mga driver / HALlib

Stefan Dirsch sndirsch at
Thu Jul 27 22:52:28 PDT 2006

On Thu, Jul 27, 2006 at 10:11:49PM +0200, Luc Verhaegen wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 27, 2006 at 03:45:06PM +0200, Stefan Dirsch wrote:
> > Hi
> > 
> > I wonder how the HAL module in the mga driver could be built with
> > X.Org 7.1. Looks like this isn't intended any more. There is nothing
> > provided in configure/ files to still build the mga_hal_drv
> > module.
> > 
> > The driver still tries to load it as you can see in mga_driver.c
> > (...xf86LoadSubmodule (... "mga_hal") ...) when USEMGAHAL is set. So
> > the code has not been dropped yet. And it still seems to be required
> > for features like MergedFB as you can see in the driver output, when
> > you try to enable MergedFB.
> > 
> >   ' HALLib not loaded! NOT using "Merged Framebuffer" mode. '
> > 
> > Best regards,
> > Stefan
> > 
> mga_hal being the binary matrox keeps on holding on to.
> I doubt that the Xorg driver is still in sync with that binary and the 
> codedrops matrox does or does not provide (not certain anymore). 

Right, AFAIK you need the HALlib of Matrox 4.1 driver. HALLib of 4.2
doesn't seem to work (VT switching issues, blank screen).

> The 
> reason for this not being backported could be any of the following:
> * horrendous click-through license on any download from the matrox site.

Use instead. :-)

>   Ask ajax about his adventures with matrox.
> * mga_hal binary should die.
> * nobody cares enough.
> It should be possible to replace mga_hal almost entirely: the 
> information for this is available through more-or-less freely available 
> datasheets (they were at one point sitting off the mplayer site), and 
> the FB drivers have implemented quite a bit, if not all, of what is 
> neccessary.
> All it takes is for someone who is properly inclined to spend some 
> quality time with the relevant hardware.

Sure. But here we're again at "* nobody cares enough". :-( What the
users usually see is the regression in the driver. They don't care
about the why and if this has been intentional and that there are good
reasons for dropping support for features they simply used in the
past. One of the results we can see now are HOWTO like this one

which suggests to compile the HALlib into the mga driver !?!

Best regards,

Public Key available
Stefan Dirsch (Res. & Dev.)   SUSE LINUX Products GmbH
Tel: 0911-740 53 0            Maxfeldstraße 5
FAX: 0911-740 53 479          D-90409 Nürnberg            Germany 

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