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Thread: 12.04: How to install nVidia drivers that works?

  1. #1
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    12.04: How to install nVidia drivers that works?

    A default 'clean' install of 12.04 does not appear to install a video driver which will fully exploit my (old) nVidia card (Geforce FX5200). Under 11.10 I was able to install an Ubuntu recommended driver version 173, which also gave me access to nVidia Xerver settings applet. Under 12.04 I don't have those functions.

    I am asking how to install an updated driver - proprietary if necessary - that will make better use of the card and give me an nVidia Xserver settings applet, in a way that really works.

    This is the seond install of 12.04 in 12 hours. I abandoned the first after following advice available via Google on adding ppas which would pick up the latest nVidia drivers. The result was a progressive descent into chaos. For example the 'Additional Drivers' applet told me that I had a'current version' driver installed (but what version ?), that it was activated but not in use (!) and the only option I had was to remove it.

    So, how do I get to driver version 173, with post-release updates included, under 12.04 (the process apears to be different to 11.10)?
    "Theorem: We live in an age of imbecility.
    Proof: Politicians, Civil Servants. Bankers"

  2. #2
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    Re: 12.04: How to install nVidia drivers that works?

    Hi!, XEtedBear,

    There is an updated 173 driver v34, suitable for the FX5xxx series video cards, available from nvidia downloads.

    That is the good news.

    The bad news is that it is not compatible with the Xorg server that comes with 12.04.

    I believe it is possible to replace the 12.04 version with an earlier one that is OK with 173, but I have no idea how.

    Perhaps you can find out with Google or on nvidia's NVNews FAQ pages.

    Chao!, bogan.
    "Better Solutions may bring Worsened Problems": After Lao Tse, b. circa 405BC. a contemporary of Confucius, who died circa 600BC.
    They did things differently in those days, apparently!!

  3. #3
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    Re: 12.04: How to install nVidia drivers that works?

    Quote Originally Posted by bogan View Post
    Hi!, XEtedBear,

    There is an updated 173 driver v34, suitable for the FX5xxx series video cards, available from nvidia downloads.

    That is the good news.

    The bad news is that it is not compatible with the Xorg server that comes with 12.04.
    This news comes as some surprise to me: at last someone who tells me the truth!

    I see all these Google discovered sites telling me how easy it is to install the latest nVidia drivers - but they never tell me the process is tremendously fragile and dependnecy-laden. And I see no warnings prominantly displayed on the nVidia downloads page.

    So thanks for your advice; I'll stop trying (successfully,thus far) to shoot myself so much in the foot: I'll see if nVidia tech. support can do it for me instead....
    "Theorem: We live in an age of imbecility.
    Proof: Politicians, Civil Servants. Bankers"

  4. #4
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    Talking Re: 12.04: How to install nVidia drivers that works?

    I guess it's your lucky day, because I'm going to give you the solution!
    I had exactly the same problem and had been searching and trying different approaches until I've found this post (post #15) in the french ubuntu forum. I don't really understand french but the instructions were straight forward and easy to understand, so I'm going to detail them here below

    As bogan said, and he was right, the only way to make the nvidia 173 drivers to work is by downgrading the xorg-xserver, so this is what we're going to do

    Create /etc/apt/sources.list.d/oneiric.list and add the oneiric repo
    (You can copy/paste the text of the following entirely on a terminal
    Code:
    sudo cat >/etc/apt/sources.list.d/oneiric.list <<EOF
    
    deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu oneiric main
    deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu oneiric main
    
    EOF
    You will need also to perform a "pinning" so the xserver-xorg will be chosen and kept to be the older version and not the latest.

    Create a new file in /etc/apt/preferences.d/

    Code:
    cat > /etc/apt/preferences.d/xorg-xerver-pin-1050 <<EOF
    Package: xorg xserver-xorg*
    Pin: release a=oneiric
    Pin-Priority: 1050
    Then run
    Code:
    sudo apt-get update & sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
    This will warn you it's going to downgrade a lot of "xorg" related packages, that's exactly what we need

    The next step in the post says to do
    Code:
    apt-get install nvidia-173
    which I did but didn't really help me, so I opted for trying to use the official latest nvidia driver which I downloaded from here

    Once downloaded, you need to stop the GUI, so get to the terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1 login with your user and stop the xserver with
    Code:
    sudo service lightdm stop
    Go to the place where you saved it (most probably in your home downloads folder)
    Code:
    cd ~/Downloads
    and run the following
    Code:
    sudo chmod +x NVIDIA-Linux-x86-173.14.31-pkg1.run & sudo ./!$
    Follow the onscreen instructions, mostly "yes" to all and once it finishes reboot the computer.
    Voila! You're now using the nvidia driver with full 3D support!
    If you want to configure other settings, you can use the nvidia-settings application that you have now installed.
    If you change something and want to save it, you'll have to run it as root, so you better fire it up by pressing Alt+F2 and on the command type "gksu nvidia-settings"

    This worked for me, and I hope this will help many others.
    It can also work for some other legacy NVIDIA cards as well, but YMMV...
    Last edited by zivley; May 25th, 2012 at 06:47 PM. Reason: finished adding the remaining missing steps

  5. #5
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    Re: 12.04: How to install nVidia drivers that works?

