The Trident driver supports the accelerated video chipsets made by the now-defunct Trident. It supports chips from the (Cyber)Blade, Image, ProVidia and TGUI series. It also supports some ISA and VLB Trident cards.
For some notebooks with trident cards installation instructions including known-to-work xorg configurations are provided, so you may want to search this wiki for your device first. If your device is not listed, keep following this general guide.
Create a configuration file in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/ named 99-trident.conf (or a name you prefer):
# nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/99-trident.conf
Paste following text and save the file:
Section "Device" Identifier "gfxcard" Driver "trident" # Options under this line may (or may not) improve performace # If you experience segmentation faults on attempting to log out of X, uncomment the # following option. If you do, comment or remove the "AccelMethod" option. # Option "NoAccel" "True" # Option "ShadowFB" "Enable" # Option "NoPciBurst" "Enable" # Option "FramebufferWC" # If Xorg crashes on startup (hangs with black screen) you may try out # the following two lines (by removing the "#" before the line): # Option "NoDDC" # The 1024 in UseTiming is for a Notebook with a native resolution of 1024x768 pixel. # If you have a native resolution of 800x600 pixel you should use "UseTiming800" instead. # Option "UseTiming1024" # If Xorg still crashes at startup and the error 'Failed to load module "xaa"' is found # in /var/log/Xorg.0.log, remove the "#" in the following line to use EXA acceleration: # Option "AccelMethod" "EXA" EndSection Section "Screen" Identifier "Screen 0" Device "gfxcard" Monitor "Monitor 0" DefaultDepth 16 EndSection Section "Monitor" Identifier "Monitor 0" Option "DPMS" "Disable" EndSection
As trident cards a quite slow, using only 16 bit as color depth (see DefaultDepth in the Screen Section) is a good idea to speed things up. By only using 8 bit you can speed up things even more, but in my expirence a lot of programs have problems with color conversion. For example images in my browser look a bit like Andy Warhol pictures using 8 bit. So you may want to keep 16 bit.
On my Notebook Xorg does not properly detect the native screen resolution, which causes Xorg to crash. In the past adding "NoDDC" to the driver section solved this problem, but as of 02.11.2012 I also have to add "UseTiming1024". Make sure the number matches the native x resolution of your display. For example I have a display with a resolution of 1024x768, so I'm using "UseTiming1024". If you have for example a resolution of 800x600, you would use "UseTiming800" instead.
I also added a few options which can improve speed, but commented it out. You may want to try them out be removing the "#" at the begin of the corresponding line.
A framebuffer driver called tridentfb is included in the kernel source, but not include in the default Arch Linux kernel package. You could recompile the kernel with tridentfb enabled, but much easier is installing the AUR.AUR package from the
To configure the resolution to meet the native resolution of your screen you need to create a configuration file in /etc/modprobe.d/. You can do this for example by:
# nano /etc/modprobe.d/tridentfb.conf
If you have a native resolution of 1024x768, you want to have a color depth of 8 bit and a refresh rate of 60Hz you should use this as configuration.
options tridentfb mode_option=1024x768-8@60
The format is: mode_option=XRESxYRES-DEPTH@REFRESHRATE
It's also a good idea to include the module and the configuration file in the initrd. To do this, you have to edit /etc/mkinitcpio.conf. Simply add tridentfb to the MODULES="..." array and also "/etc/modprobe.d/tridentfb.conf" to the FILES="..." array to also make your configuration available in the initrd. Now run
# mkinitcpio -p linux
to update your initrd. After every update of tridentfb you have to run mkinitcpio, if you have tridentfb included in your initrd.
tridentfb does no longer work after a minor kernel update
If you have updateded you kernel from version 3.x.y to 3.x.(y+1) and experience problems, just rebuild and reinstall the package. Also the package has to be rebuild and reinstalled after major kernel updates.
tridentfb conflicts with the new kernel package
This is on purpose. When compiling (running makepkg) the tridentfb modules is build against the currently installed and running kernel. To update the kernel, remove the tridentfb package first. After you have installed the new kernel, reboot. Then you can rebuild and reinstall the tridentfb package from AUR. (Currently the tridentfb package calculates its version automatically to match your kernel version. So you don't need to edit the PKGBUILD file after a kernel update.)