Acer 3400LMI User Manual
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F8­x86_64 on the Acer Ferrari 3400LMi

+ S­video or VGA­0 + S­video. This is a common limitation for most graphics hardware.

Note: The output names differ depending on the driver used. The names used in this document relate to theradeon driver. If you use some other driver usexrandr ­q to find out the proper names (provided that it supports RandR).

10.1.1 The radeon driver

Support for the ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 chip in the Ferrari is provided by the radeon driver. This driver supports all the features we want: the RandR extension (v 1.2), 3D acceleration (DRI) and TV­out.

There is also the ati driver, not to be confused with the proprietaryfglrx driver. However, theati driver is only a wrapper that auto­detects ATI cards and load the appropriate driver. In our case that will result in theradeon driver being loaded.

The main improvement in Xorg 7.2 is the arrival of version 1.2 of the X RandR (Resize and Rotate) extension. It provides automatic discovery of modes together with the ability to configure outputs dynamically. As of today only a few drivers support RandR 1.2. Fortunately, the radeon driver is one of them.

10.1.2 Simple configuration

If you are familiar with X configuration and take a look at the default /etc/X11/xorg.conf file, generated during the installation you will notice a significant change. Many of the traditional settings, sync and refresh rates, modes and modelines, are gone. All these settings are now auto­detected by RandR 1.2 and should only be present if you want to override the detected values. In some rare situations this might be needed, e.g. when an external monitor reports incorrect values.

In order to get full dual­head support you only need to add one line to the default X configuration. If you want to optimize 3D acceleration you need another line. That is a total oftwo lines for a full fledge X configuration supporting all features. Quite an improvement. Thank you all nice X guys!

The X server log file /var/log/Xorg.0.log will be your valuable companion when it comes to troubleshooting or just checking what configuration that is auto­detected.

For reference my xorg.conf is presented inAppendix A.

10.2 Dual-Head

The X Resize and Rotate (RandR) extension introduces a significant shift in dual­ head configuration with its version 1.2. All your setting may now be altered on

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F8­x86_64 on the Acer Ferrari 3400LMi

the fly by the command line tool xrandr, and there is no need to restart the X server.

10.2.1 Virtual screen size

RandR works its magic by means of a virtual screen that is larger than the a single monitor.

The size of the virtual screen is reported as the maximum value by the command:

# xrandr ­q

Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1400 x 1050, maximum 1400 x 1200

...

In this case the size is 1400x1200, which is the default virtual screen size for this setup. The default screen size is too small for serious dual­head configurations. This value needs to be increased by setting the Virtual option in the Display sub­ section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

SubSection "Display"

Viewport

0 0

Depth

24

Virtual

3000 2000

EndSubSection

This is the most (only) important setting needed in xorg.conf. However, in order to enjoy hardware support for 3D acceleration the virtual screen may not be larger than 3000x2000. This limitation differs for the various driver, but for theradeon driver the limitation is 3000x2000. This is sufficient for having an external monitor running at 1600x1200 side­by­side with your internal display as 1400x1050.

After modifying xorg.conf you need to restart your X server, ie. logout and logon again. Now, check your settings once again:

# xrandr ­q

 

 

 

 

 

Screen 0: minimum

320 x 200, current 1400 x 1050, maximum 3000 x 2000

VGA­0 connected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

1280x1024

59.9

 

 

 

 

1152x864

75.0

74.8

 

 

 

1024x768

84.9

75.1

70.1

60.0

43.5

832x624

74.6

 

 

 

 

800x600

84.9

72.2

75.0

60.3

56.2

640x480

84.6

75.0

72.8

66.7

60.0

720x400

87.8

70.1

 

 

 

LVDS connected 1400x1050+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

0mm x 0mm

 

 

1400x1050

60.0*+

 

1360x768

59.8

60.0

1280x800

60.0

 

1152x864

60.0

 

1280x768

60.0

 

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F8­x86_64 on the Acer Ferrari 3400LMi

1280x720

60.0

1024x768

60.0

800x600

60.3

640x480

59.9

S­video disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

In the xrandr ­q output above we see that the new virtual screen size is recognized in the maximum value. Furthermore, we see our three supported outputs, VGA­0 (external display), LVDS (internal display), S­video (TV­out). For the report above an external monitor is connected but not activated. Stillxrandr ­q reports its supported modes. Neat!

10.2.2 The xrandr tool

It is highly recommended that you read through the man page for xrandr and play with it a bit to get to know it. A good place to start is at the debian wikihttp://wiki.debian.org/XStrikeForce/HowToRandR12. It is a great tool that you most likely will find useful. Connect an external monitor and try the following commands.

Get a full report of the current status by:

# xrandr ­­verbose

Activate the external monitor with its default mode and mirror the internal display:

# xrandr ­­output VGA­0 ­­auto

Put the external monitor to the left of the internal panel with:

# xrandr ­­output VGA­0 ­­left­of LVDS

Change resolution and refresh rate of the external monitor:

# xrandr ­­output VGA­0 ­­mode 1024x768 ­­rate 60

Turn off the external monitor:

# xrandr ­­output VGA­0 ­­off

Set the TV­output in PAL mode instead of the default NTSC:

# xranrd ­­output S­video ­­set tv_standard pal

10.2.3 Fn-F5button

Once the virtual screen is configured and we feel confident in xrandr, it is time to focus on the Fn­F5 special button. By default it does nothing, but now we have the tools to configure it the way we want it to work.

First the Fn­F5 button needs to be recognized, so please refer to the section

8 Special keys & buttons above for the basic setup of the Fn­F5 button. After that

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