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Thread: Nvidia drivers in Mac Mini

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Nvidia drivers in Mac Mini

    Hi! I've recently installed Ubuntu in a Mac Mini that I recieved in my work. The problem is that, when I install NVidia propietary drivers, blacklist nouveau and reboot, the grub and the logo are shown but then the monitor turns black and finds no input. As I can tell from the logs, the drivers are working correctly (no errors). I've tried vaaarious versions of them, always with the same result.

    I read somewhere that it could be a problem with BIOS/EFI, but the output:

    $ [ -d /sys/firmware/efi ] && echo "EFI boot on HDD" || echo "Legacy boot on HDD"
    EFI boot on HDD

    shows that I'm booting with EFI (what, as far a I've read, is the correct approach). Should I try booting with Legacy BIOS?
    Another (maybe) useful note is that my monitor is connected to the Thunderbolt port with a Thundebolt-HDMI cable, because I haven't got any HDMI-HDMI cable. With noveau drivers the monitor just works (I'm in the Mac right now writing this).

    Here's the output of
    $ lspci | grep VGA
    05:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation MCP89 [GeForce 320M] (rev a2)

    and the end of the xorg log when I try to boot with NVidia drivers (and left for 10 minutes with the monitor trying to find an input):

    $ tail Xorg.log
    [ 22.274] ABI class: X.Org ANSI C Emulation, version 0.4
    [ 22.274] (II) Loading sub module "ramdac"
    [ 22.274] (II) LoadModule: "ramdac"
    [ 22.274] (II) Module "ramdac" already built-in
    [ 22.274] (**) NVIDIA(0): Depth 24, (--) framebuffer bpp 32
    [ 22.274] (==) NVIDIA(0): RGB weight 888
    [ 22.274] (==) NVIDIA(0): Default visual is TrueColor
    [ 22.274] (==) NVIDIA(0): Using gamma correction (1.0, 1.0, 1.0)
    [ 22.274] (**) NVIDIA(0): Option "IgnoreDisplayDevices" "CRT"
    [ 22.274] (**) NVIDIA(0): Enabling 2D acceleration

    Thank you very much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Re: Nvidia drivers in Mac Mini

    I have a similar problem on a MacBook Air 3,2 (nvidia G320M). The solution is clearly to run in BIOS mode: the nvidia drivers don't work with EFI. I managed to switch to BIOS mode on my laptop and after that the drivers (nvidia-319) worked flawlessly. NB, after installing the drivers, you need to run sudo nvidia-xconfig before you restart.

    Setting up Ubuntu in BIOS mode can be tricky. The simplest is (apparently) to install it from a CD. (This may require pressing "alt option" at the white screen on boot and choosing the "Windows CD" option, I've read). In my case I don't have a CD drive for the laptop. I didn't find a simple solution online to switch to BIOS mode. I managed by doing an install with a bios_grub partition, running the Live usb stick again, and using Boot repair. I'm trying to redo it now but getting into trouble. Once solved I'll post.


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