Alexander Leidinger

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X11 in a jail with NVidia hardware

Just before christ­mas I decided I will spend the “immense” amount of 40 EUR for a graphic card for a sys­tem which was with­out one. The sys­tem is sup­posed to replace my dying home-server. I already moved every­thing, except my Desktop-in-a-Jail (actu­ally it is my home-cinema-jail).

The old sys­tem had a Radeon 9200SE, and it was enough for what I used it for. Now… for a few bucks you can get a lot more horse­power today. After look­ing around a lit­tle bit I decided to buy a NVidia card. I made this deci­sion because it looks like I can get bet­ter dri­ver sup­port for it. So I got a GeForce GT 520 with 1 GB of RAM (I doubt I will be able to use that much RAM) and with­out a fan.

With the Radeon 9200SE I was not able to get the 3D stuff acti­vated (at least in the jail, I did not try with­out), Xorg com­plains about a miss­ing agp­gart mod­ule but I have AGP in the ker­nel (no /dev/agpgart out­side the jail). I did not spend time to inves­ti­gate this, as the main pur­pose — play­ing movies — worked. Now with the NVidia card I decided to give the 3D part a try again.

After adding the NVidia device entries to the jail, and a lit­tle bit of fight­ing with the Xorg-HAL inter­ac­tion, I got a work­ing desk­top. The biggest prob­lem to ver­ify that 3D is work­ing was, that I did not had xdri­info installed. After installing it, I noticed that it does not work with the NVidia dri­ver.  :-(  Next stop nvidia-settings: runs great, dis­plays a nice FreeBSD+NVidia logo, and … tells me that OpenGL is con­fig­ured. Hmmm… OK, but I want to see it!

As I decided to switch from Gnome to KDE 4 at  the same time (I was using KDE when it was at V 0.x, switched to Gnome as it looked nicer to me, and now I switch back after read­ing all the stuff in the net that KDE 4 is “bet­ter” than Gnome 3), I was a lit­tle bit out of knowl­edge how to see the 3D stuff in action. So I quickly went to the set­tings and searched for some­thing which looks like it may use 3D. To my sur­prise, it was already using 3D stuff. Nice. I fully real­ized how nice, when play­ing a video and using Alt-Tab to switch win­dows: the video was play­ing full speed scaled down in the window-switcher-thumbnail-view.

That was too easy. I am happy about it.

Now that I have a work­ing setup of X11-in-a-jail for Radeon and GeForce cards, I want to cleanup my changes to the ker­nel and the con­fig files (devfs.rules) and have a look to get this com­mit­ted. A big part of this work is prob­a­bly writ­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion (most prob­a­bly in the wiki).

I still want to see some fancy 3D stuff now. I tried to install x11-clocks/glclock, but the build fails with an unde­fined ref­er­ence to ‘glPoly­gonOff­se­tEXT’. :-( Any rec­om­men­da­tion for a fancy 3D dis­play? My pri­or­ity is on “fancy/nice” with as less vio­lence as pos­si­ble. Most prob­a­bly I will look at it once and then dein­stall it again, so it should be avail­able in the Ports Col­lec­tion (or included in KDE 4).


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3 Responses to “X11 in a jail with NVidia hardware”

  1. Wojtek Says:

    You could try compiz-fusion. It should be in ports.

  2. Bruce Says:

    I don’t know about any­one else, but I always used to use glxgears (from graphics/mesa-demos) to check if OpenGL was working.

  3. netchild Says:

    I know that OpenGL works. While glxgears can give an indi­ca­tion that it works, it is not a bench­mark or even a fancy graph­ics demo. What I would like to have is a fancy graph­ics demo. Some­thing pleas­ant for my eyes.

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