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Old 03-15-07, 05:37 PM   #1
HamRadio
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Default Nvidia drivers don't like 2.6.20 kernel

Hi there,

I have a Dell Inspiron 8200 notebook with a Pentium4 Mobile CPU 1.60GHz and a "nVidia Corporation NV17 [GeForce4 440 Go] [10de:0174] (rev a3)" graphic chip.
Until some weeks ago I was happy with the 1.0-8776 driver and 2.6.18 vanilla kernel on my Debian Etch (Xorg-7.1.1).

My troubles began when I decided to upgrade to a shiny new 2.6.20 kernel...


If I try to install 1.0-8776 with the running 2.6.20 (the same .config used with 2.6.18, of course nvidiafb and rivafb are disabled) it fails to build the kernel module with the following error (taken from nvidia-installer.log):

In file included from include/linux/list.h:8,
from include/linux/wait.h:22,
from include/asm/semaphore.h:41,
from include/linux/sched.h:59,
from include/linux/utsname.h:35,
from /usr/local/src/nVidia/NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-8776-pkg1/u
sr/src/nv/nv-linux.h:19,
from /usr/local/src/nVidia/NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-8776-pkg1/u
sr/src/nv/nv-i2c.c:8:
include/linux/prefetch.h: In function 'prefetch_range':
include/linux/prefetch.h:62: warning: pointer of type 'void *' used in arith
metic
/usr/local/src/nVidia/NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-8776-pkg1/usr/src/nv/nv-i2c.c: At
top level:
/usr/local/src/nVidia/NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-8776-pkg1/usr/src/nv/nv-i2c.c:26:
error: unknown field 'slave_send' specified in initializer
/usr/local/src/nVidia/NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-8776-pkg1/usr/src/nv/nv-i2c.c:27:
error: unknown field 'slave_recv' specified in initializer
make[4]: *** [/usr/local/src/nVidia/NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-8776-pkg1/usr/src/n
v/nv-i2c.o] Error 1
make[3]: *** [_module_/usr/local/src/nVidia/NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-8776-pkg1/u
sr/src/nv] Error 2
make[2]: *** [modules] Error 2
NVIDIA: left KBUILD.
nvidia.ko failed to build!
make[1]: *** [mdl] Error 1
make: *** [module] Error 2

I have patched the file usr/src/nv/nv-linux.h as follows:

-- #include <linux/config.h>
++ #include <linux/autoconf.h>

to meet new kernel requirements.


If I try to install the versions 1.0-9629 and/or 1.0-9631 (after which my chipset is not supported anymore by versions apart from "legacy") it seems that they install fine, but when I startx all I get is a black screen. The consoles 1 to 6 still work fine, so the problem is only related to the graphical section. This happens with both 2.6.18 and 2.6.20 kernel.


I also tried the suggested "legacy" 1.0-7184 (after patching usr/src/nv/nv-linux.h as above) and this driver installs fine, but it lead to occasional freeze of the machine, whith the kernel still alive so that I can only log in from another machine on the network (or alt-sysrq-b to reboot). The freezes are less frequent, but still annoying, if I add "mem=nopentium" to the kernel command line (this is strange as it should be a workaround for a bug of the AMD cpus, not for my Pentium4...). Also this happens with both 2.6.18 and 2.6.20 kernel.


It seems there's no way to run a 2.6.20 kernel with official Nvidia driver and my graphic chip...
Actually my machine works only with 2.6.18 kernel and 1.0-8776 driver.
Anyone can help me?
Thank you.
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Old 03-15-07, 05:42 PM   #2
gfxdrone
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Default Re: Nvidia drivers don't like 2.6.20 kernel

We've seen many problems with the 8776 kernel, to me it's not worth trying to run it.

Unfortunately, the current nvidia package maintainer is very far behind, he should have moved to the 9631 quite a while ago. Or that's the Etch package freeze, I don't know, I don't follow Etch that closely.

