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Old 03-20-12, 09:15 AM   #13
johnv
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Default Re: Dual card setup

Well, from what I understand, by connecting them, you are getting the cards to work in tandem. That must be why in SLI FAQ from Nvidia, they say that SLI enabled cards only support two monitors; basicly they become the equivalent of one card output with the computing capabilities of both cards behind it. But I'm still reading about it, so I will repost when I understand the details better.
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Old 03-20-12, 09:53 AM   #14
dabeegguy
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Default Re: Dual card setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnv View Post
Well, from what I understand, by connecting them, you are getting the cards to work in tandem. That must be why in SLI FAQ from Nvidia, they say that SLI enabled cards only support two monitors; basicly they become the equivalent of one card output with the computing capabilities of both cards behind it. But I'm still reading about it, so I will repost when I understand the details better.
I have spent the last couple hours trying to find out about this. Tis a pity that Nvidia would not make some CLEAR guidelines in this SLI and multi-card areas. Most of the information I have been able to find is from other sources. Even more challenging is that much of it is pre 2009. I would hope that a few things have changed from mid 2009 to today!
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Old 03-20-12, 10:44 AM   #15
johnv
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Default Re: Dual card setup

I'm hesitant to give recommendations without knowing more about your rig and your setup. First off, if you are running a dual boot for windows and linux, if you diable sli physically and windows drivers are setup for sli, you might hose windows setup. Second, I've seen some reference to bios settings for sli, but I also know that on my mobo, the instructions to setup sli have nothing to do with any setting in my bios: install boards to 16x slots, connect sli bridge, connect pcie power to cards, boot and setup with nvidia control panel in windows. But your mobo may have a bios setting as well; I don't know, not knowing what mobo you have.

If you are running linux only, then I know what I would do:
1) power down
2) disconnect the sli bridge connector, if one is connecting the gfx boards
3) make sure all monitors are connected
4) boot into bios and check for sli options; disable if found
5) boot into linux and make sure that nvidia driver is the only graphics driver that will load (ie totally disable nouveau: if `lsmod | grep nouveau` shows anything, you will need to disable nouveau and reboot
6) boot into single user mode or `sudo telinit 1`
7) as root, create a fresh xorg.conf:
a) backup existing /etc/X11/xorg.conf (DO THIS)
b) create fresh temporary xorg.conf: `Xorg -configure`
c) modify xorg.conf for nvidia driver: `nvidia-xconfig -c ./xorg.conf.new -o ./xorg.conf.nvidia`
d) test new xorg.conf.nvidia: `Xorg -config ./xorg.conf.nvidia`
NOTE: if this hangs, then CTRL-ALT-F1 will return you to terminal and you can kill
the server manually. Stop here if this happens to troubleshoot what went wrong
(check /var/log/Xorg.0.log for starters).
e) if you had any additions or tweaks for input drivers in backed up xorg.conf, you will
probably want to add them to the new xorg.conf, at some point
8) if all goes well to here, you are ready to `cp ./xorg.conf.nvidia /etc/X11/xorg.conf`
9) telinit 2 will take you into multiuser mode, what ever graphical login manager you have
installed or terminal if none
10) once running X with new config, you can run nvidia-settings and tweak the layout in the
"X Server Display Configuration" section

If all monitors don't show up, troubleshooting is next, but I'm way ahead of myself already


This how I get started. "Murphy's Law" states that this will probably not go with out some kind
of hitch, but it's a start. This, in and of it's self, does not get the setup you want, but it's a start. You
would need a good ServerLayout section in the /etc/X11/xorg.conf as well as proper screen
definitions to match your setup in Screen sections. But that can come after, perhaps the
nvidia-settings ui will be enough to set it up, perhaps it will require manual edits. Can go into that
later. Let me know if you decide to go this route and want some help.

John
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Old 03-20-12, 12:28 PM   #16
dabeegguy
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Default Re: Dual card setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnv View Post
I'm hesitant to give recommendations without knowing more about your rig and your setup. First off, if you are running a dual boot for windows and linux, if you diable sli physically and windows drivers are setup for sli, you might hose windows setup. Second, I've seen some reference to bios settings for sli, but I also know that on my mobo, the instructions to setup sli have nothing to do with any setting in my bios: install boards to 16x slots, connect sli bridge, connect pcie power to cards, boot and setup with nvidia control panel in windows. But your mobo may have a bios setting as well; I don't know, not knowing what mobo you have.

