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Re: Debian Sparc 5.4 on Sun blade 2500

i have intalled opensolaris snv_131, the target is an blade 1500
with video carte XVR-100, i download driver.
but i connot exploit it, i have difficulty with X server.


i have installed debian R5 on second hard drive with blade 1500.

i connot to parametre dual boot since obp.
i do alias disk ! it's don't work

i would like to choise OS at boot time.

i have a blade 150 with video card X-500, no one linux run.
what can i do?

Best regard

Petr Vyslouzil a écrit :
[ Debian mail lists don't like images in attachments? Try #2 with .tar.gz]

Hello Frans & all,

Just to fast forward the bug tracking a tiny bit, here are some references:

* (incorrect) card detection should not be the problem[1]
* Joël Bertrand's attempt to get XVR-500 work on SB 2000[2]
* the problem with black strips on screen described below (it was a private
discussion, but I hope and believe Guillaume wouldn't mind to post it here as it
doesn't contain anything confidential or personal)
* there could be a working XVR-[56]00 driver for X11 in OpenBSD 4.5[3], but
  I cannot confirm or deny it. Could anybody try it out and report if it works?
  ATM I don't have a free sparc to test it on.
  Sadly, Opensolaris can't help us much as only XVR-100 is going to be
  opensourced, while XVR-[56]00 will stay closed due to Wildcat's IP.


[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-sparc/2008/12/msg00002.html
[2] http://lists.debian.org/debian-sparc/2009/05/msg00090.html
[3] http://opensolaris.org/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=364919

To: ptrv@email.cz
Subject: Debian and XVR 500
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 00:31:21 +0200 (CEST)

Hi Petr,

I'm carefully reading this thread where you try to make your XVR-500 video
card work with Debian.

Today I'm experiencing the same issue, that prevent me to install Debian
Lenny on my Blade 2000 with 2 XVR-500 Video Card.

Would you be kind enough to tell if you achieved this installation ? Was it
necessary to use dedicated kernel for this purpose ? As of today, do you
know if XVR 500 support is included in the compiled kernel ?

Thank you very much in advance, your reply will help a lot.


Hello Guillaume,

first of all, please note that I've had Blade 2500 (with OBP version
4.16.4), not 2000. Maybe it doesn't matter, but you can never know - Linux
SPARC drivers aren't tested as well as their x86 counterparts.

Lenny 5.0.2 works for me out of the box (= without any boot parameters it
switches into nice high-resolution graphics mode) so yes, the XVR-500
driver is compiled in.

If you're out of luck even with the recent *stable* Debian release, try boot
with parameter DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive. This switch Debian installer
into "numbered lines mode" menus so you'll be able to navigate simply by
entering a number of an appropriate line you're gonna choose.

Hope it helps.


ps.: just a side note, as I've also needed working X11, I quite cheaply
bought a XVR-100 (a.k.a ATI Radeon with SUN firmware) and it works nice.
Speed is not stellar, but for most common (graphics) programs it's good

Hi Petr,

Thanks for your quick reply. Following this message, I tried the Debian
(5.0.3) installation this week end. After an issue with the non recognized
FC-AL hard drive, I finally went through.

The graphic display works, but is completely unusable, because of black
lines in the middle of the screen. I think the 2 XVR-500 card are a
possible reason for this, so I still need to investigate.

I also wonder if your were successful to change the resolution (Only the
default 1280 * 1024 is available as of now) ?

Best Regards,

Hi again,

Just for information. I attached a copy of my screen after debian install.


Hi Guillaume,

I didn't try hard running X11 (with xvr500). I guess you use fb driver
or has Xorg released a XVR compatible driver I'm not aware of?
Looking into guts of the driver[1] I suppose the resolution is hardwired
for now. Do those strange black lines happen even if your xorg config has
the same resolution as kernel driver? Have you already tried to use only
one XVR500 card? Try to contact David on Debian-sparc or kernel mail list,
maybe he could help.


[1] http://lxr.linux.no/#linux+v2.6.31/drivers/video/sunxvr500.c


Indeed I understood it lately. The driver is the default fbdev provided
with Debian.

I cannot change the resolution (from xorg.cong), so all tests used
native 1280*1024. I also supposed that the probleme may come from
an inappropriate sync frequency for the monitor,but it wasn't succesfull.
I also removed the second XVR-500 to avoid any conflict between cards,
without any result.

X is mandatory for me. I can administrate the workstation from the
command line but browsing the web is a bit more tricky.

I will forward this conversation to David to get his opinion on this,
I think he's clearly aware of this issue.


From: davem@davemloft.net

1) Never email me privately, we have a mailing list for users
   to ask questions on, sparclinux@vger.kernel.org

   And if you post there, then other developers and users
   can answer your question when I am very busy with other
   tasks like I am now.

2) XVR-500 is not supported with X at the moment, sorry.
   The Linux console driver itself was completely reverse
   engineered, so you should be happy even that works.

   Use a Radeon or ATI mach64 based card in your machine if
   you want X.

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