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Can't enable desktop effects


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#1
DOh23a1C

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Hey all, I recently downloaded and burned an ISO image of Ubuntu 7.10. This is the first time I've ventured away from Windows (I had a Mac 8.5 but I don't think that counts much). I'm currently running the OS off the CDROM rather than do a complete install as I'm trying to sort out how I'm going to partition my hard drive (I have XP and 2000 on two different partitions at the moment). I'm okay with Ubuntu thus far but I'm running into a couple key problems:

I can't enable desktop effects at all. Everytime I try to I get an error saying they can't be enabled. According to ubuntu, this is due to my graphics card not supporting the feature. The computer isn't that old, it's an HP laptop with an ATI Mobility M6 GPU w/ 32MB onboard RAM, I would think that would be sufficient, correct me if I'm wrong. Will doing a full install of the OS onto the hard drive be likely to correct this issue?

Also, I'm having trouble finding a suitable driver for my Belkin wireless card. If anyone can help me out on these issues I'd appreciate it.
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#2
silverbeard

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Hi DOh23a1C,
The sad fact of Linux is that ATI video cards are still work in progress. The latest drivers are good but even these lack some of the functions you get with Windows drivers. This will change in time because AMD/ATI are working with Novell to make their drivers work with Linux.

I suspect that 32MB of video ram is not sufficient for most of the higher level effects even with the latest fglrx drivers. I've gotten the Emerald Themes and water effects(as I call the wavy window minimization) to work with my ATI cards and none of them has less then 256MB of video RAM. You could try the latest ATI Drivers and see. Do your research before installing I've had the ATI Drivers hose X and if your starting config isn't backed up recovery can be hard.

Personally I really don't see much use for the 3D Eye Candy Other than it just looks so cool. In truth they're a waist of processor cycles using 5 to 20 times the the amount of processor of a standard non accelerated desktop. YMMV
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#3
-OCM770-

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agreed, besides, you need to install the ATI drivers, i have an Nvidia Card and had to do a yum install kmod-nvidia (yum is not in Ubuntu i don't think) anyhow, to install the driver you need to install to hard drive because, where on the HD do you install if you are running i live cd?

Besides, i recommend a minimum of 128mb for the best effects and installing Beryl. Good Look, you'll like Linux, it takes getting used to but you'll love it, believe me.


-OCM770-
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#4
DOh23a1C

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Thank for the replies guys!

OCM770, what do you mean exactly by a "yum" install?

ATI's driver download website lists two possibilities for Linux, one being a 64bit from what I gather. Is Ubuntu a 64bit OS (ver. 7.10)?
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#5
silverbeard

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YUM is a package manager. Programs in Linux are called packages. There are many different packages and package managers. Fedora uses YUM to install .rpm packages. Ubuntu uses Synaptic Package Manager to install .deb packages. Ubuntu also has a restricted drivers manager in the 7.10. Restricted drivers are Proprietary Software (non open source) and GNU/Linux Linux purest have objections to closed source proprietary software.

Packaging is how a program is delivered for installation.

The three main types are:
RPM, Redhat Package Management
DEB, Debian based distos
TGZ. Slackware packaging system

Other distros have other systems of package management but they all do basically the same thing, make sure dependencies are met and the program is installed in the right places.

Your laptop probably has a 32bit processor and you more than likely you have the 32bit version of Ubuntu.

Edited by silverbeard, 08 November 2007 - 05:28 AM.

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#6
DOh23a1C

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Thank you for clearing that up.

I'm thinking I may need to do some more research on Unix, lol. It would seem that it is far more different from Windows than I had thought (in terms of installing drivers, software, etc).

I did an install onto the HDD this morning, got my standard desktop effects working as a result as well.

I'm thinking of trying to install Beryl but I'm getting conflicting information on whether or not it's possible with the graphics drivers that are currently installed (those that came with Ubunutu)for use with ATI cards. I've also read that I will need to install XGL beforehand. the little amount of instructions I've found for the two installs seem sort of daunting to me. they don't appear to be simple scripted installs like I'm used to in Windows. It seems that they require manual installing through the terminal. I'm not sure I'm quite up to that at the moment. For anyone that's already installed Beryl and XGL, does it all have to be done manually or are there already scripted installs?

I've also heard conflicting opinions on whether ATI's Mobility graphics cards can even support XGL. If anyone can confirm or deny that, I'd appreciate it.
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#7
silverbeard

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Here is a review of the latest ATI 7.10 drivers and what they can do. I still haven't found these in the restricted repositories.
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#8
98springer

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There is an application called Envy that automates the task of installing Nvidia and ATI drivers in Ubuntu. Worked for me. 32mb ain't much memory though. I don't think I had much luck with effects when I was using a 32mb ATI card. :)

http://albertomilone...a_scripts1.html

Edited by 98springer, 16 December 2007 - 10:01 PM.

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