If you are running linux only, then I know what I would do:
snip
5) boot into linux and make sure that nvidia driver is the only graphics driver that will load (ie totally disable nouveau: if `lsmod | grep nouveau` shows anything, you will need to disable nouveau and reboot
snip
John
the S
Mobo is an ASUS P79X79 Deluxe (Intel 2011 chipset board).

lsmod | grep nouveau
nouveau 545197 5
ttm 48725 1 nouveau
drm_kms_helper 27227 1 nouveau
drm 167670 7 nouveau,ttm,drm_kms_helper
i2c_algo_bit 12841 1 nouveau
video 17628 1 nouveau
mxm_wmi 12473 1 nouveau
i2c_core 23876 5 nouveau,drm_kms_helper,drm,i2c_algo_bit,i2c_i801
button 12937 1 nouveau

so it appears that I have a whole lot of nouveau running. How does one shut it all off so that I could install the nvidia 295.20 drivers?

I will be away for a few days but will be returning to this upon return!

Thank you for your assistance!!!
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Old 03-20-12, 02:08 PM   #17
johnv
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Default Re: Dual card setup

There are good references to disabling the nouveau driver in the docs I pointed out to you, but I give you the quick lowdown.

1) Install debian nvidia pkgs using your favorite method (aptitude, synaptic, apt-get...)
these 3 packages should pull in all the required dependancies:
nvidia-glx
nvidia-settings
nvidia-xconfig
2) blacklist the nouveau module
edit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf (create it if it doesn't exist) and add these lines
Code:
blacklist nouveau
options nouveau modeset=0
The first line prevents the module from being loaded at boot; second line prevents the nouveau module from doing a kernel modeset if it somehow gets loaded otherwise.
3) This may be unnecessary, but I do it for completeness, in case the nouveau module might get loaded during boot by the initramfs:
Code:
~# sudo update-initramfs -u -k all
~# sudo update-grub
This, of course, assumes you use grub to boot, so if you use lilo or something else, you will have to make sure it is properly updated as to the location of the initramfs file.
This is often hard coded by the boot loader.
3) Reboot and even if something tries to load the nouveau module, the 'modeset=0' line will enable you to properly unload the module.

Now I find it best to go into single-user mode. You can accomplish this by either booting from grub into rescue-mode or from command line with
Code:
~# sudo telinit 1
Now the environment is clean and uncluttered to setup the X config file.

John
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Old 03-25-12, 04:49 PM   #18
dabeegguy
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Default Re: Dual card setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnv View Post
I just was thinking, that you should make sure that your two cards are not setup for SLI. SLI will supposedly not work for what you are trying to accomplish.
Also, once you have made sure that nvidia and not nouveau is the only video driver:
in /etc/modprobe.d/fbdev-blacklist, add:
Code:
blacklist nouveau
and then
Code:
~# sudo update-initramfs
~# sudo update-grub #or what update what bootmanager you use
to make sure modules aren't loaded from the initramfs.
Then you can reboot into single user mode to have a fresh environment (this will be as root); run:
Code:
~# Xorg -configure
~# nvidia-xconfig -f ./xorg.conf.new -o ./xorg.conf
snip
Cheers,
John
Things went OK until the Xorg - configure.
There were some error messages (6 things that weren't working IIRC).
Nvidia-xconfig would not run.

Now I have a single screen at a 1280 x 800 resolution. see next response.
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Old 03-25-12, 04:59 PM   #19
dabeegguy
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Posts: 18
Default Re: Dual card setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnv View Post
There are good references to disabling the nouveau driver in the docs I pointed out to you, but I give you the quick lowdown.

1) Install debian nvidia pkgs using your favorite method (aptitude, synaptic, apt-get...)
these 3 packages should pull in all the required dependancies:
nvidia-glx
nvidia-settings
nvidia-xconfig
2) blacklist the nouveau module
edit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf (create it if it doesn't exist) and add these lines
Code:
blacklist nouveau
options nouveau modeset=0
The first line prevents the module from being loaded at boot; second line prevents the nouveau module from doing a kernel modeset if it somehow gets loaded otherwise.
3) This may be unnecessary, but I do it for completeness, in case the nouveau module might get loaded during boot by the initramfs:
Code:
~# sudo update-initramfs -u -k all

This comes up with 8 lines something like this:
W: possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/rt1_nic/rt18168f-2.fw

all lines end in that rt18168 except one which is rt18105e

~# sudo update-grub
This, of course, assumes you use grub to boot, so if you use lilo or something else, you will have to make sure it is properly updated as to the location of the initramfs file.
This is often hard coded by the boot loader.
3) Reboot and even if something tries to load the nouveau module, the 'modeset=0' line will enable you to properly unload the module.

snip
John
So still no joy (actually less than before as I did not back up the xconf that was working but I think it was xrandr but it doesn't want to work now so things are a wee bit fubared at present.

