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Postby buttons » Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:06 pm

I haven't used linux in several years, and having decided linux mint was something interesting to try, I popped in the live cd. Since nothing is ever easy, it crashed immediately after booting X. "Safe mode" simply crashed earlier.

Relevant Specs:
AMD Athlon X2
NVIDIA Geforce 7800GT

The reason is, of course, a driver issue. The xorg "nv" driver is nice and free and all, but this is mint and we use it because our morals have limits. You must have the closed-source nvidia driver to get the livecd to boot.

Start by booting up your computer with the mint 2.1 cd. Make sure the first line is highlighted, then press F6 for more options. Delete "splash --" from the line. This will remove the splash screen which sometimes crashes before X does. Press enter to boot.

Keep your fingers on Ctrl-Alt-F2 (change terminal to #2). When the screen blanks for X start, hit it. When it blanks again, hit it again. If it's still fighting to tear your eyes away from the prompt, hit it again. You should now be at a terminal. In a moment, you'll probably hear the startup noise. This is because that, without you actually looking at it, X will boot nicely. Looking at the X server here will cause it to crash again, kinda like a quantum waveform.

We have to kill X now. This isn't easy (as far as I know, again I haven't been around linux in years). I killed it by doing

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sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf
and changing the Driver "nv" line to Driver "nvidia". Sure, nvidia-config will do this for us later anyway, but it felt proactive.

Now kill it violently by doing

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ps -ef |grep X
, followed by

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sudo kill <process id>
where <process id> is the number the ps command gives you. Watch it blink a few times in its death throes as it fails to start the X server. Smile with grim satisfaction.

It will give you an odd ncurses interface; tell it not to do whatever it asks. Something about the xserver modules. Just make it shut up.

Now the gold...

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sudo envy

and wait. Do you want to automagically configure X? yes. Do you want to start the xserver now? Yes! ...however it will crap with an error, so we have to start it manually, anyway.

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And then there was light. If this doesn't work, be sure you didn't look at the X server, and that you actually got rid of it before sudo envy (the nvidia driver will not install otherwise).

Hope that helps!

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Postby ctsdownloads » Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:12 pm

Clem, can we make this a sticky? :D

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Postby clem » Wed Feb 07, 2007 9:39 pm

Even better, we'll move it to the Howto Section (which eventually will get copied in the Wiki).


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