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Old 09-07-02, 02:35 PM   #1
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Default NVIDIA kernel not loading on boot-up, but insmod loads it

After installing MSI GF4 TI4400 and needed rpm's on Mandrake 8.2 2.4.18-6mdk:

1. The NVIDIA kernel does not load on boot-up. Reason it looks that way:
a) there is no message in /var/log/messages that NVIDIA kernel attempts to load, no mention of AGP either.
If I run startx from command line after such a boot I get the following in /var/log/XFree86.0.log:

XFree86 Version 4.2.0 / X Window System
(protocol Version 11, revision 0, vendor release 6600)
Release Date: 23 January 2002
If the server is older than 6-12 months, or if your card is
newer than the above date, look for a newer version before
reporting problems. (See http://www.XFree86.Org/)
Build Operating System: Linux 2.4.18-1mdksmp i686 [ELF]
Module Loader present
(--) NVIDIA(0): Linear framebuffer at 0xD0000000
(--) NVIDIA(0): MMIO registers at 0xE0000000
(EE) NVIDIA(0): Failed to initialize the NVdriver kernel module!
(EE) NVIDIA(0): *** Aborting ***
(II) UnloadModule: "nvidia"
(II) UnloadModule: "vgahw"
(II) Unloading /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/libvgahw.a
(EE) Screen(s) found, but none have a usable configuration.

Fatal server error:
no screens found

Notes: why the "Build Operating System" reports 2.4.18-1mdksmp ??
NVchooser.sh suggests installing
NVIDIA_kernel-1.0-2960.mdk82up.i586.rpm (NOT mdk82smp) and
So installed these. BTW, would the wrong NVIDIA kernel load from insmod, but not from boot-up ? Would the wrong NVIDIA kernel
work after insmod install assuming the difference between mdk82smp and mdk82up is not that great ??

b) if I run "insmod NVdriver" as superuser then NVIDIA kernel loads OK, giving a warning that it'll taint the kernel - Non-GPL license.
Then I run "startx" as a user and the X-server loads OK, though with some quirks, e.g. running HardDrake ends in a black screen with a cursor
in the upper left corner - only reboot gets out of that state. After running insmod /var/log/messages appropriately shows messages about starting NVIDIA kernel load and about successful completion of load. After running "insmod NVdriver" /var/log/XFree86.0.log says that "usable configurations" were found:

(**) NVIDIA(0): Validated modes for Display Device 0:
(**) NVIDIA(0): Default mode "1600x1200": 202.5 MHz, 93.8 kHz, 75.0 Hz
(**) NVIDIA(0): Default mode "1280x1024": 157.5 MHz, 91.1 kHz, 85.0 Hz
(**) NVIDIA(0): Default mode "1024x768": 94.5 MHz, 68.7 kHz, 85.0 Hz
(**) NVIDIA(0): Default mode "800x600": 56.3 MHz, 53.7 kHz, 85.1 Hz
(**) NVIDIA(0): Default mode "640x480": 74.2 MHz, 85.9 kHz, 85.1 Hz (D)
(II) NVIDIA(0): Virtual screen size determined to be 1600 x 1200

So, why doesn't the NVIDIA kernel load properly on boot-up if insmod loads it fine ?

2. Running HardDrake ends in a black screen with a cursor in the upper left corner after loading X-server by "insmod NVdriver" and "startx".

Any help/pointers are appreciated,
Thank you
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Old 09-07-02, 08:16 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: mallorca
Posts: 65
Default check /etc/modules.conf

/etc/modules.conf have to contain this line, to enable it at boot time.

alias char-major-195 NVdriver

Do a "/sbin/depmoad -a" after adding or changing anything from modules.conf

Have you tried

/sbin/modprobe NVdriver ???
and look if the module is inserted into kernel?
"/sbin/lsmod | grep NV"
"cat /proc/modules | grep NV"

There are some versions of modutils that not load fine NVdriver ( because it is NON-GPL )

XFree86 Version 4.2.0 / X Window System
Build Operating System: Linux 2.4.18-1mdksmp i686 [ELF]
Module Loader present

This is why Nvidia server is created on a SMP machine.

This refers to "nvidia_drv.o" ( Nvidia driver, not kernel module)

Note: If you download Nvidia's tar.gz or src.rpms, "nvidia_drv.o" never is compiled. you always see SMP in Xserver
utiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-02, 08:54 PM   #3
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Utiel, thank your response!

/etc/modules.conf contains "alias char-major-195 NVdriver"

"/sbin/modprobe NVdriver" loads NV fine. After running modprobe the command "/sbin/lsmod | grep NV" shows that NV loaded, but something is unused:

"NVdriver 988224 0 (unused)"

What does this mean ?
Is there a way to force module loader load the non-GPL licnensed modules ?
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Old 09-10-02, 12:01 AM   #4
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Heres some info which may be a help to you and many others I have seen with a similar problem. This should also work for other distributions.
The first couple of times I loaded nvidia 2960 drivers on different systems it worked first time, so I had no reason to investigate further, but after reloading mandrake 8.2 on one system, I then ran into the same dead end with the same error messages as you have. After experimenting for a couple of days, and re-installing mandrake 4 times, I found a way to make it work perfectly although it may not be the totally correct way.
What I found:
When Linux is installed it loads the vesa framebuffer driver (xfree 3.3.6) by default, so if you load the nvidia drivers without changing anything it still tries to use xfree 3.3.6 which is controlled by /etc/X11/XF86Config (not XF86Config-4 which is for xfree 4.x).
First, you need to make the system start using xfree 4.x before loading the nvidia drivers or changing other stuff. Also, edit the /etc/inittab file so that xwindows does NOT start automatically each time you restart the system, edit the default runlevel line so that it looks like this:
Next, change your display settings in mandrake control centre or controlpanel (redhat) or debadmin (debian based) to use an unlisted driver or one of the listed nvidia drivers, but make sure it asks you which xserver to use (3.x or 4.x) during the process otherwise it will keep using 3.x, and DO NOT select to test the configuration, just save it and then select to view the information, it will say at the top which version of xfree it is now set to use (should say xfree 4.2.0).
Then quit that and restart the system, preferably selecting failsafe mode from lilo menu (to minimise any dramas).
Log in as root at the command prompt and load the nvidia driver rpm's as detailed in the nvidia readme, the kernel first then the glx.
Next edit the XF86Config-4 file as detailed in the nvidia readme.
Now try typing startx <enter> to see if the xserver starts successfully. If it does then open a terminal window and type glxinfo <enter> and look for:
direct rendering=yes
If so then all should be okay.
If not, as happened to Kyle and to myself on this occasion, I found that by editing /etc/modules
(not /etc/modules.conf)
and inserting the line:
then forced the nvidia module to load without errors, even though it was listed in the /etc/modules.conf
I hope this wasn't too long winded, but I've tried to summarise what I've found in the past couple of days.
Don't forget to change the /etc/inittab file back to:
so that xwindows will start automatically again, after the problems have hopefully been solved.
p.s. the message "NVdriver 988224 0 (unused)" would be because you did the lsmod from the console, xwindows wasn't running, so NVdriver is not being used, I suspect.
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