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Re: d-i beta & x configuration

On Sun, May 02, 2004 at 12:36:32PM +1000, Andree Leidenfrost wrote:
> I've just done a testrun of d-i installer beta4 which worked just fine.
> There were three issues with the x windows setup though:
> Apparently, if one only has one video card, the PCI ID field must be
> empty for things to work.

Not true.  At least with earlier versions of XFree86 (and maybe still
today), some machines need this parameter just to work with a single
video card.  Most, however, do not.

> I did not find this obvious from the dialog and it was prefilled with
> the ID from my videocard. It took me some experimenting to realise it
> had to be empty for things to work.

Unfortunately, I cannot offer the user much guidance in the dialog box,
as I do not myself know exactly when the PCI ID field is required.  I
know only that sometimes you need it, as I do with my Blue&White
Macintosh G3.

It puzzles me that the autodetected value did not work, however.

Could you try purging and reinstalling the XFree86 package, or running
through d-i again, and leaving the pre-filled value in, so that you can
file a bug report against xserver-xfree86 with "reportbug"?  That will
automatically include the config file and server logs so we can take a
closer look at the problem.

> Secondly, the setup offered to auto-detect my monitor which apparently
> worked as I got the correct monitor description prefilled when doing a
> dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86 later on. However, the initial setup
> configures a suboptimal resolution. Shouldn't the auto-detection see
> that the monitor is an LCD and therefore operate it @ 60Hz with the
> monitor's native resolution?

In a word, yes.  This is being worked on as part of the "debconf

> Last thing I'd like to bring up is the fact that I had to to specify the
> brand of my videocard. Can this not be autodetected? (lspci knows that
> vendor ID 1002 is 'ATI Technologies Inc', maybe that could be used? But
> maybe it's not as simple...)

The config script *does* make an attempt to autodetect the video card's

  # card identifier; try to set a sensible default
  if [ -n "$(echo $NDRIVERS)" ] && [ $NDRIVERS -eq 1 -a $NCARDS -eq 1 ]; then
    if which discover > /dev/null 2>&1; then
      if [ "$AUTODETECT_VIDEO_CARD" = "true" ]; then
        DEFAULT=$(echo "$DISCOVERED_VIDEO" | awk 'BEGIN { FS="\t" } {print $1}')
  if [ -z "$DEFAULT" ]; then
    # fall back to some language-specific generic text
    case "${LC_ALL:-${LC_MESSAGES:-$LANG}}" in
      ca_*) DEFAULT="Targeta de vídeo genèrica" ;;
      # da
      de_*) DEFAULT="Standardgrafikkarte" ;;
      es_*) DEFAULT="Tarjeta de vídeo genérica" ;;
      fr_*) DEFAULT="Carte vidéo générique" ;;
      gl_*) DEFAULT="Tarxeta de Video Xenérica" ;;
      it_*) DEFAULT="Scheda video generica" ;;
      # ja
      # nl
      pt_BR) DEFAULT="Placa de Vídeo Genérica" ;;
      # ru
      # sv
      *) DEFAULT="Generic Video Card" ;;
  # this question requires input validation
  MAY_BE_NULL= auto_answer validate_string_db_input "$(priority_ceil low)" xserver-xfree86/config/device/identifier "$DEFAULT"

Needless to say, this only works if discover is installed, and
recognizes the video card.  You might try installing the discover
package and running the "discover" command without arguments.

> Other than that I completely acknowledge that it must be incredibly
> hard to support a complex system like x windows on so many platforms.
> So maybe it is just not possible. But from a user experience it would
> probably be quite helpful.

I think we can probably make some improvements in all three of the areas
you noted.

G. Branden Robinson                |    The first thing the communists do
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    when they take over a country is to
branden@debian.org                 |    outlaw cockfighting.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    -- Oklahoma State Senator John Monks

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