Xorg error: New athlon laptop, radeonhd video - unable to load fbdev

Da Rock freebsd-questions at herveybayaustralia.com.au
Mon Dec 19 22:23:17 UTC 2011

On 12/20/11 03:05, Warren Block wrote:
> On Mon, 19 Dec 2011, Da Rock wrote:
>> On 12/19/11 21:31, Da Rock wrote:
>>> I hate to come with this kind of a query, but my googling hasn't 
>>> come across a satisfactory answer.
>>> I'm running an install on a brand new laptop for a client, and I'm 
>>> trying to get X up using xdm- nothing. The logs says it failed to 
>>> load fbdev because there is no data module.
>>> I try uninstalling fbdev and running a rebuild of xorg- its still 
>>> using the builtin configuration and still can't load fbdev. No 
>>> devices detected.
>>> I run Xorg -configure, and it shows the radeon card fine, 2 
>>> displays. Still working with the config file, but it seems fine.
>> correction - its dual display issue that I've never had trouble with 
>> before (I also have installed on a HTPC with same memory, phenom quad 
>> core, uses a radeon HD card and a NVidia HD card). And no, the Xorg 
>> -config /root/xorg.conf.new [-retro] doesn't work as it is locking up 
>> and I can't even ctl-alt-backspace, I have to acpi power off to shut 
>> the system down. Google's still not giving me any hope... :( Last 
>> time I came across this level of issue was with a solo vintage intel 
>> card on yet another laptop- it froze the system too.
>> BTW, who says multicard vga is rare?
> Some newer laptops have dual GPUs, an onboard Intel combined with one 
> from another vendor for higher performance.  There's hot-switching 
> between the two, but AFAIK it's not supported in FreeBSD.  There may 
> be a BIOS option to disable one or the other.  There should still be 
> two video outputs.
> More than one video card at a time is a different issue, which is also 
> unsupported on FreeBSD AFAIK:
> (WW) VGA arbiter: cannot open kernel arbiter, no multi-card support
It appears that it is something that needs to be resolved pretty quickly 
then. The linux guys jumped on it quick as (I'm not ribbing by the way) 
- probably their guys came across it sooner than BSD users.

What has thrown me is the fact that I didn't even consider it as a 
problem because I already had installed on a dual video system- ATI card 
and NVidia onboard, both that will work on a linux system, and that FBSD 
has no problem like this either; it just works. Weird...

So what are my options then? I have 2 high performance cards I can't 
use? VESA is not exactly an exciting solution - or secure: it somehow 
retains the image displayed in memory, and shows it as it loads up X the 
next time.

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