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[Solved] MX-16, nouveau, and GeForce4, confusion

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seaken64
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[Solved] MX-16, nouveau, and GeForce4, confusion

#1

Post by seaken64 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:33 pm

Hello MX forum! This may be my first post here. But I've lurked here for years and have been active on the antiX forum. This is mostly a question about MX but I also have the same questions with antiX. Here goes ...

I’ve done a lot of reading and testing over the past few days and I’ve learned a lot about the nouveau driver and Xorg and kernels, etc. But I still don’t understand why the nouveau driver does not work for my hardware with the latest versions of antiX and MX. Can someone help me understand what is actually happening behind the scenes that will either allow the nouveau driver to be installed successfully or not even get loaded? I’ve not been able to find a clear write up about how this works and I’ve read most of nouveau.freedesktop.org already.

I have an old HP zv5000 Athlon XP laptop that I have been setting up with MX Linux. I started with MX-16 and it loaded fine and the screen looked good. But when I tried to play YouTube video using SMTube the video was choppy and out of sync. I have experienced this before when I was trying to get antiX-17 working on my old P-III. That machine plays video fine on antiX-16 but not on antiX-17, on the same hardware,

But I was surprised that this HP Athlon XP 3000+ would not be better at playing YouTube than the P-III. This is a P4 class machine and was made for Windows XP and runs at between 800 and 1600 Mhz and has 1280 MB Ram. That is twice the speed of the P-III and more than twice the memory. It also has the next generation of the Nvidia GeForce (the P-III has a GeForce2 NV11, this HP Athlon has a GeForce4 NV17).

I also tried installing antiX-17 on this machine. It installed fine and the screen is fine but the same results with YouTube. Choppy and out of sync.

After some research I found that the nouveau driver was not being loaded. And without the nouveau kernel module loaded Xorg would not work with it’s nouveau driver either. When I looked at the P-III system the nouveau kernel module is loading and Xorg loads it’s nouveau driver and ends up supporting the GeForce2 graphics card. That system was running antiX-16, not 16.1 or 16.2, but plain 16.

I grabbed my USB with Live antiX-16 and installed that on this HP Athlon. But I ended up with the same result. Bad video and no nouveau driver. I looked closer and found I had antiX-16.2 installed. It’s the same kernel and same Xorg but for some reason it did not load the nouveau driver. So I setup another USB with plain antiX-16 and tried that. Viola! antiX-16 loads the nouveau driver and plays YouTube videos in 360p just fine. Not choppy at all. When I look at the logs everything looks good and the GeForce4 graphics is supported. Hmm. Why does it work in antiX-16 but not in antiX-16.2?

I decided to try MX-15. When I loaded the live MX-15 I looked at lsmod, inxi, and Xorg.log and everything looked good with the nouveau drivers. I played some YouTube video with VLC at 360p and it was fine. So, I have MX-15 and antiX-16 playing YouTube video and using the nouveau drivers. But I can’t duplicate this in either MX-16 or antix-16.2, or antiX-17. Why?

My goal was to get this laptop setup with MX Linux so I could replace an older Dell P-III-450 laptop that I use for playing music in my office. I thought I could use at least MX-16, if not MX-17/18. But I had to settle for MX-15 and I’m confused as to why. MX-16 uses an earlier kernel than antiX-16.2 or antiX-17 and uses the same Xorg as antiX-16. I thought that would work out for me, but so far it doesn’t work. Clearly, there is more to this puzzle than the kernel and Xorg version.

I decided to experiment with upgrading MX-15. I was worried that if I ran “dist-upgrade” I would end up with bad video again, thinking that MX-16 gives me bad video and MX-15 gives me good video. I ran into problems updating SMPlayer and SMTube from MX-15 due to some repository issues. I finally figured out that the sources list files needed to be corrected to point to the correct servers. Once I did that I was able to do a full dist-upgrade and I ended up installing the latest SMPLayer and SMTube along with SeaMonkey, Palemoon and Remmina. I tested the video after the upgrades and it played and looked fine. I checked the logs and the nouveau driver was loaded and Xorg was using it.

When I rebooted I had no grub image and the login image was also blank. The desktop wallpaper was also gone. I had experienced this before and was able to find the new paths to the images and edit the startup files. MX did a couple more “dist-upgrades” and I noticed that one of the last upgrades were for the linux-headers files. Again, I was worried that this might kill my video setup and I’d end up with bad video again. But I tested it after it finished and the video is fine. When I rebooted I had MX-16 Metamorphosis as indicated from the Welcome screen. But my video was still good.

