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Video Card problem? Using Puppy, TinyCoreLinux.

Multiple family members, friends, and myself have computers that are several years old or more. These have 128-512 MB RAM. Puppy, TincyCore, and other small distros run well.

Major problem: Images do not render properly. TinyCore does not have the problem with newer computers. (I have not tried the other ones on new computers).

-photos are discolored

-text is different colors

See attached image.

I would appreciate advice on what is causing this and what to do about it. I am wondering if it is a video card driver issue.


  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    Are you experiencing this on multiple computers?

    Have you confirm that is is not a hardware issue by checking the connection to the monitor or trying a liveCD from another distro?
  • jabirali
    jabirali Posts: 157
    It looks like you might be running in 8 bit mode. You can check the current color depth using the command:
    xdpyinfo | grep "depth of root window"
  • I will try entering the code in the command line.

    I have tried Tiny Core Linux on HP Pavillion a1630n (built in 2007) and used it with my HDTV (60Mhz Insignia) and it works fine in rendering images/colors. (Oddly enough, Ubuntu doesn't display at all on my HDTV.)

    Tiny Core Linux is not rendering images properly on an HP that I bought new in 2001 or a Dell which was manufactured probably in 2004. Regarding images/colors Windows ME works fine on the 2001 computer and XP works fine on the 2004 computer.

    I did not change any of the default settings on Tiny Core when running it on these 3 computers. Also, Damn Small Linux has the same problem with the 2001 HP.

    It would nice to be able to get to the bottom of this. Some of my friends a family members have never heard of or worked with Linux and are curious to see what their old computers sitting in their closets can do.
  • saqman2060
    saqman2060 Posts: 777
    Ubuntu needs a 32bit color scheme. Yout HDTV's video geometry maybe different than what ubuntu can support. What version of ubuntu are you using.

    What is the color bit for your 2001 and 2004 dell machines? Some video controllers were not designed to work with linux. Check the linux hardware capatiblity list to see what devices those distros your using support.

    Damn small linux was designed to work on ancient systems. I am not surprised it is not rendering the images correctly. Test all the your system using liveCDs and see what works.
  • I tried Ubuntu 10.10 and Xubuntu 10.10 on my HDTV and there was no display at all although there was sound. It is a very new HDTV.

    I will have to check the color bit of the older machines.

    Using minimalist distros and slightly larger ones such as Lubuntu and Xubuntu with older machines is not working out quite so smoothly even when RAM requirements are more than adequate and the iso live CD is perfectly fine. It would be great if there was a detailed, yet simple for the novice Linux user (such as myself), fool-proof set of instructions in these situations.

    There are many people with older computers (with 256MB and 512MB RAM) who assume them to be too old and of no practical use.


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