Problems with two ATI cards, in recent X versions

Theodore Kilgore kilgota at
Mon Aug 27 10:40:43 PDT 2012

On Mon, 27 Aug 2012, Michel Dänzer wrote:

> On Fre, 2012-08-24 at 13:19 -0500, Theodore Kilgore wrote: 
> > 
> > On Fri, 24 Aug 2012, Michel Dänzer wrote:
> > 
> > > On Don, 2012-08-23 at 18:27 -0500, Theodore Kilgore wrote: 
> > > > 
> > > > As you can see, it is intended that the "panning" dimensions ought to 
> > > > remain at 1920x1080 so that by moving the mouse here or there it is 
> > > > possible to see any part of the desktop which is outside of the 800x600 
> > > > window, or, one might say, to be able to move the 800x600 "magnified" 
> > > > window to any part of the 1920x1080 desktop.
> > > > 
> > > > Several X versions ago, this used to work. But then it quit working. What 
> > > > happens instead is that, if the script is run while the mouse cursor is 
> > > > near the bottom right of the screen all is OK. One can move to the left 
> > > > and or move up, and the 800x600 window follows the mouse. But once one has 
> > > > done that, the 800x600 window is frozen in place and cannot be moved back 
> > > > downward, or back to the right.
> > > > 
> > > > Experimentation has caused me to suspect that the problem is in the ATI 
> > > > driver code somewhere, or in the radeon driver code.
> > > 
> > > That's rather unlikely, as the video driver doesn't deal directly with
> > > mouse input at all but just sets the display viewport as requested by
> > > the X server.
> > > 
> > > It sounds like this problem could be fixed by this xserver patch:
> > >
> > 
> > The two machines are, respectively, at home and at the office. The one at 
> > home is the one on which this needs to be tested. Right now I am at work, 
> > sitting in front of the other machine.
> > 
> > I can certainly try the above-mentioned patch. Where am I supposed to get 
> > the code which is to be patched, though? Should I use recent 
> > distro-distributed code, or should I use code from a repository somewhere? 
> > Please let me know. Also, assuming that this patch works, is this patch 
> > something which is "coming soon"?
> It's included in the xserver 1.13 release candidates. You can test it
> with one of those or xserver Git
> (git:// Otherwise you may need
> some preceding patches as well.

I found this git tree over the weekend. What I found is that in order to 
run the autoconf scripts there were a couple of other dependencies, 
which appeared to be quite minor, so I installed them. I am back at work 
right now, and I cannot remember exactly what they were. Mainly 2 or three 
items with "proto" in their names.

Then I was able to compile something and install it. The X server however 
would not work. It complained that the ati driver has a different version 
number from the xserver so it could not be used. So then I found the git 
source for the ati driver and compiled it, too. Then things still did not 

What I am missing is some kind of roadmap through the dependencies, here. 
To me as something of an outsider to X development, the whole thing seems 
to be a godawful maze of hidden dependencies, and one does not know how to 
proceed through it to get from one side to the other. Sorry to say that, 
but I am an outsider to X development, as I said, and that is my 
instinctive reaction. Perhaps you can give some advice about how to go 
about this?

To the above, I should add that I am not exactly a stranger to writing 
code. I have contributed actively to Gphoto and to the gspca webcam driver 
tree in the kernel. So I do not have any phobias about this. But I did 
spend most of the day yesterday trying to make this thing work, and I did 
not succeed. So clearly there is something that I am missing. As i said, 
what I seem to need is a roadmap about how to get through the maze. It 
seems that the sequential order of compiling and installing things is 
crucial here, and as far as I know nobody has gone to the trouble to 
document that.

Theodore Kilgore

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