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[opensuse] radeon crashes
I'm starting a fresh thread following some comments I posted recently in http://lists.opensuse.org/opensuse/2013-05/msg00791.html
I don't want to keep hijacking that as my own issue isn't strictly related.

I'm trying to resolve long-running radeon issues (a laptop with a Mobility Radeon 9700, based off the 9600, RV350), going back to around the introduction of KMS in openSUSE 11.3 (i.e. years ago). On fresh installs of all openSUSE versions since then, things run fine for maybe a few days, then I get an issue where the screen momentarily blanks and comes back but everything's frozen. Occasionally other weird artefacts like the whole display gradually changing to rainbow vertical lines occurs. Only a Magic Keys reboot can get me out.

Effectively, after it has crashed the first time, subsequent reboots usually result in the same happening again much sooner, as though there's some corruption in memory somewhere. Under this openSUSE 12.3 release I noted it was sometimes triggered when attempting keyboard input in a particular place such as in a web page text entry field or a simple text file, but over the years it could also just happen randomly at any moment.

I can confirm it isn't likely to be a faulty card as I experienced exactly the same issues on a very different desktop system that had a radeon 9600 AGP card. In all cases I'm using the default 'radeon' driver pre-selected at install, since the ATI proprietary driver support for this card was dropped years ago.

The only workaround I've ever found is to disable hardware acceleration in the 50-device.conf file.

On 2013-05-30 10:09:26 -0400, Felix Miata wrote:
Exactly how? I didn't see you didn't say in your post or in your
bug. All my systems disable composite bling in 70-extensions.conf.
I have no systems, Radeon or otherwise, regardless of chip or driver
used except for Intel i845G, that have ever that I can remember
exhibited anything like your complaint.

I do it via the following line (which does get adhered to regardless of the requirement Felix mentioned for a minimum criteria in the device, screen and monitor files):

Option "NoAccel" "true"

Unfortunately that renders my ageing laptop very slow and sluggish, falling back to software rendering and spinning the fan up to a consistent noisy speed. In this 12.3 release the machine is now on the brink of usability.

However, following Felix's advice, in my latest attempt at testing, I've created a 50-device.conf with:

Section "Device"
Identifier "Default Device"
Driver "radeon"
# ## Required magic for radeon/radeonhd drivers; output name
# ## (here: "DVI-0") can be figured out via 'xrandr -q'
Option "monitor-LVDS" "Default Monitor"
EndSection

a 50-screen.conf with:

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Default Screen"
Device "Default Device"
# ## Doesn't help for radeon/radeonhd drivers; use magic in
# ## 50-device.conf instead
Monitor "Default Monitor"
EndSection

and a 50-monitor.conf with:

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Default Monitor"
#
# ## If your monitor doesn't support DDC you may override the
# ## defaults here
# #HorizSync 28-85
# #VertRefresh 50-100
#
# ## Add your mode lines here, use e.g the cvt tool
DisplaySize 338 211 # 096 DPI @ 1280x800
Modeline "1280x800" 213.88 1280 1376 1520 1760 800 801 804 868
Option "DefaultModes" "on" # only sometimes necessary
Option "PreferredMode" "1280x800" # insurance, usually unnecessary
EndSection

I don't know what is and isn't really necessary in that monitor file, or how to find out the correct sync/refresh rates to enter.

Release Notes entries about radeon driver issues going back to the introduction of KMS mention booting with 'nomodeset', but I'm unable to do that since it hangs prior to the login screen (the 'Reached Target Graphical Interface [OK] part). Does booting with 'nomodeset' effectively switch to vesa or a non-radeon driver, or are the two things not inter-related?

Thinking this may be KMS related I followed some advice to change the sysconfig entry 'NO_KMS_IN_INITRD' to 'yes'. Doing this in YaST appeared to automatically run mkinitrd afterwards. I then rebooted. The boot sequence was slightly different with a longer period of blank screen but the login screen than arrives as usual. I've rebooted a couple of times like this without issue, until today. It crashed just after login, before all services were finished loading. Whilst the screen froze and the cursor disappeared the HD was still chugging away loading services and trying Ctrl-Esc in KDE made the HD busy for a moment but no task manager appeared on screen. I tried Ctrl-Alt-F8 and just got a blinking cursor. Going back to Ctrl-Alt-F7 I got a blank screen with a moveable mouse cursor. Ctrl-Alt-2xBackspc got me back to a login from where I'm now back in KDE.

I wasn't watching the boot sequence but the xorg log file suggests it booted with KMS, despite my changing the setting, so I'm puzzled. The log file may give other clues to what's up:
http://paste.opensuse.org/17295823

I've started and contributed to various forum posts about this over the years but they all went stale and none of the suggestions helped. I've also contributed to Bugzilla reports that got closed and 'fixed' for certain others but not me, so I recent started another of my own here (currently no response):
https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=817528

Is there anything else I can try or is it really the end of the road for my legendary laptop?
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