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Old 04-03-03, 10:29 PM   #1
Andy Mecham
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Default If you have a problem, PLEASE read this first

If you have a problem, and would like help, please follow the following steps:

1) Please start a new thread about your problem. It's really hard to track issues if you ask for help in one of the generic threads (like "1.0-4349 released").

2) Please attach a copy of your /etc/X11/XF86Config(-4) and /var/log/XFree86.0.log files where appropriate. If you're not sure if they're appropriate, attach them anyway. The forums now accept attachments with .log endings, so you don't have to append .txt anymore.

2a) If you're having problems with resolutions, color depths, or other display related issues, a verbose X log is much more useful than a regular log. To get a verbose log, start X with

startx -- -logverbose 5
and attach it to your newly created thread.

3) Other information that's useful:

- your video card
- your driver version
- your distribution
- your video bios revision (look in /proc/driver/nvidia/cards/0 while X is running)
- your processor
- your motherboard model (especially if you're having lockups)

This information will help us help you.


Andy Mecham
NVIDIA Corporation

Last edited by Andy Mecham; 04-07-03 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 07-08-03, 11:10 AM   #2
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I have read the faq but still can not find the powerpc linux drivers...
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Old 09-24-03, 12:34 PM   #3
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well i did so .. hope ill get help soon before i kill myself :\
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Old 11-19-03, 04:42 PM   #4
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I would also encourage people to use the SEARCH feature of the boards. I rather new at Linux but 99% of my problems have been answered by searching the forums first. Its usually something stupid on my part
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Old 11-22-03, 08:08 AM   #5
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Default I have a problem, I have read, the problem remains

Please start a new thread about your problem.
Since this is kind of political, I think a reply to you is more appropriate, so I'll do that and then start a new thread.

I have four machines running in this household. One AOpen 1547 laptop running an i810 chipset, one P2-266 mongrel running a Banshee, and two nForce-2-based workstations.

Despite the i810 being a fairly sucky chipset, the laptop's graphics work flawlessly, and at full speed. The video driver is 100% FOSS. It has never crashed.

Despite the P2-266 being as old as the hills, its graphics also work flawlessly (although not so fast, due to the CPU and the Banshee). It also has never crashed; my daughter leaves it on full time. The driver is 100% FOSS.

My own desktop, an MSI-nForce2-based "NVCrush11 [GeForce2 MX Integrated Graphics] (rev b1)" white box, runs the FOSS nv driver. As long as I do that, it never crashes, but it is very slow, even in 2D, apparently because NVidia won't publish enough detail for the authors to make it go fast.

Running the closed nvidia driver results in 3-5 lockups per day (the X driver freezes, spinlocked on something, and crashes the card if you kill -9 it). This has persisted through four different versions of Linux, and despite every imaginable combination of AGP and other options.

My wife's desktop, another nForce-2-based white box "NV18 [GeForce4 MX - nForce GPU] (rev a3)" locks up approximately daily if it's run on the closed driver, never on the open one. When I say "locks up" I mean it's doorbell time, and sometimes even that doesn't work, you have to pull the cable out. Likewise, all reasonable combinations of acceleration and AGP options produce no appreciable change.

Now... if the NVidia drivers were FOSS, I would stand a chance of debugging them enough to have 100% reliable, fully accelerated machines.

There is now a FOSS driver for the nForce2 LAN chipset, done by two teams, one to analyse and spec, one to write a driver.

Why? I've not seen any reliability issues with the LAN interface. The answer is that they can freely distribute it without raising any complicated licence issues. With it, a 100% FOSS distribution can be installed and have enough networking capabiltiies to fetch anything else it needs "out of the box". Not so nvnet, which has a binary component which recently caused me trouble with different compiler versions.

If NVidia GPLed as much of their code as was not completely nailed down by technology licences, this would not be necessary.

Whole countries (the latest Vietnam) are switching to Open technologies; it is to NVidia's direct benefit to play along with this. The more freedom that the groups using FOSS have with your drivers, the more of them will specify NVidia-based hardware.

I'm currently negotiating with the XGI people about opening their Linux drivers. If they open their drivers but NVidia keep them closed, the cheap-workstation world will be flooded with grandsons of S3 instead of potent NVidia chipsets.

