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Old 11-23-03, 12:31 AM   #37
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I removed the MesaGl libraries, and I edited XF86Config to select the NvAGP. Nothing has changed.

Here's what I have done to this point:
1. Reinstalled Fedora again so that binutls or whatever it's called would be installed the 2nd time around.

2. Reinstalled Fedora again to so that kernel develoupment would be installed (long, long story)

3. Got the NVIDIA drivers to install by letting the installer recompile a kernel in the process. Then edited XF86Config accordingly. (Didn't work, black screen)

4. Tried installing the NVIDIA driver using -custom run attached to the end of sh NVIDIA-linux-x86-1.0-4496-pkg2.run, then installed the custom installer. Then edited XF86Config again. Same results.

5. Found custom RPMs supposed to be specifically for Fedora 1 (NVIDIA_kernel-1.0-4496.src.rpm and NVIDIA_GLX-1.0-4496.src.rpm) and followed the instructions accordingly, edited XF86Config accordingly once again, same effect (startX, no X, blank black screen).

6. Uninstalled MesaGl libraires and edited XF86Config to include "Option "NvAGP", same black screen as before.

So, what do I do now?
In case you are curious, I have a Geforce III Ti200 running at 4x agp.

Here's what the device section in XF86Config looks like at the moment:

Section "Device"
Identifier "Videocard0"
Driver "nv"
# Driver "nvidia"
VendorName "Videocard vendor"
BoardName "NVIDIA GeForce 3 (generic)"
Option "NvAGP" "1"

Obviously, it's only when the '#' is put in front of Driver "nv" instead of Driver "nvidia" that X does not start accordingly. and yes, I remove Load "dri". (even tried leaving it there a few times)

I bascially copied the NvAGP thingy exactly as you had it in your code.

In a nutshell- Whichever way I choose to install the drivers, the moment I select driver "nvidia", and start x, the screen goes black and the system basically freezes.

So, what do I do now?
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Old 11-23-03, 12:56 AM   #38
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One more question -
That said, you have to realize that the power and control offered you with linux by definition gives you / everyone the chance to get things borked with very little effort required.
How on earth does that apply to this situation, of all things? I'd venture to say that that statement is only true for 1% or less of the total population that know just about everything about how linux works and the intricacies involved. Otherwise, in situations like myself, it involves countless hours of surfing and research with little idea of what is actually going on, before the issue can even start to be resolved.

On another hand, wouldn't this be a whole lot more ideal for 95% of the people if editing XF86Config, editing inittab, recomiling the kernel interface and all that other garbage was simply done by the installer? Sure, I can dig into the nitty gritty if I have to; but why would I want to?
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 11-23-03, 07:43 AM   #39
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It applies to this situation especially.

Fedora Core 1 is a "bleeding edge" version of Linux... if you insist on using it, now may be the time you are going to bleed.

FC1 is for developers and enthusiasts. I have been using Linux, almost exclusively, for workstation and server for the past six years. In that time I have borked (and un-borked) more systems and installs than I care to remember. 99.99% of the time "it just works"... until *I* break something. Since FC1 came out I have had far more troublesome issues than getting my nVidia card working. It worked out-of-the-box in 2D but I want to play Quake3 and I have some other apps that require the full 3D acceleration. In the four years that I have been using nVidia cards in Linux I have had very very few problems. They are damn nice cards. nVidia has supported Linux with good drivers and excellent documentation for most of that time. Sure, there have been some crappy driver releases, but for the most part they have been really good. Even better than the ones they have for Windows (or so I hear). As far as I know nVidia supports most all Linux distributions. But FC1 is only a couple of weeks old and is going through some rapid changes. Hard for nVidia to keep up with that.

For a gamer or casual user of Linux there is nothing compelling in FC1 that you need in order to do what you want. You could simply install Red Hat 9 or one of the other major distributions and the stock nVidia driver installer will work flawlessly. No kernel recompiles, which are almost never neccessary despite what some people may tell you. In fact, recompiling the kernel is completely uneccessary in this situation UNLESS you need a feature that did not come with the stock kernel (NTFS). Editing the /etc/X11/XF86Config file is, however, required... though it is as simple as adding four characters to a single line and sometimes adding a # to the beginning of a line... that's it.

The instructions I posted here work for me and for most other people that I know who are running FC1 and have nVidia cards. There are only two extra steps involved beyond the stock instructions from nVidia. One of those steps I am not happy with... the one that removes the XFree86-Mesa-libGLU package. It is not elegant and has the potential to break other things in FC1. Anyone try running yum or apt-get/synaptic after removing that package will know what I mean.

I have also tried some of the RPM based installers for the nVidia drivers. They are merely wrappers for the stock installer. Some of them seem to work well and some don't.

Currently I am running a sort of complex setup. I have an older nVidia GeForce2 GTS card with 32M VRAM. Sounds kinda wussy but I get 2600FPS in glxgears and about 100FPS in Quake3... plenty fine for me. I also have a second monitor connected to an old Matrox MilleniumII card with 8M of VRAM. This uses a separate driver (mga) which works really well. No 3D but the 2D is far better than nVidias. Nice thing, for me, with this setup is that if I bork my nVidia configuration the second monitor still works perfectly. I also keep gaim and a few other things in the second monitor so I can see what I am missing while playing a game on the first.

OK... enough rambling (woke up too early).

I agree with you 100%.

You should not have to edit /etc/inittab or recompile the kernel EVER. In fact... you don't have to edit /etc/inittab or recompile the kernel at ALL. In fact... for 95% of Linux systems it is completely uneccessary to do either. So... the installer doesn't have to do it either.

