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[c2k8]: Accelerated X Support for AMD Geode LX
Contributed by johan on Sat Jun 14 23:15:44 2008 (GMT)
from the can-haz-X11-support dept.

Marc Balmer (mbalmer@) writes about his endeavors into amd-geode graphics that has given us support for the amd-geode-lx gpu in X11.

Marc writes:

Earlier this week I reported that X runs on AMD Geode LX graphics processors using the 'vesa' driver. Well, there is some good news: The accelerated 'geode' driver now works as well and X runs quite a bit faster with it.

Marc continues below...

The accelerated X driver requires access to so-called model specific registers (MSR) found in AMD CPUs. Since these are available in kernel mode only, I first had to write the amdmsr(4) driver which allows a userland process running as root to read or write MSR registers. For security reasons, this is only allowed when 'allowaperture' is set.

For more information on the driver, look at /usr/xenocara/driver/xf86-video-geode/README.

Be aware that the driver still has some rough edges, especially mode selection seems not to work in all cases as desired. In that case, please use the vesa driver instead.

Thanks Marc for taking your time and telling us about this.
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  Re: [c2k8]: Accelerated X Support for AMD Geode LX (mod 4/70)
by Marc Balmer (142.244.224.90) on Sat Jun 14 23:29:06 2008 (GMT)
  I forgot to mention that I got substantial help from Matthieu Herrb and Todd Fries while doing this.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Success Stories with Alix3c3? (mod 3/63)
by Jim Razmus II (jim) (jtr2-undeadly@bonetruck.org) on Sun Jun 15 13:28:07 2008 (GMT)
http://www.bonetruck.org/
  I'd really appreciate hearing about some success using an alix3c3 as a dead quiet OpenBSD desktop. I picture running the thing off cf and then accessing all my real data via nfs. I would run Firefox (privoxy), Evince, and pile of xterms on dwm. Compiling etc. would be done on the machines I ssh into.

As an alternative, I've also considered picking up an older mac mini (the macppc flavor) for the same purpose.

Anyone run an Alix in a similar setup?

Thanks,
Jim
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

       
Re: Success Stories with Alix3c3? (mod 1/57)
by Anonymous Coward (198.175.14.193) on Sun Jun 15 14:42:24 2008 (GMT)
 
> Anyone run an Alix in a similar setup?
>

Considering how it's only been possible for the past few days, probably not. You could be the first to tell us how great it is.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

       
Re: Success Stories with Alix3c3? (mod 1/57)
by sthen (2a01:348:108:100:20a:5eff:fe1a:a300) on Tue Jun 17 19:08:29 2008 (GMT)
  > I'd really appreciate hearing about some success using an alix3c3 as a dead quiet OpenBSD desktop. I picture running the thing off cf and then accessing all my real data via nfs. I would run Firefox (privoxy), Evince, and pile of xterms on dwm. Compiling etc. would be done on the machines I ssh into.
>
> As an alternative, I've also considered picking up an older mac mini (the macppc flavor) for the same purpose.
>
> Anyone run an Alix in a similar setup?

Marc was using an Alix to develop this. They'll use a lot less power than a Mac Mini but of course performance will be lower.

If someone has an OLPC laptop it would be interesting to know if it works there too. They also use the built-in Geode video (but have no VESA bios).
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

         
Re: Success Stories with Alix3c3? (mod 0/58)
by Miod Vallat (miod) on Tue Jun 17 21:38:46 2008 (GMT)
  > If someone has an OLPC laptop it would be interesting to know if it works there too. They also use the built-in Geode video (but have no VESA bios).

Do OLPC laptops actually work besides for raising venture capital with false promises of them helping children?
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

           
Re: Success Stories with Alix3c3? (mod 2/56)
by sthen (2a01:348:108:155:216:41ff:fe53:6a45) on Wed Jun 18 10:47:11 2008 (GMT)
  > > If someone has an OLPC laptop it would be interesting to know if it works there too. They also use the built-in Geode video (but have no VESA bios).
>
> Do OLPC laptops actually work besides for raising venture capital with false promises of them helping children?

