[PC-BSD Support] Fwd: Query about installing PC-BSD 9 on laptop

Bret Busby bret.busby at gmail.com
Sun Mar 25 20:36:29 PDT 2012


Forwarded to list as Reply does not default to list.


-- 
Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia
..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Bret Busby <bret.busby at gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2012 11:34:58 +0800
Subject: Re: [PC-BSD Support] Query about installing PC-BSD 9 on laptop
To: "Michael D. Norwick" <mnorwick at centurytel.net>

On 26/03/2012, Michael D. Norwick <mnorwick at centurytel.net> wrote:


> You mentioned that you didn't care about wireless on this device.  Are
> you set on trying to get PCBSD running on it?  Maybe this is just a
> learning exercise?
>

First, I want to find whether I can get PC-BSD 9 running on a system here.

Then, I will determine  how easily I can run it, and what I can and
would do with it.

Whatever happens, I do not use wireless stuff on a computer.

> http://wiki.pcbsd.org/index.php/Hardware_Compatibility
>
> which mentions; 'if you wish to check your hardware before installing
> PC-BSD, a good place to start is the FreeBSD 9.0 Hardware Notes
> <http://www.freebsd.org/relnotes/CURRENT/hardware/index.html>.


I could not find any reference to the chipset ( Intel 855GM ) there, either way.

It (the web page to which it led, at
http://www.freebsd.org/relnotes/CURRENT/hardware/proc.html#PROC-I386 )
, states

"
FreeBSD/i386 runs on a wide variety of “IBM PC compatible” machines.
Due to the wide range of hardware available for this architecture, it
is impossible to exhaustively list all combinations of equipment
supported by FreeBSD.
"

Unfortunately, unlike some of the Linux hardware compatibility
facilities, where users submit results, resulting in tables that list
individual hardware components, like computer chipsets of printer
models, etc, with version of operating system tested, hardware tested,
the date of the testing (or of the result submission - I am not sure,
but I think that it is the date of the testing), and result (although,
the result is not technically quantitative, but rather, something like
(for printers), "paperweight" or "mostly" or "excellent" or "perfect",
etc), I can not find an equivalent hardware compatibility list, for
either FreeBSD or PC-BSD.

The Linux Hardware Compatibility Lists, are generally "works in
progress", but show whether a particular hardware configuration has
been tested and the result(s) submitted, and the date of the test, and
the result.

Such a facility, would, I think, be of assistance with BSD.

In searching using various search term combinations, including "Intel
855GM" and PCBSD  and just BSD and the chipset identifier, at
http://web.archiveorange.com/archive/v/yNDjXKCODzFbYzm99dv1 I found

"
Andrej Podzimek  — Sat 07 Aug 2010 22:29:15 WST
Hello,

as many sad users know, old Intel graphic chipsets, such as the 855GM,
have not worked with the Intel drivers for more than a year. Patches
that effectively dropped support for all chipsets older than 9xx were
included into the Linux kernel around April 2009. They introduced a
bug that makes old Intel chipsets unusable.

The bug has tens of duplicates. I guess this is currently the most
famous one: https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=... [1]

Unfortunately, this bug does not affect only Linux. In fact that is
why I am writing this message. :-) These are examples of systems with
no usable GUI on slightly older laptops with Intel chipsets, such as
Asus M2400N:

        * OpenSolaris (tested with build 134, build 145) -- freezes at
X.org startup
        * FreeBSD (tested with 8.1, both original FreeBSD and the
PC-BSD distro) -- panics at X.org startup
        * GNU/Linux (since the introduction of KMS-enabled kernel and
X.org) -- X.org with broken graphics, freezes in a couple of minutes

Older versions of {OpenSolaris,GNU/Linux,FreeBSD} (with older X.org)
provided a *working* desktop capable of virtually unlimited uptime.
The hardware 3D acceleration was sufficient to run a compositing
window manager (with not much eye candy, but perfectly usable).

"

which appears to show the problem as
1. being about 18 months old, and
2 applying to PC-BSD / FreeBSD 8.1, being the last previous version.

By context, the same problem appears to persist in PC-BSD /FreeBSD 9,
but I am not sure - only guessing.

The problem with Linux, that he appeared to find, however, I had not
experienced, as, as I have previously said, I have used Linux without
the problem that he encountered.

> Another
> good resource is to run PC-BSD in Live Mode
> <http://wiki.pcbsd.org/index.php/PC-BSD_Live_Mode>; that way you can
> test your various devices before committing to an install.'
>
> If this machine refuses to give you an X Windows session, been there
> done that countless times.  If the PCBSD live dvd gives you an initial
> install/run screen with all the graphics and eye-candy, it has found the
> proper graphics hardware.  Something gets horked up during the install
> and configuration.
>
> Have you been able to abort X and return to a C.L.I. when the system is
> at the 'flashing cursor' screen?
>

No.

All that I am able to do, is the "Hold the power button down for about
ten seconds, until the machine turns off". All interrupts are
disabled (<CTRL><ALT><DELETE> does not work - nothing works, other
than holding down the power button, until it switches off).

-- 
Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia
..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................


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