Friday, May 8, 2009

(MPlayer) Error opening/initializing the selected video_out (-vo) device

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This is a problem with proprietary ATI drivers ('fglrx') in linux.
For most cases open source drivers work great. But for some machines, especially with the combination of AMD64 and onboard ATI VGA card, the GDM fails to load.
Take for example, the latest version of Ubuntu, Hardy Heron. It fails to load Gnome for above mentioned configuration. The only way out it seems that is to log into failsafe gnome and install the proprietary 'fglrx' driver.
But this drivers comes with it's own set of problems. These include, flicker of gnome-screensaver, improper display in video, mplayer not playing video etc.
The flicker in gnome-screensaver is remedied by installing xscreensaver. Why xscreensaver works but gnome-screensaver doesn't is to be discussed in a separate thread.
It seems that the proprietary 'fglrx' driver is using some non-default screen ....

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