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Old 04-18-2008, 05:31 PM
"Digby Tarvin"
 
Default Using a second display adapter

I am thinkng of adding a second display adapter to experiment with. I'm not
really interested in dual head X (I'd use single dual head
adapter for that). I am more interested in having some display hardware
that I can experiment with without effecting my console/X display.

Can anyone explain what happens hardware wise when a second adapter is
present? For example, adding a PCI adapter to a system that already
has an AGP card.

I assume that video memory for more advanced modes will be mapped to
unique addresses by the PCI magic, but arn't the legacy modes like
CGA etc tied down to fixed addresses (eg SVGA tex mode to segment b000h)?
Is it possible to have have two text mode displays simultaneously?

The sort of thing I would like to experiment with is having a 'diagnostic'
screen which the kernel can write a message to in real time by just
writing ascii to a memory address.

Perhaps it is something I can do without a custom driver using the
framebuffer interface? Except I don't necessarily want the complexity/
overheads of rendering fonts. Can I have a text mode frame buffer?

Anyway, the current adapter in this system is a AGP nVidia:
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation NV25 [GeForce4 Ti 4200] (rev a3) (prog-if 00 [VGA])
Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 137
Memory at fd000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16M]
Memory at f0000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=64M]
Memory at f4880000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=512K]
Expansion ROM at feae0000 [disabled] [size=128K]
Capabilities: [60] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [44] AGP version 2.0

Any reccomendations on a goood card adapter to look for for this? The main
thing is probably a clean and simple hardware interface, and good open
source friendly documentation for driver writers. Doesn't need to be
state of the art - Something I can find cheaply on eBay (along with a
1280x1024 LCD display) would probably suffice.

Thanks,
DigbyT


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Old 04-19-2008, 12:53 PM
Hugo Vanwoerkom
 
Default Using a second display adapter

Digby Tarvin wrote:

I am thinkng of adding a second display adapter to experiment with. I'm not
really interested in dual head X (I'd use single dual head
adapter for that). I am more interested in having some display hardware
that I can experiment with without effecting my console/X display.


Can anyone explain what happens hardware wise when a second adapter is
present? For example, adding a PCI adapter to a system that already
has an AGP card.


Just put the second one in xorg. conf:

Section "ServerLayout" #[her]
Identifier "X0"
Screen 0 "Screen X0" 0 0
InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
EndSection

Section "ServerLayout" #[me]
Identifier "X1"
Screen 0 "Screen X1" 0 0
InputDevice "Mouse1" "CorePointer"
InputDevice "Keyboard1" "CoreKeyboard"
EndSection

...

Section "Device"
Option "AllowGLXWithComposite" "On"
Option "RenderAccel" "True"

Option "NvAGP" "0"
Identifier "nvidia0"
Driver "nvidia"
VendorName "NVidia"
BoardName "GeForce4 MX 4000 AGP 8x"
BusID "PCI:1:0:0"
EndSection

Section "Device"
Option "AllowGLXWithComposite" "On"
Option "RenderAccel" "True"
Option "RandRRotation" "1"
Option "NvAGP" "0"

Identifier "nvidia1"
Driver "nvidia"
VendorName "NVidia"
BoardName "GeForce4 MX 440 AGP 8x"
BusID "PCI:0:10:0"
EndSection

...

and in /etc/gdm/gdm.conf:

...
# Definition of the standard X server.
[server-Standard]
name=Standard server
command=/usr/bin/X1 :0 -layout X1 -dpi 110 -deferglyphs 16
-isolateDevice "PCI:0:10:0" vt7

...
# Definition of the second X server.
[server-2nd]
name=2nd server
command=/usr/bin/X0 :1 -layout X0 -dpi 110 -deferglyphs 16
-isolateDevice "PCI:1:0:0" -sharevts

flexible=true
...




I assume that video memory for more advanced modes will be mapped to
unique addresses by the PCI magic, but arn't the legacy modes like

CGA etc tied down to fixed addresses (eg SVGA tex mode to segment b000h)?
Is it possible to have have two text mode displays simultaneously?


No. Video of the Linux console is rather primitive. Only the first
adapter has the VT's.


As soon as X dies you lose the other monitors/keyboards/mice.

Hugo




The sort of thing I would like to experiment with is having a 'diagnostic'
screen which the kernel can write a message to in real time by just
writing ascii to a memory address.

Perhaps it is something I can do without a custom driver using the
framebuffer interface? Except I don't necessarily want the complexity/
overheads of rendering fonts. Can I have a text mode frame buffer?

Anyway, the current adapter in this system is a AGP nVidia:
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation NV25 [GeForce4 Ti 4200] (rev a3) (prog-if 00 [VGA])
Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 137
Memory at fd000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16M]
Memory at f0000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=64M]
Memory at f4880000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=512K]
Expansion ROM at feae0000 [disabled] [size=128K]
Capabilities: [60] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [44] AGP version 2.0

Any reccomendations on a goood card adapter to look for for this? The main
thing is probably a clean and simple hardware interface, and good open
source friendly documentation for driver writers. Doesn't need to be
state of the art - Something I can find cheaply on eBay (along with a
1280x1024 LCD display) would probably suffice.



I only use Nvidia. Best cards best support although proprietary driver.














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Old 04-19-2008, 03:17 PM
Hugo Vanwoerkom
 
Default Using a second display adapter

Digby Tarvin wrote:

I am thinkng of adding a second display adapter to experiment with. I'm not
really interested in dual head X (I'd use single dual head
adapter for that). I am more interested in having some display hardware
that I can experiment with without effecting my console/X display.


Can anyone explain what happens hardware wise when a second adapter is
present? For example, adding a PCI adapter to a system that already
has an AGP card.

