Technology and Trends
 USENET Archives - Linux Activists Mailing List Archives
  
From: randy@ms.uky.edu (Randy Appleton)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
Subject: Re: 0.96 out next week
Date: 5 May 92 04:05:52 GMT
Organization: University Of Kentucky, Dept. of Math Sciences

torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds) writes:

>Main new things are:

>- X11r5 as ported by obz is supported. It's still in beta-testing (join
>  the X11-channel on the original mailing-list), but as I'm writing this
>  from an xterm under linux, it works pretty well. Changes to pre-0.96
>  are just the socket-code by obz, and some small tweaking by me.

Here's a question.  What CGA cards does it support, and at what
resolutions.   Also, what's the realistic RAM requirements?

-Thanks
-Randy

From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
Subject: X386 (Was Re: 0.96 out next week)
Date: 5 May 92 06:35:13 GMT
Organization: University of Helsinki

In article <1992May5.00552.26728@ms.uky.edu> randy@ms.uky.edu (Randy Appleton) 
writes:
>> [ X window system ]
>
>Here's a question.  What CGA cards does it support, and at what
>resolutions.   Also, what's the realistic RAM requirements?

X definitely won't work with CGA - it won't even work with normal VGA
cards: you need SVGA (and even not just any SVGA card will do).  The
supported cards are et[3|4]000 and some others (pvga? tvga?). 
Resolutions range from 640x480 to 1192x900 (or something like that), all
at 256 colours, depending on what kind of card/monitor combination you
have. 

As to memory: I'm using it in 8MB ram, and no swapping (with a couple of
xterms, xclock and xcalc - nothing major). If I want to recompile the
kernel in an xterm, I'll have to start up swapping (well, actually I've
done it without swapping, but it's tight). I assume it's still useable
in 4MB and a big swap-file, but I'm happy I haven't tested it.

Speed probably depends heavily on the SVGA card: on my 386/33 with a
no-name et4000 card I get totally acceptable performance: scrolling big
windows is slow with other things going on, but not irritatingly so. 
You don't want to make opaque moves, but I can live without that. 

Harddisk space is totally up to you: minimum about 10MB for just the
minimal clients, maximum probably the sky is the limit.

		Linus

From: cummings@hammer.Prime.COM (Kevin Cummings)
Subject: Re: X386 (Was Re: 0.96 out next week)
Date: Tue, 5 May 1992 18:06:04 GMT

In article <1992May5.063513.11484@klaava.Helsinki.FI>, 
torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds) writes:
> In article <1992May5.00552.26728@ms.uky.edu> 
randy@ms.uky.edu (Randy Appleton) writes:
> >> [ X window system ]
> >
> >Here's a question.  What CGA cards does it support, and at what
> >resolutions.   Also, what's the realistic RAM requirements?

Inherently, there is no reason why X can't support a CGA card.  In reality,
why would you want to?  There are only two usable graphics modes on a CGA
card, 320x200x4 colors, and 640x200x2 colors (read the latter as B&W).
Not very much real estate for very much at all, and you may have problems
with only 4/16 colors being available.

> X definitely won't work with CGA - it won't even work with normal VGA
> cards: you need SVGA (and even not just any SVGA card will do).  The

Uh, oh.  Lets be careful here.  X will to work.  I've had an X server
run on a 286 w/EGA in 16 colors.  It wasn't very much, but the virtual 800x600
mode was better.  Still, 16 colors is VERY limiting.

> supported cards are et[3|4]000 and some others (pvga? tvga?). 
> Resolutions range from 640x480 to 1192x900 (or something like that), all
> at 256 colours, depending on what kind of card/monitor combination you
> have. 

On the other hand, my Sun 1192x900x2 (B&W) driver works just fine for me.
And ESIX shipped both a B&W and a Color VGA driver with it.  X386 may have
some limitiations in what video cards and video modes it supports, but X
doesn't.

> As to memory: I'm using it in 8MB ram, and no swapping (with a couple of
> xterms, xclock and xcalc - nothing major). If I want to recompile the
> kernel in an xterm, I'll have to start up swapping (well, actually I've
> done it without swapping, but it's tight). I assume it's still useable
> in 4MB and a big swap-file, but I'm happy I haven't tested it.

