F8: Suspend/resume on Dell 9400 laptop

Paul Johnson pauljohn32 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 13 05:25:28 UTC 2008

On Wed, Mar 12, 2008 at 6:22 PM, dpet <activecs at activ8.net.au> wrote:
>         I have not been able to get the suspend/ resume to work. The
>  cycle seems to work except that the backlight does not light. I have
>  tried "quirks" and combinations of them without effect (obviously not
>  every combination!). It used to work until "several kernels ago", but I
>  didn't record when it stopped.
>         The video card is Nvidia 7900, using the Livna driver, and
>  currently kernel
>  Thanks
>  DP
>  South Australia

I've suffered through this with a Latitude D820. Suspend is working
now, and I'm not an expert engineer, but I can tell you my experience.
I have been through this big adventure several times, suspend is
working on Dell Latitude D820 at the moment.

The suspend quirks definitely do not work for Nvidia's proprietary
driver.    I recall being really upset after doing all of that quirks
stuff and, in the end, learning that those comments are only for the
nv driver, not for nvidia.

I've been using Nvidia cards in laptops for about 10 years and I've
accumulated a little list of things I do to avoid the black screen
upon resume.

Note the NvAGP setting in the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file.
It used to be absolutely required to get the video to work again, but
I don't know if it is still needed.
But I sure as hell do it.

Section "Device"
        Identifier  "Videocard0"
        Driver      "nvidia"
        Option      "NvAGP" "1"
        Option      "TwinView"
#       Option      "MetaModes" "1024x768, 1024x768"
#       Option      "MetaModes"
        Option      "TwinViewOrientation" "Clone"
## Following vital to allow 1400x1050 mode
        Option      "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "True"

Here's another thing. We want the Nvidia AGP to be used, and that AGP
is compiled into the Fedora Kernel. But the code is smart and if you
tell it to not load, it won't.  Look in /etc/grub.conf. In there, I
have options to try to stop the system's agp. I want the Nvidia agp,
which is the one that can suspend & resume.

title Fedora (
        root (hd0,2)
        kernel /vmlinuz- ro root=LABEL=/laproot agp=off
agpgart=off usbcore.autosuspend=-1
        initrd /initrd-

I forget what usbcore.autosuspend is fixing, but it was something
really horrible about 2 months ago.  I've got to start writing some of
this down...

As I recall, there were many possible causes of that no-video upon
resume.  It is VITAL  you stop the system from trying to use vbetool
at all when it resumes. If you have been following the quirks guide,
I'm afraid you were probably putting the vbetool stuff back in, and
you shouldn't have.   It used to be I had to go in and find the acpi
resume script and comment that vbetool out. The gnome-power-manager
now checks for the Nvidia and it does not try vbetool in that case, or
it did last time I read the source code about 3 months ago.  I'm a
little frustrated I can't find that now.  The bits of functionality
seem to run around in the file system between /etc/udev, /etc/acpi,
and I don't know what else.

Here's something to check.  Look in this file:


# Configuration to turn on DPMS again on video activity, needed for some
# laptops. Disabled by default, uncomment if your laptop display stays blank
# after you close and open the lid.

#action=/usr/sbin/vbetool dpms on

Double check to make sure it is commented out.

It will definitely not work with the nvidia driver.

The Nvidia company has a very active forum for discussion.  You might
check there. When I have trouble, I always go there. Especially since
Fedora is not responsible for commercial Nvidia drivers.



Paul E. Johnson
Professor, Political Science
1541 Lilac Lane, Room 504
University of Kansas

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