Upgrading Xorg 7.2 -> 7.4, black screens, evdev and all that

Martin Ward macros_the_black at ntlworld.com
Sun Apr 12 17:07:32 PDT 2009

Jeremy Henty wrote:
> I've been  using Xorg 7.2 on  my LFS 6.3 system  without problems, but
> when I upgrade  to Xorg 7.4 I get  a black screen and a  lockup when I
> start X.   My video card  is an ATI  Radeon 9250 PCI.  Looking  at the
> xorg.conf.new I  see that the server  has failed to  identify the card
> (yet Xorg 7.2 identifies it without any problems).
> Now I've noticed this paragraph from the manual:
>     Recent versions of xorg-server force the use of the evdev input
>     driver, and ignore legacy input devices definded in xorg.conf.
>     This will result in an X display that seems to lock up if you are
>     using legacy input devices and do not have the proper input
>     configuration files in place (added later).
> Does this mean  that I *must* install the  xf86-input-evdev driver for
> Xorg 7.4 to work?  If so,  must I also enable CONFIG_INPUT_EVDEV in my
> kernel configuration?  How does all  this relate to using HAL and DBUS
> (I use neither)  and the --disable-config-hal and --enable-config-dbus
> options to the xserver configure  script (neither of which I currently
> specify)?  What  are the "proper  input configuration files"  that the
> manual refers to?  Are they HAL configuration files or something else?
> Sorry for the blitz of questions, but at the moment I can't see what I
> should be  doing to get  this working.  I've  used the LFS  search but
> haven't found anything to clear up my confusion.
> Regards,
> Jeremy Henty
Hopefully, i can answer some of your questions.

1. Why the server is refusing to recognise your card, could be a number 
of reasons, do you have an upto date pci ids list. Around x.org server 
1.4/1.5 ??, the pci detection was removed from the server itself and put 
into a separate library, libpciacess which relies on pciutils i believe 
for pci ids.

2. Nope you don't have to install xf86-input-evdev driver, you can still 
use the old "legacy" keyboard and mouse driver but you need the 
following in your xorg.conf

Section "ServerFlags"
Option "DontZap"  "0"                           //allows you to kill the 
server with ctrl-alt-bkspace
Option "AllowEmptyInput" "0"              // allows the legacy keyboard 
and mouse drivers to be used
Option "AutoAddDevices" "0"             // stops devices being added 
from hal events
Option "AutoEnableDevices" "0"        // allows policy setting for the 
hal events

the // are my comments for explanation

3 if you want to use evdev, yep you have to enable it in the kernel, and 
then set up udev/dbus/hal and policykit/console kit correctly which is 
another kettle of fish, so that the x server can respond when you say 
plug in graphics tablet

Hope that helps regards


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