FWIW I've seen this same error reproduced on ATI Radeon R200 hardware in
an old IBM Thinkpad:

| gnome-session[7213]: (gnome-shell:7314): Cogl-ERROR **: Failed to create 
texture 2d due to size/format constraints
| gnome-session[7213]: x-session-manager[7213]: WARNING: Application 
'gnome-shell.desktop' killed by signal 5

gdm3 seemed to work, but the 'cog wheel' icon to choose a session type,
was not rendered.  (Probably it tries to use a non-power-of-two texture,
which this hardware does not support?)

Trying to start GNOME or GNOME Classic, the above error is fatal, and
causes a "fail-whale" with only an option to log out.

Probably GNOME is not suitable for that hardware, then.  It was a really
unfortunate experience for the (first-time) user, though.

Steven Chamberlain

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