So, now I have MX-16 installed, by way of a MX-15 install and a full upgrade. But unlike the direct install of MX-16 from the USB media I now have good video working with the nouveau driver on the GeForce4 graphics hardware.

I learned a lot about installing and updating MX-15 but I am still confused as to why the nouveau driver does not load with MX-16 from the USB media, or on antiX-16.2 or antiX-17. Is it even possible to get the nouveau driver installed on those other versions? Could I do something similar with antiX-17 and start with antiX-16 and then do a full upgrade to antiX-17? Or is there something about those versions that just won’t support this GeForce4 NV17M hardware? And if that is the case then why do I now have a version of MX-16 working on this hardware?

Confused!

Seaken64
Last edited by seaken64 on Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MX-18 on Thinkpad R61i Core2 Laptop. MX-18 on HP Core2 Desktop
MX-18-64/MX-18-32/antiX-17-32 Frugal on Gateway Core2 Laptop
antiX-17 on Compaq PIII 1000 Mhz Desktop, Multi-boot Slackware, Debian, MX, W2K
antiX-17/16 on Dell PIII 450 Mhz Laptop

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seaken64
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Re: MX-16, nouveau, and GeForce4, confusion

#2

Post by seaken64 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:39 pm

Here's inxi from the HP Athlon XP:
(This is with antiX-16.2 loaded. But same result with MX-16 from media)

Code: Select all

System:
  Host: antix16 Kernel: 4.4.10-antix.1-486-smp i686 bits: 32 
  Desktop: IceWM 1.3.8 
  Distro: antiX-16.2_386-full Berta Cáceres 15 June 2017 
Machine:
  Type: Laptop System: Hewlett-Packard 
  product: Pavilion zv5200 (PT277UA#ABA) v: F.34 serial: <root required> 
  Mobo: Compal model: 08A0 v: 32.41 serial: <root required> 
  BIOS: Hewlett-Packard v: F.34 date: 12/23/2004 
CPU:
  Topology: Single Core model: AMD Athlon XP 3000+ bits: 32 type: UP 
  L2 cache: 256 KiB 
  Speed: 798 MHz min/max: N/A Core speed (MHz): 1: 798 
Graphics:
  Card-1: NVIDIA NV17M [GeForce4 420 Go 32M] driver: N/A 
  Display: server: X.Org 1.16.4 driver: fbdev,modesetting,nouveau 
  unloaded: nv,vesa resolution: 1024x768~N/A 
  OpenGL: renderer: Gallium 0.4 on llvmpipe (LLVM 3.5 128 bits) 
  v: 3.0 Mesa 10.3.2 
Audio:
  Card-1: NVIDIA nForce3 Audio driver: snd_intel8x0 
  Sound Server: ALSA v: k4.4.10-antix.1-486-smp 
Network:
  Card-1: Realtek RTL-8100/8101L/8139 PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter 
  driver: 8139too 
  IF: eth0 state: unknown speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full 
  mac: 00:0f:b0:49:25:34 
  Card-2: Broadcom BCM4306 802.11b/g Wireless LAN driver: b43-pci-bridge 
  IF-ID-1: wlan0 state: down mac: 00:90:4b:a3:19:fe 
Drives:
  HDD Total Size: 55.89 GiB used: 3.08 GiB (5.5%) 
  ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Toshiba model: MK6025GAS size: 55.89 GiB 
Partition:
  ID-1: / size: 9.50 GiB used: 3.08 GiB (32.4%) fs: ext3 dev: /dev/sda1 
  ID-2: swap-1 size: 2.45 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda5 
Sensors:
  System Temperatures: cpu: 62.0 C mobo: N/A 
  Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A 
Info:
  Processes: 119 Uptime: 1d 6h 32m Memory: 1.23 GiB used: 117.0 MiB (9.3%) 
  Shell: bash inxi: 3.0.10 
MX-18 on Thinkpad R61i Core2 Laptop. MX-18 on HP Core2 Desktop
MX-18-64/MX-18-32/antiX-17-32 Frugal on Gateway Core2 Laptop
antiX-17 on Compaq PIII 1000 Mhz Desktop, Multi-boot Slackware, Debian, MX, W2K
antiX-17/16 on Dell PIII 450 Mhz Laptop

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seaken64
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Re: MX-16, nouveau, and GeForce4, confusion

#3

Post by seaken64 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:44 pm

And here's the inxi from the P-III that uses the GeForce2 just fine:

