Accelerated X on an ATI Rage Pro

I’ve got an ATI Rage Pro 8MB video card, and I never could get accelerated video from it under XFree86. This, of course, meant that my machine was doing software acceleration, and that meant that I couldn’t play tuxracer because it uses OpenGL; a tragedy, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Then I discovered that hardware acceleration support for Mach64 cards (of which mine was one) is part of the XFree CVS, and that it has also been unofficially packaged for Debian. With the assistance of an article by Jason Boxman, I was able to get it installed pretty easily. The only problem I ran into is that I got an error message in my /var/log/XFree86.0.log about not being able to allocate 12000kb of video memory; this is because my card only has 8MB (and I found a bug report than Branden Robinson, Debian X maintainer, has closed, saying “You cannot allocate more video memory than you have!” (although I can’t find it at the moment). I fixed this by stepping down my default colour depth in /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 from 24 to 16, and now it all works accelerated. I also had to make a minor change to kdm’s config file, as described in /usr/share/doc/xserver-xfree86-dri-mach64/README.Debian. And now it all works, with nice fast OpenGL programs.

I’ve discovered that I’m crap at tuxracer, though.

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