Finally got the blessed thing working, primarily based on the link in my last post to the Ubuntu nVidia Manual.
Also went thru the 'Installing the nVidia Driver', 'Frequently Asked Questions', 'Common Problems' pages in the nVidia driver README pages at the following link:
Thought I'll put this down for the benefit of any noob like me who has not installed stuff outside of the repositories.
This should work for anyone who
- Uses the standard Ubuntu 8.04 desktop 32-bit release (full updated with all updates)
- Is installing a new nVidia GeForce 200/ 300/ 400 series card (although I have done it on GT 240)
- Doesn't have any proprietary nVidia drivers already installed (if so you would need to uninstall them first)
- Really works best if you have another desktop/ laptop. Use it to open the Ubuntu nVidia Manual and all the relevant pages from the nVidia driver README pages described above.
- If you have only one internet connection connect this to the computer you need to install your nVidia drivers on
- Read thru the Ubuntu nVidia Manual once. The 'Appendix I. Tips for New Linux Users' in the nVidia README is also helpful if you're new to Linux
- Download the nVidia driver appropriate for you from the links provided in the Ubuntu nVidia Manual.
I used the latest one 256.44 for 32-bit Linux
Use 'chmod' to make the downloaded file an executable as described in the Ubuntu nVidia Manual
- Just follow the steps outlined in the Ubuntu nVidia Manual, I'll only highlight the options/ additional stuff I did
- Backup you xorg.conf file, making the backup file name a little more obvious
- Install the build-essentials package.
sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.prenvidiadrivers.bak
The command as given in the Ubuntu nVidia Manual doesn't work exactly like that
You need to first run 'uname -r' from the prompt (to print the kernel release) and then copy-paste the output of that to replace the 'uname -r' at the end of the command given in the manual, like so
This might seem bleeding obvious but was a little confusing for me
sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-2.6.24-19-generic
Depending on what you already have installed on your system this should download all the necessary build-essentials
- I skipped the next part about installing the linux-source packages
- Remove any conflicting packages
The first instruction, to remove 'nvidia-glx, nvidia-glx-legacy, nvidia-glx-new and nvidia-settings' can be done by opening System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager and searching for packages with 'nvidia' in their name
Uninstall any 'nvidia-glx, nvidia-glx-legacy, nvidia-glx-new and nvidia-settings' packages, or packages starting with these names if already installed (The square to the left of the package name would be filled in if installed)
Do not uninstall 'nvidia-kernel-common'or packages starting with 'linux-restricted-modules'
- Restrict other modules from loading.
It seems this is required as these drivers are part of the kernel or other essential packages and so can't be uninstalled
While the Ubuntu nVidia Manual doesn't say this, I always backup any system config files before editing them, in this case using
- Edit the existing xorg.conf
sudo cp /etc/default/linux-restricted-modules-common /etc/default/linux-restricted-modules-common.prenvidiadrivers.bak
I skipped this step as the manual says its not required for Hardy and the nVidia driver installer does this for you anyway towards the end
- Installing the drivers
The nVidia driver README says that doing this after shutting down the X server isn't enough because some OpenGL programs may still be running. They recommend placing the system in a lower run level which uses only the terminal. Since I have no idea how this is done, I just settled for a reboot, after which I didn't start any applications (NB: 'Recovery Mode' didn't work as networking is disabled in this mode)
Move to the terminal mode and stop the X server as described in the manual (just above 'Install the Driver')
Before running the installer, I think its better to verify that it was downloaded correctly. While the installer does this on starting I felt it is safer to do this first
Assuming this is fine run the installer
sudo sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-256.44.run --check
- You first need to Accept the terms and conditions (use the arrow keys to move around)
- The installer will then check for conflicting software and install the drivers
- At the end it will ask you whether you want it to reconfigure your X server configuration ("Would you like to run nvidia-xconfig"), choose 'Yes'
- And you should be done unless you have any errors
Now startup the X server (using the command in the Ubuntu nVidia Manual just above 'Configure') and you should be in with a full res high colour desktop
- I didn't need to run NVIDIA X Server Settings or update /etc/modules to load the nVidia driver on boot as mentioned in the Ubuntu nVidia Manual
Presumably this is done if you choose 'Yes' in the installer when asked whether you want the installer to configure X for you
- A few more things I noticed while testing out various aspects
- Run a video using Movie Player, the colours may be off if you had changed the default settings due to your earlier graphics. Go to Preferences -> Video in Movie Player and reset the Hue/ Saturation/ Contrast values to default via the button there
- If you have a separate 'normal user' login like me you will need to reset the screen resolution (via System -> Preferences) and colours (as described above) after logging in as that user
- I tried running a few simultaneous videos and Open GL games and worked perfectly in separate windows on the desktop. OpenArena (full screen) could be run in higher res and detail than before. And it was very smooth, reporting fps of 60+ at all times
- One glitch observed on setting the desktop effects (System -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Visual Effects) to High
While you can set this and close the dialog properly, within a few seconds or when you attempt to open the first window the system will hang and will require a hard reset and re-boot
But post re-boot all the effects work properly