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Old 10-26-02, 02:52 PM   #1
veloLexus
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Angry Installing driver on Debian is MIND NUMBING

I read the mini-HOWTO which was actually quite helpful. I tried both methods of installation and they failed miserably. I either get conflicts, or missing files. I noticed the doc was written for Debian 3.0. I'm using the stable potato release. Is there anything that I should do differently?

Trying to install the NVidia drivers from packages.debian.org lead me down a long path of conflicts and dependency problems. I ran into a wall when it said it needed PERL (which I already have installed). I tried to install PERL but it said it couldn't remove version 5.005.

I'm technically proficient (software engineer) but I haven't touched UNIX/Linux in about 7 years so I've pretty much forgotten what little I had learned back then. Any help would be appreciated but... be gentle. If it helps I haven't really configured the system yet so if needed I can reistall everything from the CD's if that helps in getting to a known working base point. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Joe
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Old 10-26-02, 03:19 PM   #2
bwkaz
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Dependency problems in Debian?!

Wow, I was under the impression that would never happen... the Debian zealots I've met all claim that apt-get is the god of package management... hmm.

Anyway, on to the problem. Yeah, it might be better to go with a fresh install, but see what you can fix first. If you do start over, make sure you install kernel-source (and its dependency stuff, ncurses-dev, perl, whatever else) from the get-go. Then see if you can compile the .tar.gz version of the nVidia drivers.

I think the Debian apt sources have versions of the driver on them, but I don't know what they're called, or how to find out.
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Old 10-26-02, 06:28 PM   #3
atamar
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Yes, getting the nvidia drivers up on Debian is a chore. Over the years I've become irritated enough to decide my next card will not be an NVidia.

If NVidia's license were more accommodating, Debian distributions would contain the drivers. Since it isn't, deb developers are reduced to try to do their best to help users download the external sources and install the driver by theirselves. Not easy with constantly changing code they can't include a snapshot of. The packages didn't do it for me.

I finally managed to get the nvidia driver up (except for obstinately staying at 75Hz vf), after much mucking around and following outdated directions. Let's see if I can recall my steps.

Are you using a stock Debian kernel, or your own kernel image?

Using stock Debian kernel
1. Download latest driver from NVidia into /usr/src (http://www.nvidia.com/content/drivers/drivers.asp; I downloaded NVIDIA_kernel-1.0-3123.tar.gz). Extract the tar (cd /usr/src; tar xfvz NVIDIA_*)
2. Get the deb kernel-headers package. (In my case, 'apt-get install kernel-headers-2.4.19-686')
3. cd NVIDIA_kernel*, compile: 'make SYSINCLUDE=/usr/src/kernel-headers-2.4.19-686/include'. (Adjust the path if you have a different kernel version.)
4. make install, adjust /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 as described in the README available on NVidia's download page
5. Restart X. You should get an NVidia logo, functional xv, ...

Using your own kernel:
Assuming your kernel is under /usr/src/linux-2.4.xx, set SYSINCLUDE=/usr/src/linux-2.4.xx/include in step 3 above; otherwise everything should be the same


Caveats: this worked for NVIDIA_kernel-1.0-3123.tar.gz, the current Debian testing, kernel 2.4.19, and XFree86 4.1. It may not work with older deb distributions or X versions; depends on what NVidia did with their driver. If you're running potato, you may want to consider updating to 3.0; it should be a simple matter of running 'apt-get update; apt-get dist-upgrade', except if you have an old X version.
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Old 10-26-02, 06:31 PM   #4
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Mph. Proof-reading good. Proof-reading before posting better.

In step 2, I probably should've added: check the kernel version your installation is using (uname -r) and find the corresponding kernel-headers package (apt-cache search kernel-headers-x.y.zz). If you can't find one, you either need to build your own kernel or update your distribution.
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Old 10-26-02, 07:52 PM   #5
veloLexus
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Default Thanks

Thanks for all the help. I'll download 3.0 and give that a shot. That's too bad about NVidia being too restrictive with their drivers. I don't see anything bad that could possibly come out of allowing the inclusion of their drivers in Linux distributions. Linux has definitely become more popular over the last 2 years. When I did a job hunt 2 years ago there weren't a lot of places looking for Linux/UNIX experience and now it seems to be all over the place (at least for what little jobs there are out there at the moment). NVidia is going to have to play along or they'll lose some sales. It doesn't matter if Linux is a small percentage of the market share. Many governements are chosing Linux over the evil empire and if an NVidia card was speced from some standard PC that could end up being a large contract.