We are seeing no problems with 2.6.20.x and nvidia kernels, except 8776. But it's hard to say for sure. But keep in mind that 2.6.20 is not an etch package if I remember right, so you're mixing stuff you shouldn't be mixing in the first place. If you want a more cutting edge desktop etch is probably the wrong place to be.

Speaking only for myself, and based as well on quite a bit of research I did recently on the debian packaged nvidia drivers, I don't see them as a very reliable option to be honest. If they work, great, but there's no guarantee. I prefer the straight nvidia package, it seems to be far more reliable, even though it does not adhere to debian packaging guidelines, but it works in almost all cases we see.

If you want etch, you're much better off using all etch all of the time, forget trying to move up, use another distro, or testing or sid if you want modern stuff.

You'll also find that the native nv xorg driver works fine with your card, and will I'm sure work fine with the newer kernels. Given the age of your card, that's a very good option.
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Old 03-15-07, 05:53 PM   #3
HamRadio
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Default Re: Nvidia drivers don't like 2.6.20 kernel

Quote:
Originally Posted by gfxdrone
Unfortunately, the current nvidia package maintainer is very far behind, he should have moved to the 9631 quite a while ago.
I'd like to use 9631 too, but it gives me just a black screen, as I said above...
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Old 03-15-07, 05:54 PM   #4
netllama
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Default Re: Nvidia drivers don't like 2.6.20 kernel

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=46678
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Old 03-15-07, 06:08 PM   #5
gfxdrone
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Default Re: Nvidia drivers don't like 2.6.20 kernel

Just choose, Etch as is, or another version of Debian. I remember hearing about Etch issues now that I think of it, with newer kernels and Nvidia, can't remember the cause, but Etch is for me something to install, then never change except for security updates. Kiosk, server, help desk, that kind of thing. Definitely not my working desktop. Unless you like everything just the way it is now and want to live with that unchanged for the next 2 years. Then Etch is perfect.

If you want something newer, use another distro/or sid.

Nvidia drivers are working fine with 2.6.20.x (and 2.6.21-rcx, for anyone keeping track), thousands of successful installs show that. That graphic chip, while quite old, seems to still be working well for users. But Dell + old nvidia card + Etch, I'd leave the basic install alone on that one, not touch it at all, it's not an ideal combination.
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Old 03-15-07, 09:27 PM   #6
puterguy
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Default Re: Nvidia drivers don't like 2.6.20 kernel

I am also having a problem under Fedora Core 6 after upgrading from from kernel 2.6.19-1.2911.6.5 to kernel 2.6.20-1.2925.

I have GF4600 card and am using the (legacy) 9631 drivers (from the atrpms repo).

Specifically, the nvidia X driver seems to start up ok by displaying the
standard splash screen but then after flashing the screen a couple of times, it
drops to a terminal-like blue dialog box saying "Failed to start the X-server...".

The /var/log/Xorg.0.log file seems to be all ok, until the last few lines where
it shows:

Backtrace:
0: /usr/bin/Xorg(xf86SigHandler+0x81) [0x80e4ea1]
1: [0x160420]
2: /usr/bin/Xorg(NumMotionEvents+0x1e) [0x807da1e]
3: /usr/bin/Xorg(main+0x6af) [0x806fc8f]
4: /lib/libc.so.6(__libc_start_main+0xdc) [0x1bdf2c]
5: /usr/bin/Xorg(FontFileCompleteXLFD+0x1e9) [0x806eda1]

Fatal server error:
Caught signal 11. Server aborting

i.e., there are no lines with 'errors' (EE), 'not implemented'(NI), or
'unknown' (??).

I am assuming this is the same type of issue that the OP reports.
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nVidea driver: 9631
Asus P4PE motherboard
Intel P4 2.8GHz
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Old 04-18-07, 03:15 PM   #7
KhensU
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Default Re: Nvidia drivers don't like 2.6.20 kernel

Quote:
Originally Posted by gfxdrone
We've seen many problems with the 8776 kernel, to me it's not worth trying to run it.

