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).