You are not logged in.

#1 2010-02-23 19:07:24

Registered: 2010-02-23
Posts: 2

I want to migrate to arch, but before - ATI& 1.6 ...

Hi all,
I am using an old computer:
AMD Duron 1,8
a lot of disks

Now I'm still using Ubuntu 6.06, all newer versions of (*)buntu only sloved my system. But today I wanted to compile latest vlc because it's only way how to get HD support streaming which we have in our college network to watch hockey in olympiada. Normally when I need some newer version of app I just compile it myself, but for this vlc my version of libdbus is too obsolete, so I'm thinking of changing distribution. It would be best if it were compiled for AMD Athlon because I can really see the difference in mplayer, but arch is at least optimized for 686, and that few multimedia apps I would recompile again to get a little better speed.

But the problem is my ATI RADEON 9600, I want to have fully supported acceleration because of online games, and the proprietary driver does not support 1.6.

I want to migrate to arch because there is a few apps I want always latest stable version of them as soon as possible (open office, some IDEs like kdevelop/monodevelop/..., mplayer, vlc and other multimedia applications, wine).

Is it somehow possible to compose system this way? To have full support for all what my hardware can do and get max out of the system? I'm not willing to buy new graphics card, I have no money for that, and the performace of cheapest nvidia is lower than that of that radeon anyway, and open source driver for ATI RADEON 9600 is still not supporting all featerus, it is maybe in pre-beta stage, opengl workikng but games not, and I don't want such a half-done thing, when I'm satisfied with performance I have right now. I can actually play HD-ready anime(many static backgrounds...) without problem on this incredibly old system. But I need new versions of some apps badly!

Is archlinux for me, or will I have to play with gentoo/slackware? Gentoo takes too much time in my opinion, I tried it and was not able to compile KDE, it did not work after two days of compilation...

I want it just as a quick solution before I get enough money to buy new system, there is no point in investing into five years old machine.

Bacically - how to install arch and force it to use 1.5&ATI radeon proprietary drivers and have all other applications to be the latest version? I want rolling distro, but not all have to roll, some apps MUST remain old, either because of support or because some new apps are too slow.


#2 2010-02-23 19:42:57

Registered: 2008-06-12
Posts: 77

Re: I want to migrate to arch, but before - ATI& 1.6 ...

The Radeon 9600 has stable 3D acceleration with the latest radeon drivers. … d9ad997a2a

You might have to build your own xserver package if you really need an old one.  You can note packages to ignore for upgrade in /etc/pacman.conf.


#3 2010-02-23 19:43:07

Registered: 2008-01-21
Posts: 1,395

Re: I want to migrate to arch, but before - ATI& 1.6 ...

Short Answer: No this will not work

Long Answer:

As you know arch is a rolling release distro. Nearly all the packages in arch are dynamically linked (to libraries). This means that when a new version of a library is released all packages that depend on that library need to be rebuilt. For example, libpng and libjpeg both had version bumps about a month ago. Many packages had to be recompiled so they were linked against the new library.

Xorg 1.7 has been out for quite a while at least a year if not longer. Many distros now ship with Xorg 1.7. In theory, it might be possible to use xorg 1.5, but you would have to maintain all the xorg packages yourself which would be a considerable amount of work. I believe the downfall here would be that 1.5 would depend on packages that have had api changes and will longer compile against these packages. You would then have to patch the xorg 1.5 sources to compile against the newer libraries.

It is quite clear that you would have to invest a lot of time into this. It would be far less work to grab a job for a few days and buy a new video card.

I could be wrong, but I believe you will run into the same problem with gentoo/slackware/or any other distro.

It appears that you have a few choices:
1. Use your current setup
2. Use new distro and use open source video drivers
3. By new video card use any distro

I hope this helps, although I know you didn't want to hear this.

Last edited by pyther (2010-02-23 19:44:46)

Website - Blog - arch-home
Arch User since March 2005


#4 2010-02-24 06:44:28

Registered: 2010-02-23
Posts: 2

Re: I want to migrate to arch, but before - ATI& 1.6 ...

Well, I will wait until I can make a big upgrade. There is no point to buy a new graphic card, I have borrowed GeForce 6200 AGP and it did not work with my mainboard. This type is the only one I can buy right now for my configuration (only AGP slot), all other cards which are cheaper and have twice as more memory are only for PCIe and my old mainboard does not have support for this it. Well, at least my configuration have a new fortron source because when the old one died I bought an expensive one becuase of possibility of future upgrade.

What is the best configuration for linux? I would like to know, what hardware should I choose if I want it to be fully supported not only in linux, but also in solaris and freebsd, including 3d acceleration. I watch a lot of series, and have already downloaded a lot of HD ones while I'm in college and have 10MB/s download almost free, but right now I convert it to dvd quality before playing and then delete the coverted one, burn HQ for rewatch, so maybe the mainboard should have nvidia ION chip. I suppose I will upgrade in about a month, I want to install a lot of operating systems (MSDNAA have a lot of licensces and free life-time ones, includig server 2008 and win7, I want to install it to virtualbox and vmware images and activate and save for future, so as not to have to pirate them later) for experiments. The system should have a CPU with a lot of cores (4) to support massive paralelization, but it should be reasonably cheap (AMD cpu?). Or is dual core CPU enough for this? Graphic card probably nvidia, but I do not like the drivers are not open source, but the support is better right now. When I will have time later after school ends, I would like to experiment with multiterminal, ie. to have multiple graphic cards and monitors and make one computer to have more monitors and mice and keyboards, it's  cheaper  than buying more computers, CPU is hardly utilitized anyway, even my old duron is used only 3 percent on average when surfing. So this is info what should the system have, can someone give me an advice what to buy? Back in times I knew well what hardware  was best, but lately I have not been watching it, so I don't know what is good now.

Last edited by maestro.ore (2010-02-24 06:47:37)


Board footer

Powered by FluxBB