Just before christmas I decided I will spend the â€œimmenseâ€? amount of 40 EUR for a graphic card for a system which was without one. The system is supposed to replace my dying home-server. I already moved everything, except my Desktop-in-a-Jail (actually it is my home-cinema-jail).
The old system had a Radeon 9200SE, and it was enough for what I used it for. Nowâ€¦ for a few bucks you can get a lot more horsepower today. After looking around a little bitÂ I decided to buy a NVidiaÂ card. I made this decision because it looks like I can get better driver support for it. So I got a GeForce GT 520 with 1 GB of RAM (I doubt I will be able to use that much RAM)Â and without a fan.
With the Radeon 9200SEÂ I was not able to get the 3D stuff activated (at least in the jail, I did not try without), XorgÂ complains about a missing agpgartÂ module but I have AGP in the kernel (no /dev/agpgartÂ outside the jail). I did not spend time to investigate this, as the main purpose â€” playing movies â€” worked. Now with the NVidia card I decided to give the 3D part a try again.
After adding the NVidiaÂ device entries to the jail, and a little bitÂ of fighting with the Xorg-HALÂ interaction, I got a working desktop. The biggest problemÂ to verify thatÂ 3D is working was, that I did not hadÂ xdriinfoÂ installed. After installing it, I noticed that it does not work with the NVidiaÂ driver.Â Â Next stop nvidia-settings: runs great, displays a nice FreeBSD+NVidiaÂ logo, and â€¦ tells me that OpenGL is configured. Hmmmâ€¦ OK, but I want to see it!
As IÂ decided to switch from Gnome to KDEÂ 4 at Â the same time (I was using KDEÂ when it was at V 0.x, switched to Gnome as it looked nicer to me, and now I switch back after reading all the stuff in the net that KDEÂ 4 is â€œbetterâ€? than Gnome 3), I was a little bit out of knowledge how toÂ see the 3D stuff in action. So I quickly went to the settings and searched for something which looks like it may use 3D. To my surprise, it was already using 3D stuff. Nice. I fully realized how nice, when playing a video and using Alt-Tab to switch windows: the video was playing full speed scaled down in the window-switcher-thumbnail-view.
That was too easy. I am happy about it.
Now that I have a working setup of X11-in-a-jailÂ for Radeon and GeForceÂ cards, I want to cleanup my changes to the kernel and the config files (devfs.rules) and have a look to get this committed. A big part of this work is probably writing documentation (most probably in the wiki).
I still want to see some fancy 3D stuff now. IÂ tried to install x11-clocks/glclock, but the build fails with an undefined reference to â€˜glPolygonOffsetEXTâ€™. Any recommendation for a fancyÂ 3D display? My priority is on â€œfancy/niceâ€? with as less violence as possible. Most probably I will look at it once and then deinstallÂ it again, so it should be available in the Ports Collection (or included in KDE 4).