[opensource] Meeting [12/4]: Abusing the Unix Shell

Wyatt trent.arms at gmail.com
Tue Dec 9 20:36:05 EST 2008

This got long.  Sorry.  I'm not really certain what the CW is on drivers
these days.  There are several things I CAN say, however.

*nVidia's nvidia module:  Uses a Really Ugly Hack to do multiple monitors.
Very poor 2D performance.  Doesn't play with compositing or suspend well.
Sometimes derefs NULL (oops).  It's easy to coax into working though.  Also
added video decode acceleration recently.
*nVidia maintained open kernel module, nv:  slow and only does 2D.  Supports
Xv, at least.
*Open source noveau module:  Based on nv, so 2D works and has, in fact been
improved amazingly as I recall...recently merged into Gallium3D to hopefully
get THAT stuff accelerated too.  Maybe.
*ATi's (well, AMD's now) fglrx module:  Fairly performant when you can get
it running.  It's definitely gotten better about running in some senses--
it installs mostly cleanly most of the time, though switching from another
driver or switching to another driver will create...headaches.  Supports
proper xinerama, RandR, and such.
*Open source radeon module: has supported R100 and R200 GPUs (all radeons
pre-9500, IIRC) for a while.  DRI works and they behave as one would expect
hardware to behave when its working (generally).  Good Job.  dri_r300.so
(Radeon 9500 through...well, apparently everything else, now) works...?  It
worked decently with my X300 in my laptop, at least, but still lags behind
the closed one.  Work is proceeding, though, so that's neat.  May be merge
in radeonhd.
*Open radeonhd module: being developed on commission by Novell.  For newer

On topic (lol):
I've learned a lot from this handy...tome. http://tldp.org/LDP/abs/html/
My favourite shell trick is probably using kill and killall to manipulate
processes outside of...well, killing them.  Also, learning that `--` is bash
for "Too close for parameters; switching to args" would have been useful
long before I learned it.


PS: Sorry, Jim.  Damn you, "Reply to all!"

On Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 10:51, Jim Dinan <dinan at cse.ohio-state.edu> wrote:

> Hi Brian,
> Nope, wallpaper_slideshow isn't a screensaver.  It periodically changes
> your desktop wallpaper for you even while you are using the machine (ie
> right click on the desktop -> "Change Desktop Background" -> ...).
> By the way, I had heard that the ATI linux drivers were pretty good
> these days?  Is the conventional wisdom still to stick with Nvidia for
> accelerated 3d under Linux?
> Best,
>  ~Jim.
> Brian Swaney wrote:
> > This could be a really stupid comment, but I'll post it anyway on the
> > off chance that it's not.
> >
> > /Aaron Joseph wrote:/
> >> I want to try adjusting the refresh rate to be a fraction of a second
> >> and then try to use frames from a video with the script to see if I
> >> can get it to the point of displaying a moving image on my desktop.
> >> Unfortunately I foresee some serious resource usage problems on the
> >> horizon since this is something that should really be done by writing
> >> a program in C that does this. But if anyone happens to have a
> >> supercomputer and can get this going then let me know how it turns out.
> > If it's the screensaver, and is therefore running in response to the
> > computer being /idle/, then you should have some extra CPU cylces to go
> > around. Just run the proper codec and select a matching format file. I
> > don't think I know enough about bash or videos to point you in the right
> > direction, but I'm sure there is some string of commands you could use
> > to display the output of a codec from a large file to your computer
> > screen. Or you could probably use mplayer with some arguments or
> something.
> >
> > In the case of a low frame-rate, it's probably because of the graphics
> > card. Mine is a proprietary ATI one, and if I try putting any kind of
> > video in full screen, the frame rate is pathetic. On that new computer
> > I'm returning, it has an Intel video card with a driver that (gasp!)
> > actually works when you're not using Windows Vista. Unlike ATI, its
> > framerate is significantly less than 1 second. I heard this card isn't
> > the greatest at performance, but it certainly does the trick for
> > full-screen videos. With the right video card and maybe a decent
> > processor, this sort of thing should be doable; better than having a
> > movie interrupted by a screensaver anyway.
> >
> > -Brian Swaney
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