Cheers, Joe
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Old 10-26-02, 09:05 PM   #6
bwkaz
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Quote:
Originally posted by veloLexus
I don't see anything bad that could possibly come out of allowing the inclusion of their drivers in Linux distributions.
There is one huge disadvantage. Were they to include it in distros, they'd have to release the source code.

They don't want to release the source code, because according to them (or at least, this is the general consensus), seeing it will allow their competition a competitive advantage. The whole "trade secret" thing won't be a secret anymore.

It's kind of hard to keep making money when every feature you put in your cards is copied by your competition because they can see your driver source code...

Besides, it isn't all that hard for people that have been around Linux for a while (actually, I think it took me maybe a month or two to find the drivers and try them, but I don't remember for sure...) to figure out the installation process. Like, people that do system administration for the places that pay for these "large contracts" perhaps? They probably figure it out fairly quickly...
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Old 10-27-02, 05:19 AM   #7
atamar
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Yes, there is a justification for keeping the sources secret, and it may even make sense from a pragmatic business viewpoint. That's why I avoided facetious comments up there.

The installation itself isn't _difficult_, as such; just a chore. Without counting a couple of false starts, it took me an hour or so. The problem is, every single time I've installed the drivers, the procedure was different, previously learned information was invalid, and the false starts have always happened.

Still, this is mostly a desktop user's dilemma. 90% of the debians I install are servers, and never even see X (or an accelerated graphics card).
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Old 10-31-02, 04:31 PM   #8
veloLexus
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Okay, I'm getting there. Trying to install the sarge release was hopeless (for me... I'm pretty sure I was doing something wrong). I downloaded the images with jigdo but when I tried to run the install it would almost immediately spit out an error (I forget what it was).

Anyhow, I reinstalled potato using a different strategy. I selected a simple install and just went with the bare essentials. I then started adding functionality via dselect over the web. This morning I got KDE running with what I think was the SVGA xserver.

I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to change resolutions though aside from control-alt-backspace and even only one mode seemed to work. I'm guessing it was working at 800x600 at 16 bits with a refresh rate around 70 (I can see the flickering at 60 Hz and it gives me a headache). So... dummy me goes to install xserver version 4. Now I've broken things again.

Here's the last few lines from my log (I don't know if this will provide any insight or not to the gurus) ....

(II) Setting vga for screen 0.
(II) Loading sub module "int10"
(II) LoadModule: "int10"
(II) Reloading /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/linux/libint10.a
(II) NV(0): Initializing int10
(II) NV(0): Primary V_BIOS segment is: 0xc000
(--) NV(0): Chipset: "GeForce2 MX"
(**) NV(0): Depth 24, (--) framebuffer bpp 32
(==) NV(0): RGB weight 888
(==) NV(0): Default visual is TrueColor
(II) Loading sub module "vgahw"
(II) LoadModule: "vgahw"
(II) Loading /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/libvgahw.a
(II) Module vgahw: vendor="The XFree86 Project"
compiled for 4.1.0.1, module version = 0.1.0
ABI class: XFree86 Video Driver, version 0.4
(**) NV(0): Option "UseFBDev" "true"
(==) NV(0): Using HW cursor
(**) NV(0): Using framebuffer device
(II) Loading sub module "fbdevhw"
(II) LoadModule: "fbdevhw"
(II) Loading /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/linux/libfbdevhw.a
(II) Module fbdevhw: vendor="The XFree86 Project"
compiled for 4.1.0.1, module version = 0.0.2
ABI class: XFree86 Video Driver, version 0.4
(II) UnloadModule: "nv"
(II) UnloadModule: "fbdevhw"
(II) Unloading /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/linux/libfbdevhw.a
(II) UnloadModule: "vgahw"
(II) Unloading /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/libvgahw.a
(II) UnloadModule: "int10"
(EE) Screen(s) found, but none have a usable configuration.