Code: Select all

System:    Host: deskpro Kernel: 4.4.10-antix.1-486-smp i686 (32 bit)
           Desktop: IceWM 1.3.8
           Distro: antiX-16_386-full Berta Cáceres 26 June 2016
Machine:   Device: desktop System: Compaq product: Deskpro
           Mobo: Compaq model: 0684h
           BIOS: Compaq v: 686P2 v2.04 date: 08/25/2000
CPU:       Single core Pentium III (Coppermine) (-UP-) cache: 256 KB
           speed: 996 MHz (max)
Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA NV11 [GeForce2 MX200]
           Display Server: X.Org 1.16.4 drivers: nouveau (unloaded: modesetting,fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1024x768@85.00hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI nv11 x86/MMX/SSE
           GLX Version: 1.2 Mesa 10.3.2
Audio:     Card Intel 82801BA/BAM AC'97 Audio Controller driver: snd_intel8x0
           Sound: ALSA v: k4.4.10-antix.1-486-smp
Network:   Card: Intel 82801BA/BAM/CA/CAM Ethernet Controller driver: e100
           IF: eth0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full
           mac: 00:02:a5:04:34:81
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 268.1GB (2.6% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: Maxtor_6L100P0 size: 100.0GB
           ID-2: /dev/sdb model: WDC_WD1600JB size: 160.0GB
           ID-3: USB /dev/sde model: USB_Flash_Drive size: 8.0GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 15G used: 5.0G (36%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sdb7
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 1.08GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda5
Sensors:   None detected - is lm-sensors installed and configured?
Info:      Processes: 137 Uptime: 1 day Memory: 131.8/496.8MB
           Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.3.8 
MX-18 on Thinkpad R61i Core2 Laptop. MX-18 on HP Core2 Desktop
MX-18-64/MX-18-32/antiX-17-32 Frugal on Gateway Core2 Laptop
antiX-17 on Compaq PIII 1000 Mhz Desktop, Multi-boot Slackware, Debian, MX, W2K
antiX-17/16 on Dell PIII 450 Mhz Laptop

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Re: MX-16, nouveau, and GeForce4, confusion

#4

Post by timkb4cq » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:58 pm

I notice that the working antiX is running nouveau without kernel modesetting and the non-working MX-16 is using modesetting.
You might try pressing the "e" key at the grub screen and adding nomodeset after the quiet on the boot line to keep the MX-16 install from using kernel modesetting instead of nouveau's. If that works you use boot options in MX-Tools to make that change permanent.
MSI 970A-G43 MB, AMD FX-6300 (six core), 16GB RAM, GeForce 730, Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD, Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB

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seaken64
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Re: MX-16, nouveau, and GeForce4, confusion

#5

Post by seaken64 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:46 am

Thank you, I tried that but the nouveau driver is still not added as a kernel module. I think I need to get nouveau installed as a kernel module driver in order for Xorg to use it. Should I be trying this from a live USB? I just made the nomodeset to the installed system's grub entry.

Here's a copy of the inxi and lsmod and modprobe for this MX-16.1 system:

