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Old 05-15-10, 01:19 PM   #1
BitJam
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Default Switch to vconsole locks system on antiX-8.5 (worked around)

I've had good luck using Nvidia drivers with Gentoo, Mepis, and antiX-8.2 on this box. I recently upgraded to antiX-8.5 and have the strange problem that switching out of X to a virtual console apparently causes the system to hang (although it is possible I just lost use of the display and the keyboard). I tried various versions of the Nvidia driver (up to 195.36.??) and they all had the same problem. I don't have this problem when I use the nv driver (nor do I have high resolution or twinview). Likewise, I tried installing the driver with Synaptic and with the "smxi" command-line program.

It seems that the problem is due to something that changed in antiX from version 8.2 to 8.5 and not the Nvidia drivers. Still, I'm hoping you can point me towards things to check. There was no rivafb module under /lib/modules. I will try to make sure it wasn't compiled in. Are there any other things I should look for? Thanks.
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Last edited by BitJam; 05-17-10 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 05-16-10, 04:11 AM   #2
AaronP
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Default Re: Switch to vconsole locks system on antiX-8.5

Hi BitJam. Does this problem go away if you disable vesafb?
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Old 05-16-10, 01:17 PM   #3
BitJam
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Default Re: Switch to vconsole locks system on antiX-8.5

Thanks for prompt reply Aaron. I tried using vga=normal which gave me a 24x80 console (or something like that) but the problem persisted. I got to the graphical login manager (slim) hit Ctrl-Alt-F2, the screens went blank and there was no more response from the system to anything I did. If there is some other way to disable vesafb, PLMK.

I've attached what I think is the config file for the antiX kernel (it was in the antiX /boot directory, there was no /proc/config.gz). I believe antiX and Mepis use the same config but the Mepis that worked was using an older kernel, 2.6.27 while the antiX that has the problem is using 2.6.32. I am using that same kernel under Gentoo on this box and it works fine. I have not yet installed the version of Mepis that uses the newer kernel. The framebuffer stuff from the antiX config file looked pretty much like the framebuffer config that works under Gentoo.

I wonder if my motherboard, an ASUS M4A78 PLUS, has something to do with it? It "locked up" using Pappy's Kernel Seeds after booting because it needed a less popular usb driver to talk to the keyboard and mouse.
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Old 05-17-10, 07:16 PM   #4
BitJam
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Default Re: Switch to vconsole locks system on antiX-8.5

I installed Mepis-8.5 which uses the same kernel as antiX-8.5 and had no problem with the NVidia driver. I did a dist-upgrade on the antiX install and still had the same problem.

ISTM this narrows down the possible causes.
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Old 05-17-10, 08:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: Switch to vconsole locks system on antiX-8.5

I tried using startx instead of slim just in case slim was contributing to the problem. This time the machine locked up so hard, holding the power button down for 10 seconds did nothing. I had to turn the power off at the power supply. It had trashed my BIOS and had made my machine unbootable.

I enventually fixed the BIOS problem and can boot again. What on Earth could cause these problems with the NVIdia driver under antiX while it works fine under Mepis? You might say it is a hardware problem, but the thing is, I only get the problem when I use the NVidia drivers with antiX-8.5 so there must be some kind of a software trigger.
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Old 05-17-10, 09:10 PM   #6
BitJam
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Default Re: Switch to vconsole locks system on antiX-8.5

Removing the 2nd video card seemed to have fixed the problem. It is strange that the combination of antiX-8.5 and the 2nd video card were required to cause the lockup.
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