    Actually it is the older versions of driver 173 (vers 30,31) that are not compatible with the new Xorg version in 12.04. The newest (pre-release) Nvidia driver 173.14.34 IS compatible with Ubuntu 12.04, but unfortunately the 32-bit version of the driver has a bug that doesn't allow the 'glx'. module to be loaded. The 64-bit version of 173.14.34 seems to be okay. I would expect the 32-bit version to be fixed fairly quickly.

    Here's some Nvidia forum threads on this subject:
    http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=181386

    http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=179489

  6. #6
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    Re: 12.04: How to install nVidia drivers that works?

    Hi!, zivley.

    You Posted :
    I opted for trying to use the official latest nvidia driver which I downloaded from here
    But that, and your later install commands refer to the 173.14-31 version, whilst the latest is 173.14-34 and is the Post-release version supposed to correct some bugs, as haresear pointed out.

    For those who do not know, to "stop the GUI" the command in a terminal required is:
    Code:
    sudo service lightdm stop
    You will get a black screen with some text, but if there is no log-in prompt, press 'Ctrl+Alt+F1' to get one, log-in, enter your password and press 'Enter', then run the commands listed.

    Looking forward to the 'Pinning' code.

    Chao!, bogan.
    "Better Solutions may bring Worsened Problems": After Lao Tse, b. circa 405BC. a contemporary of Confucius, who died circa 600BC.
    They did things differently in those days, apparently!!

  7. #7
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    Re: 12.04: How to install nVidia drivers that works?

    Yeah, I've forgot to point out stopping the lightdm, thanks @bogan for the clarification, I'll add it to the post too
    BTW, the "pinning" code was added to my original post

    @haresear, thanks for the info, I didn't know about it, anyway, so far, I've got this working, so I guess it will remain the same until they fix the bug for 32 bit.

    I've also forgot to mention the link for the NVIDIA driver is only for the 32bit version, so if you have 64bit you'll have to look for the proper driver...

    If there's something not clear enough about my howto, please let me know and I'll be happy to explain and help as much as I can
    Last edited by zivley; May 25th, 2012 at 06:48 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: 12.04: How to install nVidia drivers that works?

    Quote Originally Posted by bogan View Post
    "Better Solutions may bring Worsened Problems": After Lao Tse, b. circa 405BC. a contemporary of Confucius. Died:circa 600BC.
    They did things differently in those days, apparently!! .
    They most certainly must have: 'contemporary' but died 150 years apart. Hmmmm.... btw, on behalf of a close friend, whose mother is a Kong and whose father is a Meng (so some pretty smart genes in that corner of the pool), shouldn't it be Kong Fuzi, if you are also using the (correct) name Lao Tse?

    OH, hang on a minute; that's off topic. I mean to say the latest driver that the nVidia site finds for me is 14-31, not 14-34, so how did you find this later 'latest' version?
    "Theorem: We live in an age of imbecility.
    Proof: Politicians, Civil Servants. Bankers"

  9. #9
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    Re: 12.04: How to install nVidia drivers that works?

    Quote Originally Posted by zivley View Post
    If there's something not clear enough about my howto, please let me know and I'll be happy to explain and help as much as I can
    Hi Zivley,
    I have to say thanks for thedetail you have given in the how to - it also recognises that there is a time aspect to most 'HowTos' - what worked when the author wrote it almost certainly doesn't by the time I come to read it. And these HowTos are never updated (and never initially dated either!).

    I'm just slightly nervous that I am storing a set of future shock problems by pinning part of my installation (and a key part, at that) to a previous release of Ubuntu. What will happen if some apps (especially graphics based ones,like Scribus or Gimp) come along, assuming that my 12.04 installation is all 12.04 level?

    So, for the moment, I am considering holding my breath for a fixed 32-bit version of the NV34 chip driver from NVidia.

    Just to extend my question a little: I was seeking to make this transition to the proprietary driver in part because I want to install the latest Gnome Shell - 3.4 I think (I'm a dis-unity man). Is my assumption - that I need an updated driver to fully exploit the new Gnome Shell - valid? I ask this beacuse my first attempt to install that Shell results in a totally corrupt screen when I log out of Unity into Gnome.
    "Theorem: We live in an age of imbecility.
    Proof: Politicians, Civil Servants. Bankers"

  10. #10
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    Re: 12.04: How to install nVidia drivers that works?

    Quote Originally Posted by haresear View Post
    I would expect the 32-bit version to be fixed fairly quickly.

    Here's some Nvidia forum threads on this subject:
    http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=181386

    http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=179489
    Thanks for the clarification; on reading in the threads you pointed us to, I see:

    "Unless you can upgrade to a 64-bit release or live without GLX, yeah. Sorry" in answer to the question "do we have to wait for another driver release?"

    Now, that sounds slightly longer than a period characterised by 'holding my breath' - I think this says 'months', not 'days'. So I have to ask what is the implication of "live without GLX'. I have no idea what this means. Any advice?
    "Theorem: We live in an age of imbecility.
    Proof: Politicians, Civil Servants. Bankers"

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