Code: Select all

sean@mx16:~
$ sudo inxi -Flx
[sudo] password for sean: 
System:    Host: mx16 Kernel: 3.16.0-4-686-pae i686 bits: 32 compiler: gcc v: 4.8.4 
           Desktop: Xfce 4.12.2 Distro: MX-16.1_386 Metamorphosis 8 June 2017 
           base: Debian GNU/Linux 8 (jessie) 
Machine:   Type: Laptop System: Hewlett-Packard product: Pavilion zv5200 (PT277UA#ABA) v: F.34 
           serial: CND5050SQV 
           Mobo: Compal model: 08A0 v: 32.41 serial: CND5050SQV BIOS: Hewlett-Packard v: F.34 
           date: 12/23/2004 
CPU:       Topology: Single Core model: AMD Athlon XP 3000+ bits: 32 type: UP arch: K8 
           L2 cache: 256 KiB 
           flags: nx pae sse sse2 bogomips: 1595 
           Speed: 798 MHz min/max: N/A Core speed (MHz): 1: 798 
Graphics:  Device-1: NVIDIA NV17M [GeForce4 420 Go 32M] vendor: Hewlett-Packard driver: N/A 
           bus ID: 01:00.0 
           Display: server: X.Org 1.16.4 driver: fbdev,nouveau unloaded: modesetting,vesa 
           resolution: 1024x768~76Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: Gallium 0.4 on llvmpipe (LLVM 3.8 128 bits) v: 3.0 Mesa 12.0.3 
           direct render: Yes 
Audio:     Device-1: NVIDIA nForce3 Audio vendor: Hewlett-Packard driver: snd_intel8x0 v: kernel 
           bus ID: 00:06.0 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k3.16.0-4-686-pae 
Network:   Device-1: Realtek RTL-8100/8101L/8139 PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter driver: 8139too 
           v: 0.9.28 port: 7000 bus ID: 02:01.0 
           IF: eth0 state: unknown speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: 00:0f:b0:49:25:34 
           Device-2: Broadcom BCM4306 802.11b/g Wireless LAN vendor: Hewlett-Packard driver: N/A 
           port: 7000 bus ID: 02:02.0 
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 55.89 GiB used: 6.00 GiB (10.7%) 
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Toshiba model: MK6025GAS size: 55.89 GiB temp: 52 C 
Partition: ID-1: / size: 16.88 GiB used: 6.00 GiB (35.6%) fs: ext3 dev: /dev/sda7 
           label: rootMX16 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 65.0 C mobo: N/A 
           Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A 
Info:      Processes: 137 Uptime: 2m Memory: 1.23 GiB used: 165.3 MiB (13.1%) Init: SysVinit 
           runlevel: 5 Compilers: gcc: 4.9.2 Shell: bash v: 4.3.30 inxi: 3.0.30 
sean@mx16:~
$ lsmod
Module                  Size  Used by
cpufreq_userspace      12477  0 
cpufreq_powersave      12422  0 
cpufreq_stats          12694  0 
cpufreq_conservative    13872  0 
bnep                   17184  2 
bluetooth             335981  5 bnep
6lowpan_iphc           16548  1 bluetooth
rfkill                 18387  2 bluetooth
uinput                 17068  1 
nfsd                  236992  2 
auth_rpcgss            45765  1 nfsd
oid_registry           12387  1 auth_rpcgss
nfs_acl                12463  1 nfsd
nfs                   168022  0 
lockd                  73443  2 nfs,nfsd
fscache                44782  1 nfs
sunrpc                211375  6 nfs,nfsd,auth_rpcgss,lockd,nfs_acl
fuse                   81592  3 
ecryptfs               83869  0 
loop                   21987  0 
parport_pc             26004  1 
ppdev                  16686  0 
lp                     12766  0 
parport                35213  3 lp,ppdev,parport_pc
dm_crypt               22171  0 
video                  21844  0 
joydev                 16847  0 
ttm                    72222  0 
drm_kms_helper         44450  0 
drm                   207686  2 ttm,drm_kms_helper
i2c_algo_bit           12647  0 
processor              27146  0 
thermal_sys            27122  2 video,processor
evdev                  17136  6 
serio_raw              12737  0 
snd_intel8x0m          17500  0 
snd_intel8x0           30521  2 
k8temp                 12482  0 
snd_ac97_codec         96151  2 snd_intel8x0,snd_intel8x0m
snd_pcm                78128  3 snd_ac97_codec,snd_intel8x0,snd_intel8x0m
yenta_socket           38561  0 
pcmcia_rsrc            17292  1 yenta_socket
snd_timer              26149  1 snd_pcm
snd                    55101  9 snd_ac97_codec,snd_intel8x0,snd_timer,snd_pcm,snd_intel8x0m
soundcore              12890  1 snd
ac97_bus               12462  1 snd_ac97_codec
shpchp                 30673  0 
ext4                  450845  1 
crc16                  12327  2 ext4,bluetooth
mbcache                17027  1 ext4
jbd2                   72964  1 ext4
crc32c_generic         12576  1 
btrfs                 858938  0 
xor                    25716  1 btrfs
raid6_pq               95207  1 btrfs
dm_mod                 83065  1 dm_crypt
sg                     25573  0 
sd_mod                 43732  2 
crc_t10dif             12399  1 sd_mod
crct10dif_generic      12517  1 
crct10dif_common       12340  2 crct10dif_generic,crc_t10dif
ata_generic            12450  0 
pata_amd               13094  1 
ohci_pci               12704  0 
libata                161900  2 pata_amd,ata_generic
ssb                    51408  0 
psmouse                93505  0 
ehci_pci               12464  0 
ohci_hcd               42566  1 ohci_pci
ehci_hcd               64933  1 ehci_pci
mmc_core               91803  1 ssb
pcmcia                 44245  1 ssb
pcmcia_core            18024  3 pcmcia,pcmcia_rsrc,yenta_socket
8139too                30087  0 
8139cp                 26153  0 
mii                    12595  2 8139cp,8139too
scsi_mod              164132  3 sg,libata,sd_mod
usbcore               171098  4 ohci_hcd,ohci_pci,ehci_hcd,ehci_pci
usb_common             12408  1 usbcore
i2c_nforce2            12527  0 
i2c_core               36838  4 drm,drm_kms_helper,i2c_algo_bit,i2c_nforce2
sean@mx16:~
$ modprobe nouveau
modprobe: ERROR: could not insert 'nouveau': Operation not permitted
sean@mx16:~
$ su
Password: 
root@mx16:/home/sean# modprobe nouveau
modprobe: ERROR: could not insert 'nouveau': No such device
root@mx16:/home/sean#
MX-18 on Thinkpad R61i Core2 Laptop. MX-18 on HP Core2 Desktop
MX-18-64/MX-18-32/antiX-17-32 Frugal on Gateway Core2 Laptop
antiX-17 on Compaq PIII 1000 Mhz Desktop, Multi-boot Slackware, Debian, MX, W2K
antiX-17/16 on Dell PIII 450 Mhz Laptop

