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Luc Verhaegen

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This way, the free software desktop is never going to make it. [Jan. 15th, 2011|04:52 pm]
[Tags|, , , , , ]
[Current Location |Couch]
[mood |pissed offpissed off]

In order to get easier access to Nokia things, and to boost security (as in, encrypt stuff, for a change), I've been reinstalling my trusted hp 6715b. Most nokians use ubuntu, so i went for 10.4LTS. I already severely disliked the way in which you have no installation options to chose from. You get the grandmother version every time, no "i have a clue, let me decide what i want to do, myself" button anywhere.

I was lucky, in 10.4 my now 3y old graphics card was still working out of the box. But, of course, i want to have my big virtual screen back. This, of course got dropped with randr 1.2 and the Virtual keyword was reused for something else. Matthias Hopf then re-added it in 1.3; mostly to appease me, and the handful of other weirdos out there. But, try finding this option in the xorg.conf manpage. Nothing! Try googling for it, and the first 50 hits either only explain the commandline version or the old style Virtual (which got broken). Apparently, you need to add 'Option "Panning" "${H}x${V}".

Easy, pico /etc/X11/xorg.. Damn. Nothing. head /var/log/Xorg.0.log says xorg.conf.d. Type man xorg.conf.d. Damn. Nothing: "No manual entry for xorg.conf.d" Suuuper. Apparently people are supposed to _know_ that this is part of the xorg.conf manpage.

So, create a new screen, device and monitor section in 01-screen in xorg.conf.d, and press ctrl-alt-backspace, like any experienced driver developer is used to. Damn. Nothing. Head into gnome preferences stuff, enable key combination. Try again. Drop into the console. Wait for the display manager to try again. And wait. And wait. Damn. Nothing again. Ok, the DM might have died, and i don't trust this new gnome stuff, so it might be better to reboot. So Ctrl-alt-del, which worked first time round. At least something one can depend on.

Next time i look back, ubuntu is showing its plymouth style loading, but the panel is gradually turning white. Something is not driving the panel and the driver died, for whatever reason. WTF? Try some key combinations to get a console. Damn, nothing! Pinging the box still worked, but of course, no sshd was installed. Attempting a reboot didn't bring anything either, it just runs into the exact same issue. Nothing is checking whether a previous boot got one to a working console or a working X.

So, insert the ubuntu installation cd, choose live system, mount the fs, chroot to it, apt-get install ssh, and less /var/log/Xorg.0.log to reveal:

> (==) Using config directory: "/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d"
> Parse error on line 3 of section Monitor in file /usr/lib/X11/xorg.conf.d/01-screen.conf
> The Option keyword requires 1 or 2 quoted strings to follow it.
> Parse error on line 3 of section Monitor in file /usr/lib/X11/xorg.conf.d/01-screen.conf
> "2560x1920" is not a valid keyword in this section.
> (EE) Problem parsing the config file
> (EE) Error parsing the config file
> Fatal server error:
> no screens found

I forgot to put apostrophes around "Panning", and i got greeted with a bleeding panel, with no option to easily get around it. What on earth are we thinking here?

This is Ubuntu LTS, with radeon, KMS, plymouth and xorg.conf.d. 5 nails in the free software desktops coffin.

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