As the software gets bigger, swapping will become more and more the norm.
Maybe we are still afraid of Linux's swap code?  Other than that, the only
wrong with swapping is that it slows things down.  C'est la vie.

> Speed probably depends heavily on the SVGA card: on my 386/33 with a
> no-name et4000 card I get totally acceptable performance: scrolling big
> windows is slow with other things going on, but not irritatingly so. 
> You don't want to make opaque moves, but I can live without that. 

OK, so X was a little slow on my 286 running X-sight.  I expect the X
running on my S3 card to be MUCH faster!  (It's also running on a 25Mhz 386DX)

> Harddisk space is totally up to you: minimum about 10MB for just the
> minimal clients, maximum probably the sky is the limit.
> 
>               Linus

=================================================================
Kevin J. Cummings                       Prime Computer Inc.
20 Briarwood Road                       500 Old Connecticut Path
Framingham, Mass.                       Framingham, Mass.

Work:  cummings@primerd.Prime.COM
Home:  cummings@kjc386.framingham.ma.us

Std. Disclaimer: "Mr. McKittrick, after careful consideration,
                  I've come to the conclusion that your new
                  defense system SUCKS..."   --  War Games
=================================================================

From: roell@informatik.tu-muenchen.de (The Master of Symbolic Links)
Subject: Re: X386 (Was Re: 0.96 out next week)
Date: 6 May 92 09:07:06 GMT

>Inherently, there is no reason why X can't support a CGA card.  In reality,
>why would you want to?  There are only two usable graphics modes on a CGA
>card, 320x200x4 colors, and 640x200x2 colors (read the latter as B&W).
>Not very much real estate for very much at all, and you may have problems
>with only 4/16 colors being available.

That's no good idea at all. First of the CGA's memory organisation is so
terrible that you want to forget about writing a driver it. The next thing
is that 800x600 is a definitive minimum for reall using X. Also I think
16 colors is just a good prove of concept, but you definitively want to
have 256 colors at least (and if you only want to look at gif pictures ;-)).

>> X definitely won't work with CGA - it won't even work with normal VGA
>> cards: you need SVGA (and even not just any SVGA card will do).  The
>
>Uh, oh.  Lets be careful here.  X will to work.  I've had an X server
>run on a 286 w/EGA in 16 colors.  It wasn't very much, but the virtual 800x600
>mode was better.  Still, 16 colors is VERY limiting.
>
>> supported cards are et[3|4]000 and some others (pvga? tvga?). 
>> Resolutions range from 640x480 to 1192x900 (or something like that), all
>> at 256 colours, depending on what kind of card/monitor combination you
>> have. 


X386 1.2 does support SVGA boards with:

        Et3000
        Et4000
        GVGA            (Genoa 6000 line)
        PVGA            (PVGA1A, WD90C00, WD90C11)

The rest is not supported and WILL NOT BE SUPPORTED for several reasons,
which I will not talk about here in a 10page+ posting. If you want to have
reasonable speed, go for an Et4000 board.

>On the other hand, my Sun 1192x900x2 (B&W) driver works just fine for me.
>And ESIX shipped both a B&W and a Color VGA driver with it.  X386 may have
>some limitiations in what video cards and video modes it supports, but X
>doesn't.

Well, there is a limit in supported SVGA chips (not in video cards), cause
there are some basic requirements, which not every SVGA chip meets, but
there is no limit in video modes. You can programm every video mode
you want, as long as you have enougth memory, the right dot-clock and a
chipset that will do it physically. 

>> Speed probably depends heavily on the SVGA card: on my 386/33 with a
>> no-name et4000 card I get totally acceptable performance: scrolling big
>> windows is slow with other things going on, but not irritatingly so. 
>> You don't want to make opaque moves, but I can live without that. 
>
>OK, so X was a little slow on my 286 running X-sight.  I expect the X
>running on my S3 card to be MUCH faster!  (It's also running on a 25Mhz 386DX)

The problem with SVGAs is that the main cpu has to do all the graphics, and
these over the slow ISA bus. Thus a typical limitation is (for the Et4000)
around 4MB/sec over the bus. That translates into around 1.7MPixels/sec
in scrolling. You simply cannot get more out of the SVGA without dirty
incompatible tricks.

