Multiple framebuffers under NS3.3 SPARC

Started by AStar617, May 16, 2007, 08:02:47 AM

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AStar617

Branching off from the NS-on-Sun-IPX thread...

Quote from: "blackcube"
Quote from: "pergamon"
Quote from: "nextchef"
Are you referring to cpu processors or graphics processors?  My question concerned support for multiple video cards under NS/OS for sparc.

I'm 99% sure I had a Sparc 5 or 10 working with multiple displays in NS3.3 a few years ago.  I can't help with how anymore, but I can mostly confirm that it should be possible as long as the FBs are all supported by NS.  I don't recall it being a difficult thing, at least with my particular setup.

multiple desktops are already supported in NS - the dual head Dimension-mono monitor setups on Cubes as an example.  I can't see why it wouldn't work on a Sparc.

I can confirm that multiple displays can be configured in NS3.3 on SPARC--I just set this up yesterday. :)

My original plan was to install NS3.3 on the following platform:

- 110MHz microSPARC-II CPU
- 4 x 32mb RAM (128mb total)
- 1 x 4gb SCA SCSI disk (internal)
- 3 x CG6 GX/TGX SBus framebuffers (501-1996 / 501-2325 / 501-2922)

However, if I try the initial install after boot, instead of the very first configure.app instance I get the following repeated message:

loginwindow: could not find WindowServer port!

and the box hangs. The only fix I could find is to boot with a single framebuffer installed (slot appears irrelevant).

But the weirdness doesn't end there... once in NS3.3, you can use configure.app to add new display devices. I seem to be able to get a 2nd working fine (sbus slots 1-2, with 1 on the left and 2 on the right) but I can *never* configure a third. I get the same WindowServer error above during boot... and the only fix is to pull *both* extra framebuffers and reboot, regardless of if a 2nd was successfully configured before. Any ideas on what kind of rhyme or reason there is to configuring multiple heads on SPARC?
NeXTstation color slab: still in surgery | SPARCstation 5/110: 128mb, 4gb, 3xCG6, NS3.3risc | HP 712/60: still in surgery | Plus too many Suns to list

kronoman

Is this on an SS5? I seem to remember reading about oddness with more than two TGX+ on that hardware under Linux and Solaris, too.
NeXTstation Turbo Color|Sun SS20,Ultra 2,10,60,80,B2k|PowerMac G3,Quadra 950|SGI Indigo2, Power Indigo2, Fuel

AStar617

Quote from: "kronoman"Is this on an SS5? I seem to remember reading about oddness with more than two TGX+ on that hardware under Linux and Solaris, too.

Yup, SS5.

One is actually a standard GX and the other two are Turbo GXs. I'll try to scare up two more plain-jane GX's and see if I can get the triple-head config working on that basic hardware.

Also, is there any way to control which display is the "master" (i.e., the one with the dock / workspace manager / etc)?
NeXTstation color slab: still in surgery | SPARCstation 5/110: 128mb, 4gb, 3xCG6, NS3.3risc | HP 712/60: still in surgery | Plus too many Suns to list

kronoman

I haven't multiheaded a SPARC to test this yet, but on a Cube, it's in Preferences.app. Drag-and-drop. (Looks like the monitor layout configuration in Windows, actually. At least MS picked a good one to rip off, hehe!)

I do, however, have a working SPARC and a stray pair of TGX+. Might try this. (though my main FB is an SX. Wonder if mixing 8-bit and 24-bit will work right?)

Also, can you get hold of a TCX? If so, using the AFX bus rather than SBus for the third head might help. (24-bit, too).
NeXTstation Turbo Color|Sun SS20,Ultra 2,10,60,80,B2k|PowerMac G3,Quadra 950|SGI Indigo2, Power Indigo2, Fuel

nextchef

Does NS/OS support a Sun 501-1415 CG3 Color Frame Buffer?  I do not see a specific driver for it in configure.app, and have tried loading all available drivers with no success.

Chef

kronoman

CG3? I don't think so. AFAIK only the CG6, CG14, BW2 and TCX.
NeXTstation Turbo Color|Sun SS20,Ultra 2,10,60,80,B2k|PowerMac G3,Quadra 950|SGI Indigo2, Power Indigo2, Fuel

nextchef

Quote from: "kronoman"CG3? I don't think so. AFAIK only the CG6, CG14, BW2 and TCX.

That would explain it then.  Will have to swap it out for a newer card and try again.

