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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware » Video
Starting Lucid Puppy in VESA mode for unsupported GPU's
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impossiblescissors

Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat 11 Feb 2012, 03:37    Post_subject:  Starting Lucid Puppy in VESA mode for unsupported GPU's  

Hello all,

I've tried Lucid Puppy on a variety of systems (including an ancient P3 Dell Inspiron 2500 laptop & Inspiron 531S desktop, plus an Athlon 64 system with Radeon 9600 graphics.) Overall it's been a pretty good experience compared to other Linux & BSD distros I've tried.

I did have trouble with Lucid Puppy on a few systems recently. I put a GeForce 7300 video card in the aforementioned Athlon 64, and now Lucid Puppy boots into a graphic mode that my monitor doesn't support. I also tried Lucid Puppy on a Dell Latitude C840 and it boots to the standard desktop, but the screen is garbled (the desktop appears divided into four quadrants that are moved from their original positions, and the mouse doesn't want to click on whatever it's hovering over.)

Maybe this is a simple question, but how can I boot into a safe graphics mode (such as VESA) when I boot off the Lucid Puppy CD? It'd be nice to get Puppy running on both the systems I had mentioned, so I can build puplets on the Athlon 64 system and use Lucid Puppy as a daily OS on the old Dell laptop without eating as much RAM as Xubuntu (my fallback option.)
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impossiblescissors

Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat 11 Feb 2012, 04:01    Post_subject:  

Think I found a solution in another thread...

SFR wrote:
Hmm, maybe this would help:

1. Boot Puppy using puppy pfix=nox command on boot screen
2. When # prompt will show, type xorgwizard
3. Choose "vesa" to select resolution and bit-depth
(3a. Or choose "Choose" to select specific driver)
4. Type xwin

If the above will work and you'll be able to access desktop, then:
Click Quickpet -> Drivers -> ...test your graphics card and download/install appropriate drivers.
Reboot and let us know if this works. Smile
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EveK

Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat 11 Feb 2012, 12:23    Post_subject:  

Thanks for the information. If only it were that easy!

I'm also trying to rejuvenate an ancient laptop: an HP Pavilion n3402, with a 500MHz Celeron processor and 256 MB of memory. Older versions of Puppy (4.x.x) never had a problem with the video GPU (SMI Lynx EM4, with 4 MB of SGRAM), but Lucid is a different story. I can start up puppy with the pfix=nox option and run xorgwizard from the prompt, but selecting even the lowest level VESA resolution (640 x480) causes a one-way trip to BlankScreenLand. Same result for the Probe option. Choosing the silicon motion driver dumps me back to the main xorgwizard screen, as if that driver was an invalid choice

Since Windows XP Pro runs slowly but well on this machine, I don't think there's anything fundamentally wrong with the hardware. If I'm going to use puppy, I may have to dig up an old cd or .iso file somewhere.
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EveK

Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat 11 Feb 2012, 16:23    Post_subject:  

Upon further experimentation, Wary Puppy works (5.2.2) where Lucid Puppy fails. It must be the difference between XOrg 7.3 and 7.6.
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impossiblescissors

Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat 18 Feb 2012, 15:29    Post_subject:  

The advice I found actually worked for my problematic tower. X.org seemed to probe the GeForce 7300 just fine using VESA, but the Gateway FPD 1520 monitor was an epic fail. I chose some conservative monitor settings under xorgwizard and all is well. Now to figure out how to dual-boot a frugal install of Puppy on the same partition as Windows Vista...

Don't know what was up with the Latitude C840 laptop, because subsequent every time I've run Puppy on it since then has gone smoothly with no screen-scrambling. That system is now a dedicated Fedora 16 Xfce laptop, but Puppy is always a good rescue CD!
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