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Re: MX-16, nouveau, and GeForce4, confusion

#6

Post by BitJam » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:25 am

I don't believe "nomodeset" is for disabling the modesetting driver but I could be mistaken. I know it is used to stop all modesetting drivers, including nouveau, from taking over control of the consoles.

If you want to use nouveau on a live system then use the cheat "xorg=nouveau". I believe nouveau is still being used to control the consoles even when the "modesetting" driver is being used for X. When you install, make sure you carry over the live system changes to the installed system.

If you want to try using nouveau on an installed system then run:

Code: Select all

sudo make-xorg-conf -o /etc/X11/xorg.conf nouveau
This should cause the nouveau driver to be used when you restart X (log out of X Windows and log in again).

I believe Xorg changed (and keeps changing) which default drivers it uses. Usually the modesetting driver is preferred, especially for newer hardware. Since we cater to older systems we adjust the xorg defaults when needed.

Also, as a point of clarification, there are usually 2 drivers involved. The kernel driver and the xorg driver. I have a table of kernel drivers with their associated xorg drivers (from a few years back). The xorg modules are in the directory /usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers/ while the kernel modules are under /lib/modules/$KERNEL_VERSION/. Sometimes they have the same name and sometimes they have different names.

If any of these work, please post the output of "lspic -nn" so I can know the pci-id of your graphics card. We will then have the live system select nouveau by default for that card. It is sort of an ongoing battle to clean up after the problems with Xorg creates with its default selections. TBH, I'm still not caught up from last year.

HTH
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When I die will I see Heaven?

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Re: MX-16, nouveau, and GeForce4, confusion

#7

Post by BitJam » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:52 am

seaken64 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:46 am
Thank you, I tried that but the nouveau driver is still not added as a kernel module. I think I need to get nouveau installed as a kernel module driver in order for Xorg to use it. Should I be trying this from a live USB? I just made the nomodeset to the installed system's grub entry.

Code: Select all

root@mx16:/home/sean# modprobe nouveau
modprobe: ERROR: could not insert 'nouveau': No such device
H'mm. This is a problem. I believe it is related to the already loaded "drm" and "drm_kms_helper" modules. If you boot live with "xorg=nouveau" also use the "bp=b9" cheat. This will give you a bash shell before init (and udev) run. From there you should be able to "modprobe nouveau". I was able to do this in Virtual Box.

If that works, we still need to figure out how to automate it in live (may be easy) and implement it on the installed system.
Will I cry when it's all over?
When I die will I see Heaven?

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Re: MX-16, nouveau, and GeForce4, confusion

#8

Post by KoO » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:13 am

@ seaken64
I run antiX 17 one thing that I have notices after installing the os and reboot, I always check my grub boot file and remove nomodeset from the grub line. If I do not do this the system will not run on my Nvidia card. Movies and youtube run so much better plus I also go into nvidia settings > panel X server display configuration> advanded > Force Full
Composition Pipeline > tick da box > Apply. Reboot

I think this happens because I have to install using the advanced option and this is why nomodeset is left in the grub file.. etc/default/grub


This may not help you Good Luck
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Re: MX-16, nouveau, and GeForce4, confusion

#9

Post by kc1di » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:39 am

What is the output of the

Code: Select all

lsmod
Command?

Also check in

Code: Select all

 /etc/modprobe.d/ 
to make sure nouveau is not blacklisted. It is usually blacklisted so will not load if you have installed nvidia drivers.

caprea
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Re: MX-16, nouveau, and GeForce4, confusion

#10

Post by caprea » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:18 pm

Seaken64, for loading the nouveau module correctly you have to blacklist nvidiafb module

Please look here
https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic ... -question/
https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic ... post-13891

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