Thanks for the info,

Chef

crimsonRE

Quote from: "nextchef"
Quote from: "kronoman"CG3? I don't think so. AFAIK only the CG6, CG14, BW2 and TCX.

That would explain it then.  Will have to swap it out for a newer card and try again.

Thanks for the info,

Chef

If you look in my 'Guides' stickied in this SPARC/HPPA forum, I actually addressed this: someone created a patch to one of the drivers and got the CG3 working. However, I've never found that driver...

nextchef

Swapping out the card for a TurboGX did the trick.  Now I have multi monitor setup (GH18PS & LSA800) working on my IPX Cycle5 running OS4.2.  The IPX is even a nice "cube" shape, especially with a matching cdrom and disk enclosure on top.  The funny thing is that one of them has a higher resolution than the other one.  The LSA800 hooked up to the onboard video seems to be running at 1280x1024, where as the GH18PS hooked up to the TurboGX sbus card is running at 1152x900.  Is there a way to change that, or is the onboard video just more capable than the sbus card?

Chef

EDIT
It appears that the onboard has 2M ram, where as the sbus card only has 1M, at least that is what OS says if I do a -v boot and watch as the cards are configured.  Too bad it does not have the special connector for the 24bit card like the SS5's due, cause 24bit would make it really look nice.
/EDIT

da9000

Quote from: "nextchef"...my IPX Cycle5 running OS4.2.

Nextchef, do you have any photos of the inside of this puppy? I'm curious to see how the Cycle5 CPU looks (and if there any other changes internally), because the IPX is a nice box indeed, but won't run anything NeXT with the default setup :(

AStar617

Quote from: "da9000"
Quote from: "nextchef"...my IPX Cycle5 running OS4.2.

Nextchef, do you have any photos of the inside of this puppy? I'm curious to see how the Cycle5 CPU looks (and if there any other changes internally), because the IPX is a nice box indeed, but won't run anything NeXT with the default setup :(
As luck would have it, I also have a Cycle5-upgraded IPX in my collection. If he doesn't have any pics, I should be able to dig it out and provide a couple. :)

Interesting that these are similar enough to a SS5/110 that they do run NS/OS--most Cycle upgrade products were not so lucky. Maybe I'll do the same with mine at some point.
NeXTstation color slab: still in surgery | SPARCstation 5/110: 128mb, 4gb, 3xCG6, NS3.3risc | HP 712/60: still in surgery | Plus too many Suns to list

da9000

Quote from: "AStar617"
As luck would have it, I also have a Cycle5-upgraded IPX in my collection. If he doesn't have any pics, I should be able to dig it out and provide a couple. :)

Cool, that'd be really appreciated!

Do you also happen to know if you can upgrade a "normal" IPX to a Cycle5 ?

AStar617

Quote from: "da9000"
Quote from: "AStar617"
As luck would have it, I also have a Cycle5-upgraded IPX in my collection. If he doesn't have any pics, I should be able to dig it out and provide a couple. :)

Cool, that'd be really appreciated!

Do you also happen to know if you can upgrade a "normal" IPX to a Cycle5 ?
Yes, the board (and most others in the Cycle lineup) was developed for that very purpose--to provide an upgrade path to a box that otherwise would not have one through Sun. Finding a Cycle 5 board may prove to be difficult however, as the boards weren't exactly common back then, nevermind today.

Similar Cycle upgrade products included an SS5/SS20 to UltraSPARC-II 300MHz/2mb and PCI, SS5/SS20 to UltraSPARC-IIi and PCI, and the "CycleQuad", to turn a dual-USII Ultra 2 into a quad US-II beast with PCI   :shock:
NeXTstation color slab: still in surgery | SPARCstation 5/110: 128mb, 4gb, 3xCG6, NS3.3risc | HP 712/60: still in surgery | Plus too many Suns to list

kronoman

Wow, how is it I've never heard of these before? That upgrade for the Ultra 2 might be nice :)
NeXTstation Turbo Color|Sun SS20,Ultra 2,10,60,80,B2k|PowerMac G3,Quadra 950|SGI Indigo2, Power Indigo2, Fuel

da9000

Quote from: "AStar617"
Yes, the board (and most others in the Cycle lineup) was developed for that very purpose--to provide an upgrade path to a box that otherwise would not have one through Sun. Finding a Cycle 5 board may prove to be difficult however, as the boards weren't exactly common back then, nevermind today.

Wow. So, are you saying board as in motherboard or add-on board? I assume the former, but not 100% sure..