Fatal server error:
no screens found

_______________________________________

I know that there's screens in there, perhaps they aren't setup correctly? When it throws this error does it mean that it can't find an *Identifier* named "screen" or does it mean that there is no "Screen" section? Here's what my XF86Config-4 file looks like:
_______________________________________

Section "Files"
FontPath "unix/:7100" # local font server
# if the local font server has problems, we can fall back on these
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/misc"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/cyrillic"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi/:unscaled"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi/:unscaled"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/Type1"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/Speedo"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi"
EndSection

Section "Module"
Load "GLcore"
Load "bitmap"
Load "dbe"
Load "ddc"
Load "dri"
Load "extmod"
Load "freetype"
Load "glx"
Load "int10"
Load "pex5"
Load "record"
Load "speedo"
Load "type1"
Load "vbe"
Load "xie"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
Driver "keyboard"
Option "CoreKeyboard"
Option "XkbRules" "xfree86"
Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
Option "XkbLayout" "us"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Configured Mouse"
Driver "mouse"
Option "CorePointer"
Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"
Option "Protocol" "PS/2"
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "true"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Generic Mouse"
Driver "mouse"
Option "SendCoreEvents" "true"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
Option "Protocol" "ImPS/2"
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "true"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
EndSection

Section "Device"
Identifier "Generic Video Card"
Driver "nv"
Option "UseFBDev" "true"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Generic Monitor"
HorizSync 31.47-60.2
VertRefresh 59.95-75
Option "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Default Screen"
Device "Generic Video Card"
Monitor "Generic Monitor"
DefaultDepth 24
SubSection "Display"
Depth 1
Modes "1600x1200" "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 4
Modes "1600x1200" "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 8
Modes "1600x1200" "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 15
Modes "1600x1200" "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 16
Modes "1600x1200" "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 24
Modes "1600x1200" "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600"
EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "Default Layout"
Screen "Default Screen"
InputDevice "Generic Keyboard"
InputDevice "Configured Mouse"
InputDevice "Generic Mouse"
EndSection

Section "DRI"
Mode 0666
EndSection

### END DEBCONF SECTION
__________________________________________

Thanks, Joe
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Old 10-31-02, 09:35 PM   #9
veloLexus
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I'm getting a little closer. I commented out the line

Option "UseFBDev" "true"

Under "Generic Video Card" and that got rid of the previous error. Now it's saying:

error: could not open default font 'fixed'

Any ideas there? I'll post back if I find a solution. Thanks, Joe
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Old 11-01-02, 02:38 AM   #10
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Fonts have always caused _some_ degree of problem for me. (Right now I get everything messed up if I enable anti-aliased fonts in KDE.)

I've never bothered to really delve into fonts, but sounds like you either have an insufficient set of basic fonts - do 'apt-cache search xfonts' and make sure anything that looks relevant is installed. Xfonts-75dpi, xfonts-100dpi, xfonts-base, xfonts-scalable-nonfree, ...

Another thing that might be happening is that your X font server is not running (that's the FontPath "unix/:7100" line). Either install package xfs, or (perhaps preferentially) xfs-xtt (TrueType XFS - need to change 7100 to 7110 in the FontPath line).


It might be worth your time doing a bit of googling on xfree86 and xfs; I'm under the impression that you don't really need xfs separately, anymore.
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Old 11-01-02, 02:27 PM   #11
veloLexus
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Somehow I managed to get evertyhing working after the umpteen-billionth install! I'm running with kernel version 2.2.19 and XFree86 4.x.x at 1024x768 with the NVidia driver. Really I have no idea how I did it.

As for the fonts, yeah my googlings turned up some info on them possibly not being installed but that definitely wasn't the case. I installed everything except the foreign langue or special charachter fonts.

My latest battle was getting SSL to work in the KDE browser. apt-cache search and dselect just wouldn't cough up any of the crypto files. I downloaded them directly from Debian (I found it interesting that the encryption stuff was on non-us servers ). Now I just have to find some gui that allows me to change my screen resolution and why this vBulletin text box hasn't resized itself with the rest of the page.

Cheers, Joe
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