Friday Mar 24, 2006

Xorg bug on Ferrari 4000 laptops in Solaris Nevada build 35 and later

Since I know the Acer Ferrari 4000 laptop is popular in Solaris circles, a warning to users of it about a bug found by Sun's internal Ferrari user group: if you're using Nevada build 35 or later, rename /usr/X11/lib/modules/ so the Xorg server doesn't find it. If it's there, the new monitor probing changes introduced in build 35 by Sun bug 6385111 (aka Xorg bug 5892) cause the Ferrari 4000 to attempt to use VESA BIOS Extensions (VBE) to get the monitor settings after the normal methods failed. Unfortunately, while this works the first time you do it, if you do it a second time without rebooting in between, it seems to cause the Ferrari 4000 BIOS to hang the entire machine, requiring you to manually power it down to recover. Since this is an optional module, if Xorg can't load it, it just skips it.

This failure is being tracked in Sun's bug database as 6402721: Restarting Xorg hard hangs the system (Acer Ferrari 4000, Ati Radeon X700) and is being worked on now by the engineer who introduced the fallback to VBE into our Xorg. So far it's only been reported on the Ferrari 4000 laptops, but could potentially be seen on other machines with similar BIOS'es.

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Tuesday Feb 14, 2006

Xorg 6.9.0 released for Solaris 10 and beyond

Patches were released on SunSolve late last week to upgrade the Xorg server for Solaris 10 on x86/x64 platforms from Xorg 6.8.2 to 6.9.0. We've been testing the 6.9.0 release candidates in our Nevada [1] builds since early November, and have worked out the few big problems we've found, so have now backported to our Solaris 10 update release branch, which also generates patches for earlier releases of Solaris 10. There are three patches in total:

Also today, after a few weeks of unrelated delays, build 33 of Solaris Express: Community Edition was released, which is the first Solaris Express release to contain the final version of Xorg 6.9.0, so now you can have the new Xorg on either Solaris 10 or Express. (It was actually in build 32 as well, but that didn't go out as a Solaris Express release. As always, you can see the X changelogs for Nevada builds to see what we actually changed in each biweekly build.)

There are no groundbreaking new features in 6.9.0, just a lot of bug fixes, new hardware support, and minor improvements. The Changes since Xorg 6.8 page in the community wiki has a list of many of these, and the detailed changelog is also available, though only changes that affect the X server and drivers will be reflected in our current deliveries, since we haven't finished migrating the X libraries and clients in Solaris from our current X11R6-forked tree to the current Xorg sources.

Acer Ferrari 4000 laptop owners may be happiest, since with the Xorg 6.9 release for Solaris 10, they can finally run Xorg in Solaris 10 on their laptops (Nevada users got an early pull of the ATI Radeon x700 support from Xorg CVS around the middle of last year, but it hadn't been backported to Solaris 10 until now). Other newly supported devices in Solaris 10 include:

  • ATI Radeon XPRESS 200/200M IGP
  • ATI Radeon X700, X850
  • ATI ES1000
  • XGI Volari V3, V5, V8, Z7
(At least according to the docs/sources - we haven't tested each and every one of these devices and their many variants - if you have one and it works, please report it to the HCL. If it doesn't work, please report a bug via and/or

[1] "Nevada" is the code name for the next full release of Solaris currently under development. It's what is released as the Solaris Express monthly snapshots / experimental releases for those who want to try our code as we get it ready.

[2] The Mesa patch to update Mesa requires you already have the SUNWxorg-mesa package installed, which was not included in Solaris 10 3/05, but was added in the Solaris 10 3/05 HW2 and Solaris 10 1/06 releases.

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Engineer working on Oracle Solaris and with the X.Org open source community.


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