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Old 04-29-07, 12:44 PM   #1
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Default Installing linux on 8800 gts

Im having some trouble getting linux to install properly on my system.
I have tried Ubuntu 7.04 (amd64) and Fedora Core 6 (x86_64) and I get pretty much the same results

When the installer is going through, it goes to probe the video card (fails), then loads x server, and my screen goes black and goes to power save.

Im new to Linux, so Im really not sure how to go about installing Linux on this new hardware...

I tried using the lines "linux vga" and "linux vga=normal xdriver=vesa" and I get the same results.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-30-07, 07:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Installing linux on 8800 gts

I had the same problem. You need to use the alt-cd. Press F4 at the first boot screen and select the vga settings that best mach your screen, in my case it was 1280x1024. Then you can go through the install. Once the install is complete, you'll have the same problem booting again. You need to boot of the CD again and press F4 again and then select recovery where you can then edit your grub menu.lst and add the vga setting to the boot parameter. Here is a list of valid boot parameters, choose the one that best suites you screen.

Colours  640x400  640x480  800x600  1024x768  1152x864  1280x1024  1400x1050 1600x1200
4  bits	    ? 	     ?      0x302   	? 	  ? 	    ?          ?         ?
8  bits	  0x300    0x301    0x303     0x305     0x161     0x307        ?       0x31C
15 bits     ?      0x310    0x313     0x316     0x162     0x319      0x340     0x31D
16 bits     ?      0x311    0x314     0x317     0x163     0x31A      0x341     0x31E
24 bits     ?      0x312    0x315     0x318       ?       0x31B      0x342     0x31F
32 bits     ?        ?        ?         ?       0x164       ?          ?
And add it to the line that says:
kernel  /vmlinuz-2.6.20-15-generic root=UUID=feb9c6c1-981a-4dcd-9fb1-ef1c16083791 ro quiet splash
So it looks like this:
kernel  /vmlinuz-2.6.20-15-generic root=UUID=feb9c6c1-981a-4dcd-9fb1-ef1c16083791 ro quiet splash vga=795
vga=795 was for my screen, yours may differ depending on what you resolution your screen can handle.

You'll also need to edit the recovery mode section so you can boot into recovery mode if needed in the future.

It's a real bugger that linux distro's can't seem to get such rudimentary things right in this day and age, especially one as popular as Ubuntu

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-30-07, 02:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Installing linux on 8800 gts

There were some bugs in the X server's x86 emulator that are triggered by the GeForce 8800's video BIOS and can cause the symptoms you describe with the VESA driver. These bugs are fixed in really new X servers, but it's likely that the Ubuntu installer is using an older version that doesn't have the fixes.

32-bit versions should be fine. For 64-bit installs, the installer should have an option somewhere to install in text mode.
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Old 04-30-07, 06:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Installing linux on 8800 gts

It doesn't have a "text" mode (none that I can find). This is how I did it:

Installing ubuntu x86_64 live CD I removed the "splash" from the kernel line using grub's "edit" mode. This made the install to boot into terminal mode from which I manually edited the xorg.conf file to select a "vesa" driver, then I did "startx".
This allowed me to proceed with install. Now the install will introduce a kernel line with the "splash" again. So I had to edit the grub menu.lst and remove it. After that, I just followed the sticky thread instructions for the NVIDIA driver.
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