Unfortunately, the current nvidia package maintainer is very far behind, he
should have moved to the 9631 quite a while ago. Or that's the Etch package freeze, I don't know, I don't follow Etch that closely.
When the etch soft freeze happened. The only options were to include 8776 or the beta 9625 which didn't work well with NV20's. Unstable was off limits for new versions so 9631 and 9746 went into experimental. The only things I'm behind on is providing a legacy 9631 in the archive and packaging 9755.
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Old 04-18-07, 03:34 PM   #8
zander
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Default Re: Nvidia drivers don't like 2.6.20 kernel

@puterguy: I ran into a similar problem when I upgraded my home system to Linux 2.6.20.7; in my case, the problem was input related, the event device had changed (from /dev/input/event1 to /dev/input/event0) and X's evdev driver had trouble with the old device file still referenced in my Xorg configuration file.
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Old 04-18-07, 06:43 PM   #9
puterguy
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Default Re: Nvidia drivers don't like 2.6.20 kernel

Quote:
Originally Posted by zander
@puterguy: I ran into a similar problem when I upgraded my home system to Linux 2.6.20.7; in my case, the problem was input related, the event device had changed (from /dev/input/event1 to /dev/input/event0) and X's evdev driver had trouble with the old device file still referenced in my Xorg configuration file.
Actually that ended up being my problem too -- and I apologize for not writing back earlier with the solution.

I am using a Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 5000 which requires:
Driver "evdev" (instead of "mouse") in order to get the horizontal scroll buttons to work on the mouse:

Prior to kernel 2.6.20, I needed to use:
Option "Device" "/dev/input/event1"
For kerenel 2.6.20, the device number changed to:
Option "Device" "/dev/input/event2"

Having the wrong device location then caused X to crash.

However, I found this change in device location to be non-satisfactory and worried that it could once again change in the future.

So, after reading the manpages, I realized that I could use an alternative addressing scheme that should be stable across kernels. Specifically,

Option "Name" "ImExPS/2 Generic Explorer Mouse"

i.e., instead of giving the device number, I give the device name. This should be stable as long as I don't change. There are also several other ways of addressing the evdev device as detailed in the manpages.

To get the name (and other device-specific paramters) just look at:
/proc/bus/input/devices

The relevant stanza for my mouse is:

I: Bus=0011 Vendor=0002 Product=0006 Version=0000
N: Name="ImExPS/2 Generic Explorer Mouse"
P: Phys=isa0060/serio1/input0
S: Sysfs=/class/input/input2
H: Handlers=mouse1 event2
B: EV=7
B: KEY=1f0000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
B: REL=143


Hope this helps!
__________________
Fedora Core6/Linux 2.6.x
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Asus P4PE motherboard
Intel P4 2.8GHz
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Old 04-20-07, 10:23 AM   #10
feld
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Default Re: Nvidia drivers don't like 2.6.20 kernel

Quote:
Originally Posted by zander
@puterguy: I ran into a similar problem when I upgraded my home system to Linux 2.6.20.7; in my case, the problem was input related, the event device had changed (from /dev/input/event1 to /dev/input/event0) and X's evdev driver had trouble with the old device file still referenced in my Xorg configuration file.
evdev was rewritten from scratch for (i believe) Xorg 7.1, Xander. Don't use device file references. It will only cause you pain and suffering. If you check up the evdev man page it will explain the new way of doing things which is way better and a lot more flexible in the long run.
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Old 04-20-07, 02:28 PM   #11
zander
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Default Re: Nvidia drivers don't like 2.6.20 kernel

The configuration file in question predated the inclusion of the evdev driver into Xorg; at the time of its creation, the device reference worked most reliably. Thanks for the heads-up, though.
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