The /etc/X11/XF86Config file is a slightly different matter. While I don't see why the installer can't be designed to take care of the few edits in the config file... there may be good reasons (that I can't think of) that nVidia did not include that functionality with the installer. In any case... you only have to do it once. After that it just keeps working for a given set of hardware.

I also don't see why they can't make a more GUI "wizard" installer that would work while in X using the default nv driver or a previous nvidia driver. Then the installer would be pretty much click-and-drool just like a Windows install. In time, I am sure those changes will come. If not from nVidia, then from the community.

Personally, I like the CLI based installer because I can easily update the drivers in a few dozen systems with a simple script remotely.

What to do in your situation...

If you want to use FC1:
I would re-read the nVidia README in its entirety if you haven't already.
There are lots of good basic tips in there.
Go back to the stock kernel and make sure the stock nv driver works. That is to say, you can get X windows working with your setup and the drivers that came with FC1.
Then follow my setup (see earlier post).
If that doesn't work.... then please post or provide links to your:
/var/log/XFree86.0.log file
/etc/X11/XF86Config* file
/etc/modules.conf file
/var/log/nvidia-installer.log file
and the output from the commands:
uname -r
rpm -qa | grep kern
cat /proc/version

You can dump the output from the commands to a file like this:

uname -r > filename.txt

Then each command after that one... do:

dmesg >> filename.txt

... and so on. Which will *append* the output to the original file 'filename.txt'.

With this information we can try to determine what is going on and help you troubleshoot it.

If you are sick and tired of futzing with the system and don't want to learn any more about it... then either use the stock nv driver or get Red Hat 9 or some other version of Linux that is, currently, better supported by nVidia.
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Old 11-23-03, 08:01 PM   #40
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While I agree with the above regarding Fedora as a rapidly changing (if you update it) linux platform, I feel the need to point out that nVidia is not, and doesn't need to, change anything to support Fedora, or as claimed (nice numbers, suffice it to say 'most') linux systems.

While I sympathize with the issues being faced by you DrD, and others with the blank screen issue I do not expect it to be any different on another linux distro. If you'll read carefully the recent posts you'll note that a great many people are posting similar problems, on varied distros. I expect that the black screen issue is hardware related (likely probing gone awry) and requires a change in hardware support setup, rather than distribution. Fedora uses very similar default kernel configurations and hardware setup as RH9.

Fedora may not be what you want to work with, and switching could possibly resolve the issue, but it is a at best a long shot. I'd recommend a more substantial switch (mandrake / suse).

Willing to help with additional suggestions and experience, provided the information requested by utidjian.

RE: quote of my disclaimer
I was directly addressing your rant (DrD) against nVidia for not fixing your issue, while at the time it was clearly your configuration at fault. It was not an insult, I merely point out that your rant was misguided.
"..the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." (Edmond Burke)
nVIDIA video driver RPMs for Fedora :: see yum repo at livna.org.
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Old 11-23-03, 10:50 PM   #41
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I would have to agree with LordMorgul on the hardware. I printed the README (all 50 some odd pages) and all the post on how to install this driver. For the most part I think they are all corect ways to install it but I myself kept having the same results. After compairing all the docs and notes, reading over the logs... it has to be hardware related.
The question I have, what type of cards is everyone having trouble with?
MX, FX?? Singlehead, DualHead?? Is it random?
Anways just a thought that maybe that could be some useful data in trying to figure ot the all mighty question...Why won't this work???!!!
Just my 2 cents

Leadtek 180
GF4 440 MX
Dual Head
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Old 11-24-03, 10:53 PM   #42
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Those were some very good replies. Much appriciated.

I think this problem does lie somewhere along the lines of some conflict the drivers have with my particular hardware configuration. The annoying part about that is that is there really isn't anything I can do about that. (other then submit my resume to NVIDIA so I can work on the drivers myself).

Another version of linux? I'd say ya, I'd be intuitivly inclined to think that it wouldn't work with my hardware setup, either, but just barely. I've wanted Suse for a while, but they are more buisness oriented and really want money (can't seem to get an ISO, they'd rather have you buy it off the shelf- understandably) Fedora really apealled to me, and I stand to blame for not knowing it was so bleeding edge, an aquatance told me Fedora to Redhat is like mozilla to netscape, and I really liked that, so I thought I'd give it a try. Seemed to fit me taste.

Admitingly, Fedora has really had very few problems... this one stinking issue has been the real pain in the freaking budd, but I guess at this point there's nothing to do but wait, so maybe I'll report it to Nvidia. Besides, all I wanted to do was play tux racer, and not that much, just wanted to see linux hardware acclerate, more then anything else. I can wait.
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Old 11-25-03, 01:58 AM   #43
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I will tentatively suggest an attempt at using the 2.6 kernel, especially for cards using supporting 8x agp or having the odd blank screen issues. While this is not an easy modification to some systems (redhat / fedora have weird initscript issues that are no easier to workaround than blank screens), I do think there is the possibility success could be there for some. Just understand what you're attempting, and the key problem areas you will face beforehand. If you're not familiar enough with the system yet to know what is being talked about in the how-tos you can find (google - kernel 2.6 upgrade) then I suggest waiting for a system built on 2.6 or putting in the study time until you do. This is one option for those who are ready to undertake the effort. (Fedora 2.6 rpms are available, but still require initscript tweaks and modprobe config file generation/tweaking).

2.6 RPMs here
"..the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." (Edmond Burke)
nVIDIA video driver RPMs for Fedora :: see yum repo at livna.org.
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