On the other hand an S3 based card is about five (5 !!!) times faster under
X. And X386 1.3 does support this. It also support faster boards like the
ATI Ultra and several highend (read high-cost) boards that do 1280x1024.
But this version is not freely available, nor is the source ...

If there is much intrest we (SGCS) might sell it for linox, too.

- Thomas
--
===============================================================================
e-mail: roell@informatik.tu-muenchen.de

        immer ?
        nein, nicht immer ...
        ... aber immer oefter !

From: fasciano@nil.IRO.UMontreal.CA (Massimo Fasciano)
Subject: Re: X386 (Was Re: 0.96 out next week)
Date: 7 May 92 15:53:18 GMT

In article <1992May6.090706.25793@Informatik.TU-Muenchen.DE> 
roell@informatik.tu-muenchen.de (The Master of Symbolic Links) writes:

|> That's no good idea at all. First of the CGA's memory organisation is so
|> terrible that you want to forget about writing a driver it. The next thing
|> is that 800x600 is a definitive minimum for reall using X. Also I think

Agreed.

|> 16 colors is just a good prove of concept, but you definitively want to
|> have 256 colors at least (and if you only want to look at gif pictures ;-)).

Why would you need at least 256 colors? Most of our SUN Sparcstations
run X on big B&W displays and for most tasks, B&W is acceptable. On a
SVGA, 16 colors would be very easy to provide up to 800x600 (i believe
Win 3.1 ships with a generic 800x600 SVGA driver) and would be enough
for many applications, except viewing GIF pictures of course :-)

|> X386 1.2 does support SVGA boards with:

|>      Et3000
|>      Et4000
|>      GVGA            (Genoa 6000 line)
|>      PVGA            (PVGA1A, WD90C00, WD90C11)

What chipset is used by the ATI VGA Wonder+ (i own one)? Is it a
proprietary ATI chipset? If so, why is it not supported? Lack of
features?  Non-standard? It seems fast enough, although much slower
than ET4000 i suppose...

|> The rest is not supported and WILL NOT BE SUPPORTED for several reasons,
                                 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
|> which I will not talk about here in a 10page+ posting. If you want to have
|> reasonable speed, go for an Et4000 board.

If i remember correctly, when DJ Delorie ported G++ (32 bit protected
mode) to DOS, the only supported chipset was ET3000/4000, but after a
while (a very short while) all other popular chipsets (ATI, Trident,
etc...) were supported by independant video drivers, although i think
the Trident video drivers were hard to implement because of some
"feature" in the chipset's memory bank switching. Please correct me if
i'm wrong...

I hope all of us ATI or Trident or (insert your own unsupported
chipset here) card owners will be able to use X on our Linux boxes...


--
=================================================================
=  Massimo Fasciano       E-MAIL: fasciano@IRO.UMontreal.CA     =
=================================================================

From: roell@informatik.tu-muenchen.de (The Master of Symbolic Links)
Subject: Re: X386 (Was Re: 0.96 out next week)
Date: 9 May 92 10:23:38 GMT

>Why would you need at least 256 colors? Most of our SUN Sparcstations
>run X on big B&W displays and for most tasks, B&W is acceptable. On a
>SVGA, 16 colors would be very easy to provide up to 800x600 (i believe
>Win 3.1 ships with a generic 800x600 SVGA driver) and would be enough
>for many applications, except viewing GIF pictures of course :-)

Try to run Motif and then open a few color windows ....

>What chipset is used by the ATI VGA Wonder+ (i own one)? Is it a
>proprietary ATI chipset? If so, why is it not supported? Lack of
>features?  Non-standard? It seems fast enough, although much slower
>than ET4000 i suppose...

Thats simple. The problem is:

a) I don't have access to an ATI VGA board
b) I don't have access to their databooks without trouble.

- Thomas
--
===============================================================================
e-mail: roell@informatik.tu-muenchen.de

        immer ?
        nein, nicht immer ...
        ... aber immer oefter !