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Linux and Flat Panel monitor "refresh" problems

By johnliner
Oct 17, 2007
  1. First post to this forum. Been using Xandros for a couple years and love it.

    Recently built a Desktop and installed Xandros on it.
    Xandros desktop displays OK.

    However, when using the file manager
    or when using any browser on the internet, the refresh or
    renew rate on the screen is EXTREMELY slow.

    My machine is as follows:
    Mobo: MSI K9VGM-V, with VIA K8M890 chipset

    Video Board: Onboard (on mobo) VIA Chrome9 HC IGP Family,
    S3 Graphics, 128 Mb, ver.

    Monitor: Dell SE177FP Flat Panel, normally set to
    60Hz, 1024 x 768 res.

    In Xandros settings, the display is set to 24 bit True Color.

    What other info might be needed?

    I have changed resolutions, spent the last 2 weeks perusing various sites
    hoping to find a similar problem. Tried to install Windows-type drivers
    to run under Xandros. NOTE: I am still new and learning Linux so I do not
    know much about drivers, linux executables etc, yet.

    1. Has anyone had this problem before?
    2. Does anyone have a solution?
    3. Can anyone advise me where to look or
    what direction to take?

    BTW, I am also running Ubuntu, and it also refreshes slowly, altho
    not quite as bad as Xandros.

    Many thanks in advance.


    p.s. regarding some other threads, I installed 5 hard drives in this machine; OS's include Win XP Pro, Xandros v. 4, Ubuntu. Took me 3 weeks but I finally
    got the machine to "see" all 5 drives, and (hardest of all) be able to boot
    into any of the operating systems.

    Could not get it to work with Ubu and XP sharing the same drive, nor each OS
    on it's own drive ( which is what I REALLY wanted). But when I installed-in this order-Win XP and Xandros on the same drive, followed by Ubuntu on it's
    own drive, suddenly everything worked just great! Wish I knew exactly what it was I did.
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,512   +65

    By 'refresh', I'm assuming you mean as you move a window around, it feels sluggish and leaves a trail behind it? If so, this is due to a lack of proper 2D graphics acceleration.

    Well, to get off to a good start, you should make sure you have a 'good' video driver installed. The one that comes with xorg is probably lacking. You might want to try the openchrome project. A list of supported cards is here. Via's driver support is terrible, so this is an open source driver that works OK on most chrome cards.

    I can't give you instructions because I'd probably get you into some trouble and there are literally hundreds of potential issues, but I will tell you some things that might be pertinent... just to expose you to them. You can probably remove your current driver in ubuntu by opening a terminal and typing sudo apt-get remove xserver-xorg-video-via or install the driver using sudo aptitude install xserver-xorg-video-via. Keep in mind 'install' requires access to the Internet or a CD (preferably internet). You can also use the synaptic package manager (graphic interface for apt) if you'd rather not use the terminal. Keep in mind all of that is very ubuntu-centric.

    To install open chrome, you should be able to sudo aptitude install xserver-xorg-video-openchrome. If it doesn't work, you probably need to make sure you gksudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list and uncomment the universe and multiverse lines that have 'feisty-backports' (Yeah, I know.. I know.. its just the way linux is. :( feisty may also = gusty, dapper etc.. depending on your ubuntu version). Then save the file again and run sudo apt-get update and try to aptitude install xserver-xorg-video-openchrome once more. Blah blah blah.. heh. You have to 'uncomment' those lines to give your system the ability to download from online repositories which have the openchrome driver on them... multiverse and universe is not typically enabled by default.

    Xandros is based on redhat (I think), so it probably comes with yum instead of apt. Yum is very similar to apt. You should be able to type in sudo yum install name_of_package and viola. Xandros probably has a graphical front-end for yum too, like synaptic, so you can try that also. Since I don't use Xandros, I can't be very specific like I can with ubuntu.

    And again, I'm not giving you instructions - just exposing you to this stuff because you might find it useful as you explore the mess of config files that is linux. It might be a good idea to sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.old. This will copy your video configuration to xorg.conf.old in case there's an issue booting after mucking with your drivers. You can just copy the .old file over the .conf file to restore your xorg.conf any time it is necessary... just a precaution.

    I know some of it won't make sense to you. It's okay. There's plenty to read out there and plenty of people to give you advice here. There's SO many different variables. Each linux distro and each version those distros have their differences, quirks etc... It's a pain and its a lot of exploration, but I'm sure you'll get it if you stick to it. Try not to get discouraged and make sure you ask plenty of 'stupid' questions.

    Microsoft and friends make it so easy - you just double click, click next a few times and click OK and restart. With Linux... not so much.
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