I assume that video memory for more advanced modes will be mapped to
unique addresses by the PCI magic, but arn't the legacy modes like

CGA etc tied down to fixed addresses (eg SVGA tex mode to segment b000h)?
Is it possible to have have two text mode displays simultaneously?



That was possible AFAIK only with the matrox driver and the matrox
G440/G550 dual head cards: both heads could show VT's.


Hugo




The sort of thing I would like to experiment with is having a 'diagnostic'
screen which the kernel can write a message to in real time by just
writing ascii to a memory address.

Perhaps it is something I can do without a custom driver using the
framebuffer interface? Except I don't necessarily want the complexity/
overheads of rendering fonts. Can I have a text mode frame buffer?

Anyway, the current adapter in this system is a AGP nVidia:
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation NV25 [GeForce4 Ti 4200] (rev a3) (prog-if 00 [VGA])
Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 137
Memory at fd000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16M]
Memory at f0000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=64M]
Memory at f4880000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=512K]
Expansion ROM at feae0000 [disabled] [size=128K]
Capabilities: [60] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [44] AGP version 2.0

Any reccomendations on a goood card adapter to look for for this? The main
thing is probably a clean and simple hardware interface, and good open
source friendly documentation for driver writers. Doesn't need to be
state of the art - Something I can find cheaply on eBay (along with a
1280x1024 LCD display) would probably suffice.




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Old 04-19-2008, 07:06 PM
"Digby Tarvin"
 
Default Using a second display adapter

n Sat, Apr 19, 2008 at 07:53:58AM -0500, Hugo Vanwoerkom wrote:
> Digby Tarvin wrote:
.
.
> >Can anyone explain what happens hardware wise when a second adapter is
> >present? For example, adding a PCI adapter to a system that already
> >has an AGP card.
>
> Just put the second one in xorg. conf:
.
.
> >
> >I assume that video memory for more advanced modes will be mapped to
> >unique addresses by the PCI magic, but arn't the legacy modes like
> >CGA etc tied down to fixed addresses (eg SVGA tex mode to segment b000h)?
> >Is it possible to have have two text mode displays simultaneously?
>
> No. Video of the Linux console is rather primitive. Only the first
> adapter has the VT's.
>
> As soon as X dies you lose the other monitors/keyboards/mice.

Interesting, thanks, but not really what I had in mind on this
occasion.

I am really more interested in the hardware level, not using Linux
Console or xorg driver at all.

By text mode suppert I mean I would like to know if a second adapter
can be configured (via a custom driver) to provide a block of memory
whereby writing one byte the the memory results in one character
displayed on a screen. The same hardware mode used by the linux
console when not in framebuffer mode.

Ideally I would like to be able to tell Linux to keep its hands of
the card so that I can write my own (non X, non glass tty) driver
for it.

Although if the framebuffer driver can be put in text mode then that
might do what I want without needing a new driver. Anyone know?

> I only use Nvidia. Best cards best support although proprietary driver.

Unfortunately I think that probably rules out nVidia for me if I am
looking at writing a custom driver. Details programmers documentation
is probably my highest priority after the basic requirement that it
be able to co-exist with anohter card, with clean/simple interface being
the next priority (eg framebuffer directly addressible without any
indirection).

Perfermance is definately way down the list, as I'm not really planning
in implementing support for fancy acceleration features.

Regards,
DigbyT


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Old 04-20-2008, 04:06 PM
Daniel Burrows
 
Default Using a second display adapter

On Sat, Apr 19, 2008 at 07:06:55PM +0000, Digby Tarvin <lists2008@skaro.afraid.org> was heard to say:
> n Sat, Apr 19, 2008 at 07:53:58AM -0500, Hugo Vanwoerkom wrote:
> > I only use Nvidia. Best cards best support although proprietary driver.
>
> Unfortunately I think that probably rules out nVidia for me if I am
> looking at writing a custom driver. Details programmers documentation
> is probably my highest priority after the basic requirement that it
> be able to co-exist with anohter card, with clean/simple interface being
> the next priority (eg framebuffer directly addressible without any
> indirection).
>
> Perfermance is definately way down the list, as I'm not really planning
> in implementing support for fancy acceleration features.

Have you heard of the Open Graphics Project? It sounds like perhaps
you're looking for something like that. The URL is:

http://www.opengraphics.org

Note, though, that the only thing they have available now is a
rather expensive model for people who want to help develop the
board, so it won't really help you right now. But I thought you might
be interested.

Daniel


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Old 04-20-2008, 04:44 PM
"Digby Tarvin"
 
Default Using a second display adapter

On Sun, Apr 20, 2008 at 09:06:02AM -0700, Daniel Burrows wrote:
> On Sat, Apr 19, 2008 at 07:06:55PM +0000, Digby Tarvin <lists2008@skaro.afraid
.org> was heard to say:
.
.
> > Perfermance is definately way down the list, as I'm not really planning
> > in implementing support for fancy acceleration features.
>
> Have you heard of the Open Graphics Project? It sounds like perhaps
> you're looking for something like that. The URL is:
>
> http://www.opengraphics.org
>
> Note, though, that the only thing they have available now is a
> rather expensive model for people who want to help develop the
> board, so it won't really help you right now. But I thought you might
> be interested.
>
> Daniel

Hi, yes - I did come across that project. It would be ideal for what I
want. The only problems being that their development board doesn't seem
to be readily available yet, and as you say, the pre-production version
is rather expensive even if you can one allocated to you.

As I don't need anything particularly powerful or fancy, I think I
should be able to pick up something suitable on eBay fairly cheaply,
if only I can find a board where decent information on its programming
interface is available. Partly because I think manufacturers should be
rewarded for making information available to open source developers,
but mostly because it will make the board more useful to me.

Regards,
DigbyT


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