Configuring X.Org / XFree86 under Virtual PC / Virtual Server

Configuring X.Org / XFree86 under Virtual PC / Virtual Server

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On the weekend I finally got around to downloading and playing with Fedora Core 4 (test 2) under Virtual PC / Virtual Server.  This did - however - remind me of the fact that there is a fair amount of confusion around the configuration of / XFree86 under Virtual PC / Virtual Server (for those who are unfamiliar with the details X.Org and XFree86 are two popular implementations of the X Window graphical display system, and are used by Linux, BSD and others for their graphical display.  For more detail please see: and  There are two main problems that people hit when configuring X.Org / XFree86 under Virtual PC / Virtual Server:

  1. These display systems are usually defaulted to using 24-bit color depths, and our emulated S3 Trio 64 does not support 24-bit color.  A physical S3 Trio 64 does support 24-bit color but we only support 1,2,4,8,16 and 32-bit color modes.  This does not cause a problem on other platforms as we have removed the 24-bit entries from our ROM - which most operating systems probe to determine possible displays.  However X does not check our ROM and attempts to use 24-bit color.  This results in a corrupted (and very wide) display on the virtual machine.  This problem can be easily avoided by selecting to use 16-bit color (or 'thousands of colors').
  2. X seems to have difficulty determining the acceptable resolutions to display on our 'virtual monitor'.  This is rather odd as given that our monitor is virtual - it can display pretty much any resolution.  The way to work around this problem is to tell X that you have a "Generic laptop monitor (1600x1200)" (even if you do not) then it should be able to display any resolution you want.


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  • So what issue caused you to remove the support for the 24-bit color mode from the emulated card?
  • Hi Colin,

    24-bit support wasn't removed - it simply never was added (remembering that we had to write the code for this from scratch). And supporting 24-bit is significantly more difficult than 16 and 32 bit modes.

  • I see. Is it that 24 is not a binary power? Thanks for the clarification.
  • there's no sense in discussing support si
  • there's no reason in discussing installation/configuration since installing a Linux (2.4/2.6) on a SCSI disc does not work

    you see, in Linux world, is the least of our worries

    first I would like to be able to install it on an SCSI disk, build my Linux server, and just after that if I get bored with the plain black&white console I will get an ...

    this all fuss about you supporting Linux is just a marketing thing, like it's always been, marketing and only marketing, nothing ele
  • I agree with this guy :)
    No support for linux SCSI is a big problem.

    Is this a beta bug or an missing feature ?
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