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Old 05-19-04, 03:07 PM   #1
Linux User #149300
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 17
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Unhappy Fedora Core 2 - lockup problems

I originally posted this in the general Linux forum, rather than this, the graphics card forum. I'll try to delete it from the other forum because it doesn't belong there.

I've had problems with the nVidia drivers for both Fedora Core 1, and Fedora Core 2. They freeze the system at the very beginning of the X startup process. I think this has something to do with AGP support, but I can't be sure.

I was able to get the nVidia drivers to work with one Fedora development kernel, but no others. That kernel was 2.6.1-1.43. Even then, my display went strange when I switched back to a text console.

Now, with FC-2, I can't go back to that old kernel because FC-2 requires things that are in newer 2.6 kernels. But, I also can't get the nVidia drivers to work. I suspect there is something about my specific motherboard that causes the problem. I've played with the NvAGP settings, and that hasn't changed anything.

Here's what I know:

lspci output for the AGP bridge:

00:00.0 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8377 [KT400/KT600 AGP] Host Bridge Subsystem: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8377 [KT400/KT600 AGP] Host Bridge
Flags: bus master, 66Mhz, medium devsel, latency 8
Memory at d0000000 (32-bit, prefetchable)
Capabilities: [a0] AGP version 2.0
Capabilities: [c0] Power Management version 2

lspci output for the nVidia card, without their driver loaded:

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation NV25 [GeForce4 Ti 4600] (rev a3) (prog-if 00 [VGA])
Flags: bus master, 66Mhz, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 11
Memory at e8000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable)
Memory at d8000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=128M]
Memory at e0000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=512K]
Capabilities: [60] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [44] AGP version 2.0

Package I compiled from:

alias char-major-195* nvidia

Relevant sections of xorg.conf, as they are when I try to use the nVidia drivers:
Section "Module"
Load "dbe"
Load "extmod"
# Load "fbdevhw"
Load "glx"
Load "record"
Load "freetype"
Load "type1"
# Load "dri"

Section "Device"
Identifier "Videocard0"
Driver "nvidia"
VendorName "NVIDIA"
BoardName "NVIDIA GeForce 4 Ti 4600"
Option "NoLogo" "false"
Option "CursorShadow" "true"
Option "RenderAccel" "true"
Option "NvAGP" "1" # I've tried 2 and 3 here as well.

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Screen0"
Device "Videocard0"
Monitor "Monitor0"
DefaultDepth 24
SubSection "Display"
Viewport 0 0
Depth 24
Modes "1600x1200" "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"

If it matters, I have a Samsung SyncMaster 213T LCD monitor.

I'm using the stock FC-2 kernel package: 2.6.5-1.358


I do not like that nVidia close sources their drivers. By close sourcing their drivers, nVidia loses the ability to effectively track kernel changes. And this causes me no end of headaches and frustration. Each and every time I upgrade my kernel, installing the nVidia drivers is an adventure that I do not relish. I want to develop software, and/or play games. I do not want to spend 3 days fiddling with stupid little technical details that would baffle the average computer user.

I can almost swallow their arguments for the video card drivers, but I can't even begin to comprehend what insane rationale they have for close-sourcing their chipset drivers. I will never use an nForce chipset until I can use it effectively without loading any proprietary nVidia drivers.

I'm sorry that I'm not obsequiously thankful that nVidia would deign to support lowly little Linux. They derive plenty of benefit from the Open Source nature of Linux in their own development labs where they make extensive use of it for hardware simulations and other such tasks. They need to rethink their attitudes. Someday someone will top them using a strategy that embraces Open Source instead of fighting it. Personally, I can't wait. And if I'm in a position to help make it happen, I will.
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