Just to head off the "competitive advantage" phantom: all of NVidia's real magic is in the hardware. FOSS people don't have the resources to reverse-engineer your software effectively, ATI and XGI do. NVidia have nothing to lose by Opening their drivers.

How about it?
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Old 12-17-03, 05:22 PM   #6
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Default i agree

leonbrooks definately has a point.

Though in particular it is the stability of the nvidia LINUX drivers that are a real concern. They technically work on my machine but bugs mean i can have several crashes a day depending on how hard i push the machine. the OSS nv driver is fine though. these bugs are reflected in non WHQL certified drivers on windows (but not the WHQL ones where my machine is rock solid), so part of the problem appears to be your own quality control.

If you cannot OSS your drivers then may i suggest you produce an alternative set that run in user space, not requiring binary kernel modules which don't take the whole machine down when they fail. they may be slower but most poeple care far more about reliability.

e.g. one reproducible crash bug is in the speedmine 3D screensaver which comes with mandrake 9.1, it creates all sorts of pretty multicoloured patterns on my screen :-)

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Old 01-09-04, 02:30 PM   #7
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I'd like to see a "Start new thread" button, but the closest thing I found is a "Post reply" button. I guess there's a trick somewhere, it must be obvious, maybe it's my browser ... and then I could report the about the kernel panics I get with 5328 when quitting quake3 only after many hours of play in a row (kernels 2.4.23 and 2.4.24, 2.4 installer for 5328 from sh.nu, Ti4200, GA-7VAX, AthlonXP 2000+, Debian unstable, XFree 4.2.1)
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Old 01-09-04, 03:35 PM   #8
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Just thought I'd toss this in.

Just click here if you want to start a new thread. It should work, as long as you're logged in.
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Old 02-22-04, 04:32 AM   #9
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I hope you don't mind me throwing in my own 2 cents, since it does pertain to your topic of discussion.

I have just recently purchased, and begun using (Suse 9) Linux on my computer - I've been a Windows user all my life - and I'm thoroughly enjoying using Linux, because it is quite obvious to me that it is vastly superior to Windows in a variety of ways. But, I've run into a few speed bumps. For one thing, I'm using a modem with a Conexant chipset - I won't get into the details of that. The other is my video card, which is the reason I am here, of course.

I'm using a GeForce 2 MX video card, a little old, but the card is still working quite well. I was somewhat disappointed when I attempted to play tux racer on my computer that it said I needed 3D acceleration. I thought it was a joke. I mean it says right on the package that Linux supports all NVidia graphics cards, or something like that. Then I find out that NVidia doesn't release their drivers freely, or something. Apparently I need to download their Linux driver in order to activate 3D acceleration. No problem, right?

With my Conexant modem, my download speed is limited to 14.4 kbs. It took me an hour and a half to download NVidia's driver (5.5 MB). Being completely new to Linux, I messed around for a while trying to figure out how to install the NVidia driver, because the instructions say I have to install it from the console, so I needed to quickly learn some basic console commands, and learn how to install a driver in text mode.

I tried using xfree86 to configure my video card, and I must've done something wrong, because it messed up my system. My computer refused to go into a graphical window system. I was only able to access the console. I didn't know what to do to fix it, so I re-installed Linux. That's the last time I'm ever going to use xfree86.

I lost the copy of the NVidia driver that was installed on my machine, so I had to download it again. Another hour and a half wasted, on top of the time I spent reinstalling. So, then I figured out how to access the console while booting up - Suse makes it really easy - just choose failsafe mode when booting. I then managed to install the NVidia driver successfully - or so I thought.

I went back into KDE, but I was still unable to activate 3D acceleration for some unknown reason. I tried removing, and reinstalling my video card from Yast several times, but 3D acceleration still wouldn't come on. Then, I don't know what the heck happened, but when I tried turning on my machine the next day, my login screen had been all messed up. It wasn't the standard login screen I normally see in Suse. It also seemed odd that it didn't auto-login my default account like it normally does.

This new login screen didn't give me the usual options for restarting, or shutting down the machine, so I had to resort to using the power button, because KDE suddenly doesn't provide me with the option for shutting down or resetting like it normally does. The login screen also didn't give me options for which GUI interface I wanted to use - I normally use KDE. This login always went into X Windows, which I strongly dislike. I was able to access KDE through x windows by using a console command, but I hated having the x window border around everything, and found several nuances of x windows to be rather annoying.

