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Thursday, July 03, 2008

My struggle with Ubuntu Hardy Heron.

Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron arrived with Xorg 7.3 which brought many bugs. Prior to the launch of Hardy I had a glimpse of the troubles ahead when I tried PUD Linux LXDE version which was based on Hardy beta. Actually the problem was not with Hardy but with my Laptop whose display is broken and I use it as a Desktop along with external monitor.

When I tried PUD Linux the external monitor worked till GDM was started, then it became blank. I shifted to console by pressing Ctrl alt F2 and opened xorg.conf file and found the file was as good as not being there. It had no configurations. This was due to the new concept of auto-magic in Xorg 7.3. This concept had arrived in Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon in which if you delete xorg.conf you could still boot into the desktop. But in Gutsy you could rebuild the file through dpkg-reconfigure command. In Hardy dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg did not work. I tried to copy the xorg.conf from Gutsy but it did not work.

When Ubuntu Hardy Heron arrived I studied the changes in xorg.conf and wrote the file using vesa driver and after one or two changes it worked and I could get the desktop using vesa driver.

The video card in my Laptop is ATI Radeon IGP 340M and the driver used in Xorg 7.3 had a bug which was reported at bugs.freedesktop.org on 25th April 08.

The bug was resolved in June 08 and within a week the .deb file of updated ati driver appeared on Debian Sid (Unstable) repositories. I downloaded the .deb and its dependencies and installed on Ubuntu Hardy Heron and it works.

Now I could switch off the broken display of the Laptop through the command:
xrandr --output LVDS --off
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