Any ideas - please?
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Old 03-25-12, 06:17 PM   #20
johnv
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Default Re: Dual card setup

Well, if you have the Nvidia driver running it is a step the right direction. When you look at the generated xorg,conf, does it list both of your cards? The generated conf file is a generallized one,. Can you post the generated file? It would help me to see what's going on if I can get an idiea if there might be driver conflicts or some such.
Also, if ou were able to get one screen, could you trying starting X and the run the graphical nvidia-settings which can be a good way to set up your screens.
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Old 03-25-12, 06:18 PM   #21
johnv
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Default Re: Dual card setup

Sorry, dual posted somehow.
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Old 03-25-12, 08:16 PM   #22
dabeegguy
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Default Re: Dual card setup

Sorry the Nvidia driver is NOT running at present.

Xconf (sorry its on a different computer) reads like there is only 1 card (removed the linking cable previously) with the log saying that there are no nvidia drivers even though the complete file was downloaded from Nvidia itself.

Right now my copy of Debian testing just boots me into the CLI where I am unable to load the NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-295.33.run (IIRC) file which was similar to the last one that I got to work (on Debian stable).
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Old 03-25-12, 08:49 PM   #23
johnv
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Default Re: Dual card setup

Oh, I see. testing has 295.20 and you must prefer 295.33. OK. I run unstable/sid and have 295.33, but unstable is not a good idea if you aren't used to fixing a borked update ( which happens now an then). If 295.20 (which is still very recent) could work for you, you could use apt-get or aptitude to install 295.20. I feel I've gotten you in over your head. I'll help all I can, but you sound discouraged. If you can be on the computer you say you are posting from, and near the other perhaps I can walk you through one to one to a point that will get you a reasonable setup. It's your call.
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Old 03-25-12, 09:10 PM   #24
dabeegguy
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Default Re: Dual card setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnv View Post
Oh, I see. testing has 295.20 and you must prefer 295.33. OK. I run unstable/sid and have 295.33, but unstable is not a good idea if you aren't used to fixing a borked update ( which happens now an then). If 295.20 (which is still very recent) could work for you, you could use apt-get or aptitude to install 295.20. I feel I've gotten you in over your head. I'll help all I can, but you sound discouraged. If you can be on the computer you say you are posting from, and near the other perhaps I can walk you through one to one to a point that will get you a reasonable setup. It's your call.
This computer is setup to be a triple boot system at present. I want to set things up so that from Debian stable I can run virtual systems so that I could have copies of Win7, Debian testing, CentOS and possibly others available all at the same time. I have lots of memory and plenty of processor power and drives setup to make things straightforward.

What I don't have running:

on Debian stable I have all four monitors working (using 295.20) but I cannot input anything on three screens (think I need to modify Xconf to give me a keyboard and mouse for each incidence of the server).

on Debian testing I am presently to 1 working monitor (like the system and it would likely be my preferred choice IF I could get all the monitors working especially if it were one large workspace (7680 x 7680)).

on Debian stable to setup KVM.

As I've blown north of 125 hours already trying to get stable and testing to see four monitors and with a few steps into the KVM setup (setting up a raid array (first time)) its getting to feel like what I am trying to do is some kind of black art. What makes it frustrating is that things 'just work' on the Win7 side. I have a number of business things I need to get done so quite soon I am going to have to just start getting things done (it is tax season!!) so maybe I should just get things working somewhat (forget about dynamic screen setup on Debian period).

John - - your assistance has been clear and easy to understand. I just don't have the background to get most of the in between stuff. So that's where I run into issues. Things that are clear and easy to someone who knows what they are doing are not always easy for me. I do hope that you are not getting too frustrated!! Any assistance you are willing to offer will be gladly accepted.
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