Why would a nVidia video drivers kill off terminals under X? Works for Ubuntu 6.06 fails on 7.10

Forum: LXer Meta ForumTotal Replies: 6
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Jul 15, 2008
4:47 PM EDT
As long as I am using a single monitor on 7.10 without the nVidia driver I have absolutely no problem. It also works on Ubuntu 6.06 Desktop, with the same dual screen setup on 7.10 it fails to bring up the terminals. They start, but never go live. On an earlier installation, I backed off the dual monitors and I could see the outline, but they were unusable. That is, no prompt and no borders or menu, just a dead, white rectangular box.

I thought I had used a too recent version of the driver so I backed down to the same one I used on the 6.06, i.e. nvidia-glx-legacy but still cannot get any terminal to showup on the desktop. They attempt to start but die. In both instances I loaded another version of the terminal and those too failed.

Any ideas?

Jul 15, 2008
11:30 PM EDT
Does the FOSS "nv" driver work? If so, it's a problem with the nvidia binary blob and you're on your own.

If "nv" does work, you might want to take nouveau for a spin. Insert standard warning about alpha software here, but you may get lucky.

Jul 16, 2008
4:01 AM EDT
I agree that at first sight it appears to be an nVidia driver problem, however, why have I had no problem with the same driver on 6.06 and the same xorg.conf file that I imported to make the dual monitors work on 7.10?

I have a hunch 7.10 is screwed up other ways than just being a video driver problem. I will, however, see if the nv driver can support dual monitors on 7.10. On 6.06, i had no choice.

Jul 16, 2008
4:46 AM EDT
Tried nv driver, really bad with the wrong resolutions. Only GUI given to set the configuration and it comes out both with too low resolutions and cloned screens. So I will try nouveau, but I think I want to move away from 7.10 to see if it might be a bit better on 8.04, which was my intended goal.

Oh, yes both terminals now work, hence, there is some strange interaction with the nVidia driver. When I slap together another unit I will look at an ATI card. I already use AMD CPUs, even though Intel is superior in some respects.

Jul 16, 2008
4:52 AM EDT
One other possibility is that you're inadvertently using the old binary blob with a new wrapper (you know that the nvidia-glx drivers are a binary blob in a GPL wrapper, don't you?). That won't work. I suggest that you remove/uninstall all nvidia binary blobs and use the "nv" or even "vesa" driver. Don't worry about wrong resolutions etcetera. Then upgrade to 8.04 and from there, install nvidia-glx again fresh.

Jul 16, 2008
2:51 PM EDT

I mentioned the resolution, because it's way off. I had sent over a xorg.conf file with the proper setup for a single monitor so I was surprised it reset itself incorrectly. Other advice on how good a system detector this version had and how much is no longer needed in the xorg.conf file has left me highly skeptical.

Note, the terminal (or as some call them console) windows were working. So even if the nVidia driver was still affecting other things what I needed to work was recovered by using the free nv driver.

I thought I would try the nouveau driver, however, reading the instructions and my copy of the sources list made me dubious that I would find it. I did a bit of experimenting looking for it as part of the add/remove software option. Then I read more about the point you made about cleaning out the crud the nVidia driver might introduce. Not understanding fully what was to be done, I passed on the option and tried an distribution upgrade to 8.04. It nearly finished, but after waiting and seeing a dead icon that said, "cannot find data" I pulled the plug.

That's enough wasted time for one day. I will try a fresh installation, directly into 8.04 to see what I get.

Thanks for taking the time to give me some advice on this problem.


Jul 16, 2008
8:15 PM EDT
Quoting:I was surprised it reset itself incorrectly
When you installed the nVidia driver, did you run the xorg.conf configuration option at the very end? My advice is not to; if your xorg.conf is already working, don't mess around with it except to change it to the new nvidia driver.

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