Eventually, I got fed up with the way things were acting, and I didn't like hitting the power button to turn the machine off - I know how it can damage your system - so I reinstalled one more time. That's where I'm at currently.

I don't think I want to install NVidia's driver again, seeing how it's caused a lot of problems for me already. There's probably a very simple way to fix the problems I've had, but my knowledge of Linux is very limited, so I had to resort to fixing it the hard way. Honestly, I don't see how a video driver needs to alter my login in the slightest way.

Then I've come here, hoping to find a solution to my woes, and discovered that I'm far from being the only person to experience problems with NVidia's driver - particularly with Suse 9, like I'm using. I had always relied on NVidia to produce quality video drivers for their products under Windows, and feel shocked to find that their Linux driver is actually very buggy - judging from the number of people complaining about problems similar to my own.

I'm thinking of taking an alternate solution to this mess, and buying a new video card - preferably a (non-NVidia) card that has full support under Linux. Besides, I think it's about time I upgraded to a video card with more than 32 MB of RAM. I think I may take a similar solution to solve my problems with my modem, as well.

I apologize for writing such a long message, but I wanted to fully explain my situation. If you can give me a solution to my video problem, I'll be glad to hear it - and please explain it in a way that someone who has very limited experience with Linux can understand it. I'm very experienced in using Windows, but I'm very new to using Linux. It is possible that I may have accidentally changed a wrong setting in my login preferences, but I don't think that's what happened in this case.
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Old 02-22-04, 05:59 AM   #10
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Your frustration is understandable, but there's limits to what the NVIDIA installer can do to help you with the installation and configuration of the NVIDIA driver. It was designed to work as transparently as possible for as many users as possible, with the intention to remain distribution independent; it won't uninstall conflicting, distribution specific packages, it won't download and install development tools for your distribution if it finds them missing and it won't interface with distribution specific configuration mechanisms.

This is seen as a major shortcoming by some of the major distributors, but is the most reasonable approach considering the number of different GNU/Linux distributions alone. Distributors and users alike are welcome to redistribute the driver, to ship it with or repackage it for a given distribution; a number of distributors do this. SuSE chose not to, not because the NVIDIA software license prohibits it, but apparently due to legal considerations pertaining to the proprietary nature of the NVIDIA driver.

SuSE does provide documentation (Nvidia Installer HOWTO for SuSE Linux users, linked to from the NVIDIA driver download page) detailing the process of installing the NVIDIA driver on different releases of its distribution, however, and you will find that it covers most of the difficulties you encountered. With respect to the login screen, I don't know what caused its change of behavior; the nvidia-installer program doesn't modify display manager configurations.
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Old 02-25-04, 08:08 AM   #11
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IMHO, Linux users are lucky to have any support from for-profit companies such as nVidia. I imagine that it is quite costly for them to port something as complicated as a highly optimised, multihardware driver to a totally different platform.

Having said that, I was disappointed when I had to sell on my brand new GeForce 2MX because I couldn't get the nVidia drivers to work GLX with it. However, I have since been using the same drivers with a GeForce 2 at work and a GeForce 3 at home. Both computers are now stable - the uptime of the computer at work in now well over 200 days.

Also, I can understand nVidia wanting to keep their drivers a closely guarded secret and, therefore, not releasing them as open-source. Hell, I have to think hard before giving my source away and my code is much simpler.

So... thanks for all the work you've done, nVidia, and keep it up!
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Old 02-29-04, 09:00 AM   #12
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just a note to Keledrienne's post.....

"I'm thinking of taking an alternate solution to this mess, and buying a new video card - preferably a (non-NVidia) card that has full support under Linux."
well.......I have a voodoo3 which has full support i'd sell it for £10!

Its fully supported 2&3D, because it is no longer a revenue generating card, and all the specs where released as open source b4 3dfx went belly up.
All other 3D cards are going to be not so well supported.

To be honest new cards are always going to take a while to appear on a cheaper OS platform because of the money incentive being lacking. That said nvidia & ati are making an effort for us freebies
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