DRI on an old ATI mach64 card

4 03 2008

So, here I go trying to get some transparency on my old laptop. I have done it in the past, so I know it is posible.

The laptop is a VM7000 made by RM. It has a Coppermine Celeron 500MHz and it had originally 128MB of RAM. I have recently increased that to 256, which is the maximum it supports.

The video card, according to lspci, is a “VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc 3D Rage LT Pro (rev dc)”. It uses the mach64 driver. My goal here is to get DRI working on it so I can have drop shadows and real translucency for the terminal windows (I know it is rather useless, but it looks cool).

The system is an up-to-date Debian Lenny. To achieve this objective, I am mostly being guided by this thread on the Ubuntu Forums: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=7200.

So far, I have accomplished steps 1 – 5. The install.sh script in the mach64 directory has given trouble. First, by looking at the dri.log file generated by the script, I have found that it is trying to find a linux/config.h in the kernel headers directory. It is not there because it has been deprecated. By following this tip I have managed to get past all the config.h errors by substituting it by autoconf.h in all files that were trying to include it.

This, though, has led me to another error, a quite esoteric one: “error: size of array ‘type name’ is negative”.

After reading this I have decided to recompile my kernel with

CONFIG_PHYSICAL_START=0x200000

I know that the solution mentioned in the link is about x64 and this laptop is definitely not 64 bit, but I guess it’s worth the shot. It might just work.

Update: No, it didn’t. After recompiling the kernel, the install.sh script of mach64 still gave the same error. I’ll keep trying and will keep posting the results here.