Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Silicon Graphics

SGI gives Linux support for flat screen 1600SW 33

Matt sent us the story over at SGI, officially confirming that they have worked with Number Nine to release the drivers for their uber-cool flat screen 1600SW into of XFree86. The two will also be working more closely together in the future as well.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

SGI gives official support for flat screen 1600SW

Comments Filter:
  • I read the article on Upside and it wouldn't surprise me at all. If you're into balance sheets and whatnot, Sgi is *ripe* for takeover. Heavily in debt and losing money. If you look at their financial reports (published on their website) you'll realize that they've been losing money ever since they bought Cray. And last quarter's results were "encouraging" only because they lost *less* money than this time last year.

    Sgi as a company presents a confusing marketing strategy coupled with their blind, arrogant, attitude brought on by visible, but financially insignificant, successes in Hollywood. It's too bad, they make simply awe-inspiring boxes.

    Incredible technology. Laughable financial and marketing strategies.

    Does this mean future support for Linux on VMs? ;-)

    Mal --
  • I was thinking about getting one of these, this seems to be a good step in them supporting linux a little better.

    Net. Admin.
  • by Plutor ( 2994 )
    A coworker of mine was trying to get this to work a little while back. We tried AcceleratedX and all kinds of wacky settings, but it never seemed to work correctly. All he could get was wide text on his console. So we tried it with Win98 and the OpenGL support was super-crummy so he trashed it. (Well, handed it off to some PHB).

    To him I say: ha!


  • Posted by Forward The Light Brigade:

    Don't get me wrong,
    Its a very cool step,
    but IIRC it is way easier to perform a hostile reverse engineering of monitor drivers than graphics card drivers...

    when will SGI's graphics subsystem be supported?
  • I have a #9 RevolutionIV 32M AGP 2x. Granted, I did NOT buy the Flatpanel solution bundle, but either way, the card is supported. The issue is the modelines. They're a somewhat guarded thing at SGI, I guess. The XF86 drivers for the Ticket To Ride IV chipset are quite functional, and pretty fast, even without accelleration. Whether or not #9 provided any information, I don't know, but either way, they were happy to share the Revolution3D's specs, and now these. More power to 'em. Now if only we could get S3 to come out of their hidey hole and share Savage4 specs.

    -RISCy Business | Rabid System Administrator and BOFH
  • Life is good. And when multi-head works in XF86 we can cancel our license with XI. That would be XFree86 4.0? Anyway, then life will be GRAND!
  • Anyone know were the drivers (well actually the X server) are? I did not find them on

    I've used the drivers in the current release ( with the same card (with an ordinary CRT), and they are buggy.

  • I'm glad to see SGI's official blessing for XFree86, but I've been running this setup under Linux for 4 months already.

    I purchased the SGI DFP Solution pack back in February. There was already support for it under XFree86 ( and Xi's Accellerated X. After trying both for a while, I kept using XF86 because it seemed faster and more stable.

    The only tricky part with XF86 is the modelines. I tried to figure out the proper modelines myself, but failed. I checked back at and some kind soul had posted the correct ones. Popped them in and it works fine. 1600x1024 in glorious 32-bit. I still have problems with the console text being corrupted after exiting X, but that is a minor issue to me.

    I have to agree with an earlier poster, the beta OpenGL driver for Windows isn't very good. It seems to run OK with Quake II and SiN, but Half-life crashes. And though it looks better, the software renderer runs faster on my system (PII 350MHz), so I still use that instead.

  • Actually, these are drivers for the Number 9 card that you get when you buy the flatscreen for the PC.

