Subject: Re: Help needed with NetBSD and XFree86 4.1/4.2/4.ANY
To: Randall Stewart , <>
From: Richard Rauch <>
List: tech-x11
Date: 02/23/2002 20:43:41
You didn't say if you've ever set up X before or not, or if you are new to
NetBSD (two not necessarily related questions).  I will assume that you
can find your way around, but have never set up X on any NetBSD system
before.  I don't know how specific my comments are to the i386 port of
NetBSD (or even whether any non-i386 ports use anything other than
adapted/ported XFree86), so my comments may also be a bit provincial.

Do you have a kernel with the INSECURE option turned on?  If not, are you
using the aperture driver?

My understanding is that you usually need *at*least* one of INSECURE or
the aperture.  (One person was telling me that he needed both to get X to
work on his card.)

INSECURE is a kernel option.  If you are using a GENERIC kernel, the
option should be enabled by default.  If you are using a custom kernel,
you may have disabled this.

aperture is a LKM (Loadable Kernel Module), I gather.  You should be able
to find it somewhere in pkgsrc.

My understanding is that some people didn't like the consequences of
INSECURE, so they created the aperture driver.  Others have said that
running aperture introduces exactly the same theoretical security problems
as running INSECURE (i.e., no real benefit is realized by using aperture
isntead of INSECURE).  I don't understand the technical issues well enough
to have an opinion on that.

But, you probably need at least one of them to run X.  I do *not* think
that you should have, or should want, /dev/vga; apparently the X server
produces that as a bogus message if you don't have aperture or INSECURE.
(Or maybe installing aperture results in a proper /dev/vga?)

Try removing the /dev/vga that you created, and turn on INSECURE if you
don't have it already.  If that still doesn't work, go get the aperture
driver.  (^&

FWOIW: I don't run with aperture.  If I need X, I make sure that I have
INSECURE in my kernel.  I've never needed apeture.  Whether or not X can
be fixed so that it doesn't need either of these, I'm not sure.

  ``I probably don't know what I'm talking about.''