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gfixler 11-04-06 07:43 AM

X crashing at startup after update
1 Attachment(s)
I've searched posts here, ubuntuforums, Google, etc., but have only managed to find bits and pieces of helpful info. I'm a fairly new Linux user on Ubuntu 6.06. After running Update Manager, and letting it fully update me (month or two of updates), booting up the following day left me at the terminal, with a crashed X. This was a panicky moment for me as a neophyte on Linux, but working for many hours, I learned a bit. I've attached my error log, and as per the sticky here, started X with the `startx -- -logverbose 5` option.

The crux of the situation seems to be that I need nvidia.ko to exist in /lib/modules/2.6.15-27-386/volatile/, but after booting up, it isn't in there. After the crash, in the shell, I can run 'sudo lrm-manager' and 'sudo depmod -a,' which for reasons unknown to me (found in a post somewhere) recreates nvidia files in the volatile directory. At this point, I can 'startx,' and I'm back in, almost as usual - sans the ability to shut down from the X terminal itself.

Once in, I used Synaptic to reinstall all of my kernel and restricted Linux modules, hoping that would update them somehow, and I've run 'sudo apt-get update,' and everything is/was current. My packages all seem to match up, but as I said, I'm very new at this, and it's all pretty confusing to me still. Any help getting this back to the stable, graphical Linux this former Windows user has been enjoying for the past few months would be most appreciated. Let me know if there's any more info I can provide, and thanks!

netllama 11-04-06 12:44 PM

Re: X crashing at startup after update
The content of /lib/modules/2.6.15-27-386/volatile/ is provide by Ubuntu. The 'volatile' part means that it isn't static, and does not survive a reboot. That's how Ubuntu has chosen to ship their packaging of the nvidia X driver.

Since you're reporting stability problems, I'd suggest retesting with the 1.0-9626 driver, as well as verifying that you have the latest BIOS for the motherboard.


gfixler 11-05-06 04:10 AM

Re: X crashing at startup after update
Thanks very much for the quick reply, Lonni.

I didn't realize I was using an out-of-date Nvidia driver (1.0-8762), so I'll see what updating that does. For sake of science, and better understanding, what is going on in that lib/modules directory? Is it that on boot up, Ubuntu creates the .ko file from the Nvidia driver directory, and then cleans it out on a reboot? Is there a good reason for deleting it? There's also /lib/moules/2.6.15-27-386/kernel/drivers/video/nvidia/, which contains nvidiafb.ko. I'm curious why it doesn't just leave nvidia.ko in there, too.

Thanks again for the advice, and I'll report back what happens either way, in case anyone else is having this issue.


gfixler 11-05-06 08:20 AM

Re: X crashing at startup after update
Okay, I downloaded the 1.0-9626 driver, stopped X, and tried to `sudo sh` the file, but it said there were no precompiled kernel interfaces that match my kernel, and attempted to find, and download one, but found none. Then it tried to compile one for me from scratch, and failed. Any thoughts? Here's the relevant bit of the log file it generated, and thanks:

-> No precompiled kernel interface was found to match your kernel; would you li
ke the installer to attempt to download a kernel interface for your kernel f
rom the NVIDIA ftp site (ftp://download.nvidia.com)? (Answer: Yes)
-> No matching precompiled kernel interface was found on the NVIDIA ftp site;
this means that the installer will need to compile a kernel interface for
your kernel.
-> Performing CC sanity check with CC="cc".
-> Performing CC version check with CC="cc".
ERROR: Unable to find the kernel source tree for the currently running kernel.
Please make sure you have installed the kernel source files for your
kernel and that they are properly configured; on Red Hat Linux systems,
for example, be sure you have the 'kernel-source' RPM installed. If you
know the correct kernel source files are installed, you may specify the
kernel source path with the '--kernel-source-path' command line option.
ERROR: Installation has failed. Please see the file
'/var/log/nvidia-installer.log' for details. You may find suggestions
on fixing installation problems in the README available on the Linux
driver download page at www.nvidia.com.

gfixler 11-05-06 10:01 AM

Re: X crashing at startup after update
I'm a little confused now as to from where this 9626 driver is coming. I found it on Nvidia's site by searching the version number itself on Google. From their site, however, I can't find the 9626 driver through links. The main Linux page has an IA32 driver that's still on 1.0-8776, and the BETA page has an x86 that's still on 1.0-9625. I don't see a link on the site for 1.0-9626.

Still, on a lark, I downloaded the x86-1.0-8776 driver to see what would happen with that. I got the same set of errors - you can take the previous error message I posted, and change the version number. I really don't understand at this point what it wants. Which precompiled binary is it seeking?

Given the error message's talk about finding the kernel source for the currently running kernel, I also downloaded (via Synaptic) nvidia-kernel-source, which is at 1.0.8776+ (installed == latest), and also linux-source-2.6.15, currently at 2.6.15-27.48 (installed == latest). Neither of those helped the driver install (same attempts/errors).

Thanks again for any help.

netllama 11-05-06 11:30 AM

Re: X crashing at startup after update

gfixler 11-05-06 08:29 PM

Re: X crashing at startup after update
Lonni, you're the best!

I did as much from that page as made sense for me on Ubuntu (basically all the installs/uninstalls in the last section), stopped X, and ran the 1.0-9626 package again from the shell, and this time it compiled and installed properly. I restarted for a full test of the computer being fixed, and it worked as before - with X starting up normally (new, slightly changed Nvidia splash screen), and my dual screens coming to life. I feel whole once more.

Thanks very much for pointing me in the right directions. I really appreciate it.

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