Upgrading to Ubuntu Gutsy

I got round to upgrading my desktop system to Gutsy today. I’d upgraded my laptop the previous week, so was not expecting much in the way of problems.

I’d done the original install on my desktop back in the Warty days, and the root partition was a bit too small to perform the upgrade. As there was a fair bit of accumulated crud, I decided to do a clean install. Things mostly worked, but there were a few problems, which I detail below:

Dual Head Configuration

With previous releases, I was using the Radeon driver’s MergedFB mode, as it gives a better user experience than the traditional Xinerama code (3D acceleration on both heads, better performance, etc). After moving adding the MergedFB options to xorg.conf, I was just getting the same image cloned on both displays.

Looking at the X server log file, there was a message saying that MergedFB support had been removed in favour of RandR 1.2 support. And it was possible to get dual head working with the xrandr command line tool:

xrandr --output VGA-0 --right-of DVI-0

It was good to know that dual-head still worked, but I didn’t want to reconfigure this every time I restarted the machine. I didn’t find much information on how to configure the initial RandR configuration on the X.org website, but did find a useful guide on the Intel Linux Graphics website. While the guide was aimed at the Intel driver, it had enough information to get things configured for the Radeon driver. The main difference was in the naming of the outputs. Below is a an excerpt of my configuration file that configures things the way I had them previously:

Section "Device"
        Identifier      "ATI Technologies Inc RV280 [Radeon 9200 SE]"
        Driver          "ati"
        BusID           "PCI:1:0:0"
        Option          "monitor-DVI-0" "Sony SDM-S74 [1]"
        Option          "monitor-VGA-0" "Sony SDM-S74 [2]"

Section "Monitor"
        Identifier      "Sony SDM-S74 [1]"
        Option          "DPMS"
        HorizSync       30-65
        VertRefresh     50-75
        Option          "LeftOf"        "Sony SDM-S74 [2]"

Section "Monitor"
        Identifier      "Sony SDM-S74 [2]"
        Option          "DPMS"
        HorizSync       30-65
        VertRefresh     50-75

Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "Default Screen"
        Device          "ATI Technologies Inc RV280 [Radeon 9200 SE]"
        Monitor         "Sony SDM-S74 [1]"
        DefaultDepth    16
        SubSection "Display"
                Modes           "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
                Virtual         2560 1024

I had originally tried setting the VGA monitor to be “RightOf” the monitor connected to the DVI, but that left me with the desktop in clone mode. The main difference I’ve noticed with this configuration compared to my previous one is that the GDM login prompt displays on the right hand head (VGA) rather than the left hand head (DVI).

Window Shadows Don’t Render

Desktop Effects were enabled by default after the install (and on the live CD). While some effects seemed to work, the shadows on the panel and drop down menus were rendered as opaque grey boxes around the windows. I ended up just disabling the effects to clear up the problem.

This bug had already been reported as bug 141304 (which may be the same as bug 116808).

Firefox Crashes on Startup

When I tried to start firefox, it would momentarily display a window and then crash. This appears to be bug 133124, and seems to only occur on AMD64 systems. The problem appears to be in the ubuntulooks theme engine, and switching to a different control theme makes the problem go away, but hopefully it’ll get fixed for the final release.

Problems Rendering Ligatures in Firefox

The problems rendering ligatures in firefox seem to be back again. This problem was never really fixed, but was worked around by removing the ligature table entries from the DejaVu fonts. With the ligature table entries back, the symptoms have returned. This is bug 37828.


  1. Smarter
    Posted 24 September, 2007 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Why didn’t you just used displayconfig-gtk to configure your dual head?

  2. Posted 24 September, 2007 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    I just gave displayconfig-gtk a go, and ran into a few problems:

    1. the configuration it generates caused the X server to crash.

    2. it generated a traditional Xinerama configuration, which is a step back from merged FB (no OpenGL on second head, drawing operations that span two heads need to be performed once for each framebuffer, etc).

    Using the xrandr “monitor-*” device options gives me a single framebuffer with each monitor displaying a portion of it (as I had with MergedFB). As an added bonus, I can reconfigure things at runtime if I want to.

  3. James
    Posted 24 September, 2007 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Does http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/roc/archives/2007/09/textalicious.html look like it’ll fix the problem?

  4. Posted 24 September, 2007 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    According to the https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=331716, the firefox rendering problem should get fixed in Firefox 3.0 (and other Gecko 1.9 based applications). That is a little late for Gutsy though.

  5. Posted 25 September, 2007 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I’m impressed much how well did the gutsy detected my card. But I did a fresh install and I have nvidia card.

  6. justin
    Posted 18 October, 2007 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    I also tried displayconfig-gtk, and no joy. This procedure worked for me. Thanks for posting it.

  7. Jaakko
    Posted 18 October, 2007 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    I know it’s possible to use s-video tv-out with radeon(9000) & randr in Gutsy but does anyone know if overscan is possible with this approach? Is there a spesific parameter for randr to do this?

  8. hiredgoon
    Posted 23 October, 2007 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    James man I love you. Upgrading to Gutsy broke my fglrx dual-head display. This got me working again.