Expérimental X11 intel driver

Just a small post to tell you that I’ve recently switched to the experimental X11 driver called “intel” on my Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring system. This X11 driver, usable with most of the intel graphic cards, is improved and is shipped in the 2007 Spring edition. In order to use it, it is necessary to update your xorg server (which, as a bonus, gives you access to randr extensions 1.2) and to do some manual operations which are explained here in a very straight-forward way :


I really appreciate this driver instead of the previous one (i810) for several reasons :

  • I don’t have this “blurred” appearance I had before, probably due to an incorrect refresh rate
  • I can now hotplug my television to my linux box, but unfortunately, the picture is black and white (even after several tries with xrandr, I can’t get the color)…
  • It is now possible to change resolution dynamically. It was possible before with krandrtray, but now Xorg has a good support for it
  • The awful 915resolution service isn’t useful anymore at every boot. It was used to launch a program hacking the BIOS in order to have the X11 driver correctly guessing the resolution. But, well, it’s really a hackish solution, as you’d admit.

However, I still have two little problems with it, but they don’t bother me, personally :

  • Beryl, compiz & compiz-fusion (yes, it is now available in 2007 Spring if you activate backports) don’t work : back to my favorite KDE theme : Serenity)
  • Logging out is enough to see X crashing (but it doesn’t crash when I’m inside the session, even when displaying at the same time a filem, a 3D application and flash sites)

That’s it.


KDE 4.0 Beta 1 is available for Mandriva 2007.1

Warning : Beta1 isn’t as stable as you might expect and beta2 will probably give a better overview of KDE4. So you’d better install it on a test/virtual machine. (Thanks to Daniel Beck)

Yes !

  • urpmi.addmedia kde4 <KDE_MIRROR>/pub/kde/unstable/3.92.0/Mandriva/2007.1/i586/media/4.0
  • Update Mandriva Linux your favorite way
  • You’re done

I can’t test it because I first need to clean my drive and get a lot of free space 😦 But If I manage to install it, be sure it’s gonna be on this blog !

(For you information, KDE 4.0 Beta 1 = KDE 3.92.0)

Using kernel 2.6.22 with Mandriva 2007.1 – part 1

I’ve just installed kernel- (coming from cooker) on my faithful system running Mandriva 2007.1.

To install it, I had to use the --nodeps switch and install it with rpm (using urpmi and –allow-nodeps may have lead to the same result) because of a conflict with drakxtools-backend < 10.4.140. The conflict is probably here due to MCC not handling something (modular ide ?), but I won’t use MCC to handle the kernel anyway.

I wanted to try the coretemp module included with 2.6.22 and well, it works but actually isn’t very useful to me at the moment.

I also hope 2.6.22 will solve the scheduler problem I have with virtualbox and my previous -tmb kernel, but I haven’t tested it yet.

Now comes the difficult part : wireless. I know the module name for my card is now iwl3945 (this module now uses the new wireless kernel stack and doesn’t require the ipw3945d daemon anymore) and 2007.1 doesn’t detect nor know anything about this module. So back to the old way of configuring the wireless network : no more GUI 🙂 I first had to install another cooker RPM : iwlwifi-3945-ucode-2.14.4-1mdv2008.0 containing the microcode for the wireless card which gets loaded by the module when it gets loaded itself. The driver loaded successfully but I ended up with two interfaces : eth2 and wlan0_rename… udev is responsible for this but the last time I modified udev network configuration I ended up with a completely unusable system, so I’ll have a look when I know more about udev and its scripts.

So this last difficulty brought me back to my old -tmb kernel (well, not so old : 2.6.21) because I need a wireless connection at home and at work. I’ll make a new post once my wireless network card has been configured successfully !

The good side of a crash

Today, kdm refused to let me log into my session and was constantly back with the login screen although I entered the correct username and password. I already had this kind of problem and is generally due to a corrupt configuration file in my home directory, but I have to have a closer look at it.

But in the meantime, as I was a bit in a hurry, I just switched my display manager from kdm to gdm by simply setting the variable DISPLAYMANAGER=gdm in /etc/sysconfig/desktop. I also looked for people having the same issue on the Mandriva forum, but found almost no one (well, two people but it was very old posts).

But I found an very interesting gdm theme for 2007 Spring. I’ve always wondered what was the point of assigning an avatar/face to users of my system because they were not in use anywhere, but thanks to this theme I can now give pretty faces to ALL my local users (well ok, ALL = 2 🙂 ).