Nathanael Hasbrouck wrote:
> On Friday 16 January 2004 00:21, somebody named Rick Thomas inscribed this
> message:
> > Thanks Nathanael!
> No problem. :^)  Now I'll just resend this to the list.... ;^)
> > So ... How do I get my 832x624 video mode back?  (And get startx
> > to work again?)  (8-\)
> Try fbset and see if settings hold over a reboot, or boot into macOS and see
> if those settings hold over reboot, and you've already tried that, try
> setting your vmode with a kernel arg from BootX.  I'm afraid I don't know
> what it would be exactly, but something in the form of
> 'video=atyfb:vmode:13,cmode:32' might do it.  'atyfb' may or may not work
> with your machine, someone else (or Google) will have to chime in here. :^)
> --
> Please ignore this line, it doesn't mean anything

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