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

Alan Coopersmith
Senior Principal Software Engineer

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/libvbe.so 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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