Bug#749264: No nvidia-driver working

Vincent Cheng vcheng at debian.org
Sun Sep 21 09:44:00 UTC 2014

On Sun, Sep 21, 2014 at 2:23 AM, Karsten Malcher
<debian at home.decotrain.de> wrote:
> Am 21.09.2014 11:08, schrieb Vincent Cheng:
>> Hi Karsten,
>> Fix your smtp server so that it stops timing out.
> The DSL was burned after a lightning bolt abd the server not reachable.
>>> So i installed
>>> # aptitude install nvidia-glx-legacy-173xx nvidia-kernel-dkms
>> No, just install nvidia-glx-legacy-173xx (as suggested by
>> nvidia-detect); its dependencies will ensure that you have a working
>> nvidia 173.xx driver installed. Installing nvidia-kernel-dkms on
>> wheezy will actually pull in the default 304.xx driver series, which
>> is obviously not what you want. If you take a look at the log file you
>> attached in your followup message...
>> [    42.428] (II) NVIDIA GLX Module  304.117  Tue Nov 26 21:45:09 PST 2013
>> [    42.445] (WW) NVIDIA(0): The NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 GPU installed
>> in this system is
>> [    42.445] (WW) NVIDIA(0):     supported through the NVIDIA
>> 173.14.xx Legacy drivers.
>> [    42.445] (WW) NVIDIA(0):     Please visit
>> http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html for
>> [    42.445] (WW) NVIDIA(0):     more information.  The 304.117 NVIDIA
>> driver will ignore
>> [    42.445] (WW) NVIDIA(0):     this GPU.  Continuing probe...
>> [    42.445] (EE) No devices detected.
>> It's no surprise that X won't load, given that you're trying to use
>> the nvidia 304.xx driver series with hardware that doesn't support it.
> O.K. - but why the 304.117 driver is installed when i install dkms?
> It would be better that there is a dependency that announces a conflict when
> i want to have a 173xx driver.

Assuming you're just an uninformed user with no idea what dkms is and
just want a working X server + nvidia driver...why would you care to
install nvidia-kernel-dkms? All you would reasonably be expected to do
is to run nvidia-detect and install whatever package it told you to
install. Or if you were a new user with no knowledge of nvidia-detect,
you would instead google for "nvidia debian" or similar, hit this wiki
page [1] as your first search result, and then proceed to install the
correct package.

To answer your question, the nvidia binary packages that are
unversioned refer to the current mainline driver packaged at the time;
only the legacy packages get renamed. So e.g. currently in sid,
nvidia-kernel-dkms will pull in the 340.xx series; if you wanted to
install an older, legacy driver, e.g. the 304.xx series, install
nvidia-legacy-304xx-kernel-dkms (or better yet, install the
nvidia-legacy-304xx-driver metapackage and let it resolve dependencies
for you).

AFAIK this naming scheme was adopted to ensure that the different
driver series are co-installable with one another (so that you could
switch at runtime if desired, rather than having to
uninstall/reinstall packages).

> As i have written nouveau failed because it does not support this hardware.
> But the nouveau driver from Knoppix is doing it.

Probably because Knoppix is using a newer kernel?

> Experiments with new kernels in an stable working environment is causing
> more problems than solving it.
> Then you have X but you loose sound or some interface hardware ...

File bug reports against the kernel for specific issues. Also, you
seem to have no issues using Knoppix (which AFAIK packages newer
kernels than what is typically found in Debian stable...).


[1] https://wiki.debian.org/NvidiaGraphicsDrivers

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