    Monitor drivers? I'm not sure what you are getting at here, but the drivers SGI is releasing will let X talk to the Number 9 card and the Number 9 card talk to the flatscreen.
  • can do this as the connection to the SGI monitor is a propriatry interface (god I cant spell) this mean although it is open it is not a VESA standard like the TNT2 claims to be so you need a speail graphics card No9 it is then

    VESA fudged the digital interface and it will take a while to get venders surporting it as they chose a solution wich was hard to get working while the laptop people where saying HEY look at this to all the venders so hope and prey that nVidia did the right thing and went for VESA
    a poor student @ bournemouth uni in the UK (a deltic so please dont moan about spelling but the content)
  • If you use the frame buffer console, then the console's fine when you leave X. Just don't Alt-Function Key switch while an X display is running.
  • It's not an issue with modelines, it's and issue with the interface for the video card. The flatpanel uses a totally digitial interface (not the standard VGA style connecter) that apparently requires a slightly different driver. I'm not sure if modelines even make sense for a flatpanel, but I suspect they don't.
  • Despite its high price, this has been tempting me to save for it ever since I saw it several months ago.

    I am in the unusual situation of moving into a vintage Airstream trailer, 22 feet long. This makes flat panels look especially appealing, because even my short-depth 17" Trinitron will have trouble squeezing in anywhere that I can still work on it.

    If I could hook a computer with a Free OS up to this monitor with a DVD player, I would happily jettison my 13" television, which I use mainly for movie-playback anyhow. A 17.3" widescreen would be a much nicer way to watch So I Married an Axe Murderer ...

    Someday ...


  • A coworker of mine was trying to get this to work a little while back. We tried AcceleratedX and all kinds of wacky settings, but it never seemed to work correctly.

    That's odd - the Accelerated-X server (4.1.2, perhaps with an update to add RevIV-FP support, and 5.0) works fine for me on Debian 2.1, Red Hat 5.2, FreeBSD 3.1, and Solaris 7 (except for a couple of glitches).

  • all No9 cards that have gone before have had NOT very good surport in xfree or any x server to that matter

    is the card any good ?

    what are its features ?

    oh well please tell me would you ?



    a poor student @ bournemouth uni in the UK (a deltic so please dont moan about spelling but the content)
  • Got one for my birthday. Works find, but no brightness or contrast controls or power saver yet.
  • John Carmack said in his .plan that the card that comes with this flat screen is NOT a good 3D card. So, if you want this flat screen and good OpenGL support, you have to buy SGI Visual PC or TNT2 video card which suppsedly has support for such screens.
  • I use this card in Win98 and Linux, and the Windows driver support is terrible! I'm using their beta OpenGL driver, and it's barely functional, rendering this 3D card pretty useless for a lot of games. I wrote to #9 about it, and they said that there were no plans to update this driver.

    I don't recommend this card if you ever plan to use it with Windows. (Linux works well, though.)
  • IO read somewhere that TNT2 based video cards will have support for flat screen monitors. TNT2 are killer 3D cards and have good drivers for Windows and Linux. Can someone confirm if they have tried this SGI flatscreen with TNT2?
  • It is good to hear that #9 has finally decided to help out and get their Revolution IV fully functional with Linux. I was going to get one at one point but didn't see any support for it in Linux and so I tabled the idea. In fact I am about a week or two away from buying a new video card and it is nice to see even more freedom in my choice.

    My guess is that they realized that it is the Linux users who build their own computer, who look for than just gaming power in a video card, which is what the Rev IV is, and are more likely to take the time to pull apart their machine to upgrade. It is a smart business move on their part to give support to Linux.

    Chances are very good that S3 is going to be moving to join the bandwagon soon. With a couple big name companies like Matrox and #9 already supporting Linux, and if they have any market research they will join up soon. They are probably spending too much time working on the buyout/merger with Diamond right now to make another major move like support Linux. It is only a matter of time before they support Linux anyway, any graphics company that keeps up with their market research will realize that the Linux community spends a disproportionate amount of money upgrading their computers to the latest and greatest stuff compaired to the average Joe Shmo Windows user. To not cater to the power user is a fatal flaw for any computer periferal company like S3.
  • FYI you can use setfont to fix it. It would be nice if X didn't trash the console though...

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. -- Thomas Alva Edison