Understanding my pc X org Configuration and How to change it

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Understanding my pc X org Configuration and How to change it

Postby TheFlameParadox » 2019-04-12 09:21

Hi,
i'm writing this post because i m really stucked in learnig how x work in my pc and how to configure it.
Lets begin:
I installed a fresh version of Debian 9.8 with KDE on my lenovo x250.
It has a i5-5300U inside, and naturally no dedicated gpu.
After the installation the only things i did was to install some applications like kdenlive, thunderbird only by thedebian repository.
I did a search on google about intel graphics drivers, and i have undestood that there are basically 2 types of intel driver :
- use the open source community xserver-xorg-video-intel, less power but well supported.
- modeset driver
I want to try using both to choose the best, but there come my problem.
If i try to install the xserver driver from debian repository, it tolds it is alredy installed, so i think i have all i need to start testing.
I did a lspci -v that said i was using :
Code: Select all
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation HD Graphics 5500 (rev 09) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
        Subsystem: Lenovo HD Graphics 5500
        Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 49
        Memory at e0000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16M]
        Memory at c0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=512M]
        I/O ports at 3000 [size=64]
        [virtual] Expansion ROM at 000c0000 [disabled] [size=128K]
        Capabilities: <access denied>
        Kernel driver in use: i915
        Kernel modules: i915

After i searched about how to change the driver, and here we have the problem.
I read that i have to modify my /etc/X11/xorg.conf file, but i didn t have that file. So i started the pc in runtime-level 1, logged with root and made this:
Code: Select all
cd /etc/X11
Xorg -configure

It told me he created a /root/xorg.conf.new file and he also told me to try it with a command, but when i used that command ..... Total black
So i returned to my tty with ctrl alt f1 and rebooted in normal run level.
It didn t created a /etc/X11/xorg.conf , so i copied the root directory conf file and renamed it xorg.conf ( ps it is full of options so it isnt empty).
I rebooted and nothing changed, like it should. Now im trying to change the file to try the modeset, so i chaged the intel driver row from driver "intel" to driver "modesetting",
but when i restart and do a lspci it told me :
Kernel driver in use: i915
Kernel modules: i915
So i guess it is using intel xorg driver and not modeset ?
And if it is using modeset, so how can i set it to use intel xorg ?

Thanks for reading :D
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Re: Understanding my pc X org Configuration and How to chang

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-04-12 13:58

TheFlameParadox wrote:there are basically 2 types of intel driver :
- use the open source community xserver-xorg-video-intel, less power but well supported.
- modeset driver

Actually, the xserver-xorg-video-intel driver is (slightly) better performing than Xorg's builtin modesetting driver and it also offers a TearFree option, which can be very useful for certain cards.

The modesetting driver is also open source btw.

And those are both DDX drivers, which are separate from the i915 kernel driver.

Anyway, to force the modesetting DDX driver either uninstall xserver-xorg-video-intel or use this configuration file:
Code: Select all
# /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-modesetting.conf
Section "Device"
   Identifier "Device0"
   Driver "modesetting"
EndSection

Check the Xorg log to see which driver is being loaded.
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Re: Understanding my pc X org Configuration and How to chang

Postby stevepusser » 2019-04-12 17:01

You're already using the modesetting driver. Debian will automatically use it for that vintage GPU (and some older ones where it's not the best choice, BTW)

Confirm this by installing inxi and running

Code: Select all
inxi -G


You can switch to the intel driver by creating a "20-intel.conf" text file with the contents:
Code: Select all
Section "Device"
   Identifier  "Intel Graphics"
   Driver      "intel"
#  Option      "AccelMethod" "uxa"  #could also use the default "sna"
   Option      "TearFree"     "true"
EndSection



And then copying it as root or with sudo to the correct directory:
Code: Select all
cp 20-intel.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d


and rebooting. Run the inxi -G command again to see the change.

BTW, this has come up many times on the forum. I was inclined to just tell you to search for "20-intel.conf"...
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Re: Understanding my pc X org Configuration and How to chang

Postby TheFlameParadox » 2019-04-13 19:40

Sorry but i searched a lot without finding too much, btw i tried setting "intel" and "modesetting" in the /etc/X11/xorg.conf and watching the x log file to see what DDX was loaded. The results are very strange because using the unigine heaven benchmark the differerence of perfomance is very high.
Now i' m sure to use one or another driver watching the log file so can t be an error. I did the test 2 times in the same environment and with the same benchmark settings (basic preset).
These are the results :
intel
FPS 13.4
Score 337
MIN FPS 6.3
MAX FPS 25.3
modesetting
FPS 27.4
Score 690
MIN FPS 7.4
MAX FPS 45.4
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Re: Understanding my pc X org Configuration and How to chang

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-04-14 07:09

That's strange, I used the Phoronix Test Suite to benchmark 2D performance and they were very close with a slight advantage for the Intel DDX driver.

Does Unigine Heaven test 2D performance?

Mesa is used for 3D graphics so perhaps something else is going on here.

Out of interest did X auto-select modesetting on your hardware? The xserver-xorg-video-intel package page advises uninstalling it to test modesetting so I didn't think that was the case.
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Re: Understanding my pc X org Configuration and How to chang

Postby stevepusser » 2019-04-14 20:07

I'm still wanting to see those "inxi -G" results...
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Re: Understanding my pc X org Configuration and How to chang

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-04-14 20:09

TheFlameParadox wrote:i tried setting "intel" and "modesetting" in the /etc/X11/xorg.conf and watching the x log file to see what DDX was loaded

We don't need no stinkin' inxi... :mrgreen:
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Re: Understanding my pc X org Configuration and How to chang

Postby stevepusser » 2019-04-15 01:14

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
TheFlameParadox wrote:i tried setting "intel" and "modesetting" in the /etc/X11/xorg.conf and watching the x log file to see what DDX was loaded

We don't need no stinkin' inxi... :mrgreen:


Or showing us the deprecated xorg.conf file, or the logs, or nuthin'!
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Re: Understanding my pc X org Configuration and How to chang

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-04-15 05:04

stevepusser wrote:the deprecated xorg.conf file

/etc/X11/xorg.conf is the very first location checked by the X server for configuration files, it isn't deprecated[1] at all, see xorg.conf(5) for a full list.

And the benchmark results suggest that the OP did manage to change the driver.

[1] The term "deprecated" is actually specific to python, "obsolete" should probably be used instead for other programs.
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