Looks like the one on http://radian.org/notebook/sic-transit-gloria-laptopi is doing _something_. They're pretty limited though.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

       
Re: Success Stories with Alix3c3? (mod 3/55)
by Marc Balmer (62.12.170.133) on Wed Jun 18 06:38:04 2008 (GMT)
  It works surprisingly well as a thin client. I used it using X to access some servers and using rdesktop to access a MS Windows terminal server.

Even a locally installed firefox browser works nice. Of course you can not expect the performance of a highend graphics workstation...

I used it in 1280x1024x16 and 1280x1024x24 mode with an IBM T70 TFT display.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

         
Re: Success Stories with Alix3c3? (mod -3/55)
by Jim Razmus II (jim) on Thu Jun 19 16:34:24 2008 (GMT)
http://www.bonetruck.org/
  > It works surprisingly well as a thin client. I used it using X to access some servers and using rdesktop to access a MS Windows terminal server.
>
> Even a locally installed firefox browser works nice. Of course you can not expect the performance of a highend graphics workstation...
>
> I used it in 1280x1024x16 and 1280x1024x24 mode with an IBM T70 TFT display.

Thanks Mark! That's exactly what I wanted to hear and precisely the usage scenario I intended. I had held off buying one when I saw amdmsr pulled out by Theo. I'm getting out my credit card now that it's back in again.

BTW, did you run it off compact flash?

Jim
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

           
Re: Success Stories with Alix3c3? (mod 0/60)
by Anonymous Coward (62.12.170.133) on Sat Jun 21 11:55:40 2008 (GMT)
  Yes, I run the system of a 2 GB SanDisk Extreme II CF card. There are faster cards available, maybe get one of these.

Of course mounting stuff over NFS works nice as well.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: [c2k8]: Accelerated X Support for AMD Geode LX (mod -7/61)
by Matthew Dempsky (2001:470:805a:1:21b:63ff:feca:36df) on Mon Jun 23 20:41:33 2008 (GMT)
  I'm looking forward to playing with this some more. Over the weekend I built a snapshot release to play with it on my alix system (the Jun 19 snapshot doesn't have amdmsr compiled into the kernel). Too bad mplayer's complaining about not being fast enough to play h264 video. :(
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

       
Re: [c2k8]: Accelerated X Support for AMD Geode LX (mod 0/58)
by Anonymous Coward (62.12.170.133) on Tue Jun 24 16:55:36 2008 (GMT)
  The AMD Geode LX graphics processor does support video, so _theoretically_ video support is possible. And well, since one of our uvideo developers lives in my town, it may even happen some day (no promise!)
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

         
Re: [c2k8]: Accelerated X Support for AMD Geode LX (mod 0/54)
by Matthew Dempsky (2001:470:805a:1:21b:63ff:feca:36df) on Tue Jun 24 17:48:10 2008 (GMT)
  I don't follow. I built an OpenBSD snapshot with the new geode accelerated driver, and confirmed that Xv works. My alix PC has a VGA out that I connected to my TV and it showed up fine (though I haven't figured out the ideal resolution yet).

The problem is just that the CPU can't decode the 848x480 h264 video I had for testing fast enough. Even using the null video and audio output drivers, mplayer can't decode it in real-time.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

           
Re: [c2k8]: Accelerated X Support for AMD Geode LX (mod 6/54)
by Anonymous Coward (2001:4060:c0de:a000:21e:c9ff:fe2f:8fed) on Wed Jun 25 08:44:15 2008 (GMT)
  however, since video without sound would be no fun anyway I wrote an audio driver for the amd geode lx...

  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

             
Re: [c2k8]: Accelerated X Support for AMD Geode LX (mod 6/54)
by Matthew Dempsky (98.210.157.213) on Wed Jun 25 09:15:58 2008 (GMT)
  Cool. I hadn't gotten as far as noticing audio support isn't implemented yet. (However, I'll point out the post I replied to spoke only of video, not audio.)
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

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