[Solved] Help me understand updating Nvidia drivers

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Kevin108
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[Solved] Help me understand updating Nvidia drivers

Post by Kevin108 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:15 am

I've done quite a bit of searching and most of the information I came across was very outdated. The newest info seemed to be at http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=86154 but I had problems at every turn following those directions. I considered posting my questions there but I'm sure I'm missing some knowledge to understand any solutions offered at that level.

The driver listed with my Mint 11 is 173. It appears the latest nVidia driver is 285. In years past, when updating Nvidia drivers in another distro, I have lost most of my fonts. Am I about to cause the same problem here?

In the link above, viking777 mentions a root terminal multiple times. My understanding is that Mint does not have a root user but instead relies on the sudo command. Is that not the case or has he taken the time to manually add a root user?
Ctl/Alt/F1 to get you into a virtual terminal
That just takes me to a black screen. The system doesn't hang as I can return to my desktop with Ctrl Alt F7 and restart with Ctrl Alt Delete. What am I missing here? Is there a better GUI tool for noobs like me?
Last edited by Kevin108 on Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by gammelsmurf1 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:35 am

And a blank screen you say? No text whatsoever?
If you type your username-ENTER-password-ENTER does it give any response?
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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by water spirit » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:37 am

I am using 285.05.09 by enabling this ppa at Ubuntu updates, I have been doing this since Mint 9 and have not experienced any problems. Just add the ppa and update.

http://www.ubuntuupdates.org/ppas/27#

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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by viking777 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:56 am

Kevin108 wrote:I've done quite a bit of searching and most of the information I came across was very outdated. The newest info seemed to be at http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=86154 but I had problems at every turn following those directions. I considered posting my questions there but I'm sure I'm missing some knowledge to understand any solutions offered at that level.

The driver listed with my Mint 11 is 173. It appears the latest nVidia driver is 285. In years past, when updating Nvidia drivers in another distro, I have lost most of my fonts. Am I about to cause the same problem here?

In the link above, viking777 mentions a root terminal multiple times. My understanding is that Mint does not have a root user but instead relies on the sudo command. Is that not the case or has he taken the time to manually add a root user?
Ctl/Alt/F1 to get you into a virtual terminal
That just takes me to a black screen. The system doesn't hang as I can return to my desktop with Ctrl Alt F7 and restart with Ctrl Alt Delete. What am I missing here? Is there a better GUI tool for noobs like me?
Mint/Ubuntu dont have a root account, but they do have a root user, all Linux systems do. If you want to use a terminal with root privileges, normally you will prefix every command with sudo, but if you are entering several commands one after the other this becomes a bit tedious so the easiest way around this is to open your normal terminal and type

Code: Select all

su
It will ask for your (user) password but unlike sudo, will retain root privileges until the terminal is closed which saves having to keep typing sudo over and again.

The fact that Ctl/Alt/F1 does not give you a login prompt is a little worrying. I will have a look into that and see if I find anything out. Have you tried Ctl/Alt/F2 instead (or any other number up to 6) the actual virtual terminal you open is irrelevant.
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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by viking777 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:16 am

There is another alternative to the virtual terminal login if you can't get one (although for me this never works??).

Open a terminal and type

Code: Select all

sudo service gdm3 stop
This assumes you are using Gnome not KDE. If you are using the latter then substitute kdm for gdm3.

Your X window should disappear and be replaced with a login prompt so you just login and continue installing your drivers. If it doesn't work just Ctl/Alt/Del to reboot.
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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by Kevin108 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:49 am

I will reply more thoroughly later but is there a bell command in the terminal so we may verify if it's just a video issue or if the terminal is failing to load?

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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by AlbertP » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:03 am

If the listed driver is 173, your graphics card is an old card which does not work with modern driver versions, and thus needs 173. Else "current version" (270 for Mint 11) is listed as well.

Installing a newer version will screw up your system if your card is not supported by it. This affects GeForce 5xxx cards and some older Quadro FX cards.
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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by Kevin108 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:32 am

My 6800 is the first on the list of "newer" cards, from what I've seen.

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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by AlbertP » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:46 am

Indeed, any GeForce 6 or newer should work with the latest drivers.

You can install nvidia-current from Software Manager to get that driver if Additional Drivers refuses to show it.
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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by Kevin108 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:19 am

gammelsmurf1 wrote:And a blank screen you say? No text whatsoever?
If you type your username-ENTER-password-ENTER does it give any response?
No, no change. I also used F2-F6 with the same results.
water spirit wrote:I am using 285.05.09 by enabling this ppa at Ubuntu updates, I have been doing this since Mint 9 and have not experienced any problems. Just add the ppa and update.

http://www.ubuntuupdates.org/ppas/27#
I'm anxious to check this out when I get home.

Thank you all for the help! I'll follow up more later tonight.

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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by AlbertP » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:31 am

Usually 270 (nvidia-current in Software Manager) will work well. When it doesn't, I recommend to add the ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates PPA as described by the link which water spirit gave. The PPA will provide an updated version of nvidia-current (you still need to install nvidia-current using Software Manager if you haven't yet done that).
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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by viking777 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:37 am

AlbertP, there is no package called nvidia-current, I think you mean nvidia-glx which is the Nvidia metapackage.
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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by AlbertP » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:38 am

nvidia-glx is a Debian package. nvidia-current is used in current Ubuntu versions. And Mint 11, which we're talking about, is Ubuntu-based.
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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by viking777 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:40 am

AlbertP wrote:nvidia-glx is a Debian package. nvidia-current is Ubuntu.
Ah! my mistake - I was looking on LMDE, no wonder I couldn't find it.
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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by Kevin108 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:20 pm

viking777 wrote:There is another alternative to the virtual terminal login if you can't get one (although for me this never works??).
Me either.

kevin@Serenity ~ $ sudo service gdm3 stop
[sudo] password for kevin:
gdm3: unrecognized service

I explored the software manager as suggested and also verified this in Additional Drivers. I do have the latest driver installed. Apparently my problem has not been with installation after all. :oops:

I apologize for the earlier misunderstanding and I am very gracious for all the help offered so far. It seems as though you guys have me almost where I need to be. According to the dialog box, the nvidia-current is activated, but not in use. Where do I go from here?

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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by truexfan81 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:03 pm

Kevin108 wrote:
viking777 wrote:There is another alternative to the virtual terminal login if you can't get one (although for me this never works??).
Me either.

kevin@Serenity ~ $ sudo service gdm3 stop
[sudo] password for kevin:
gdm3: unrecognized service

I explored the software manager as suggested and also verified this in Additional Drivers. I do have the latest driver installed. Apparently my problem has not been with installation after all. :oops:

I apologize for the earlier misunderstanding and I am very gracious for all the help offered so far. It seems as though you guys have me almost where I need to be. According to the dialog box, the nvidia-current is activated, but not in use. Where do I go from here?

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that message usually goes away after a reboot

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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by Kevin108 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:23 pm

It suggested a reboot when I switched drivers, which I did, but the message persists. :?:

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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by AlbertP » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:37 am

This message is a bug in the Additional Drivers program. You can verify with this command if the driver is in use:

Code: Select all

inxi -Gx
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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by Kevin108 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:09 am

A problem that isn't a problem isn't a problem for me. Thanks for clearing everything up for me!

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Re: Help me understand a little about updating Nvidia driver

Post by AlbertP » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:18 pm

I forgot to say, that if the command shows your graphics card as GLX Renderer, and not Gallium or Software Rasterizer, the driver is working.
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