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Old 01-20-2007, 12:18 PM   #1
DebianDummy
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Unhappy Stuggling to get debian sarge to start up a GUI


Hello,

I am trying out Linux for he first time and I am also having a nightmare (me and Linux are off to a bad start)

Why is it the most impossible thing to install?

Anyway, I have debian sarge and i recently did a network install, selecting all components.

I have got it running as far as a shell command line interface but obviously want to get a GNOME desktop or something similar

I tried the command "startx" but i get the error

(EE) cannot detect any devices
no screens to display

I'm guessing my video card is not setup correctly, i have an nVidia GeForce 6800GT. If i need to get drivers for it -> i have no idea what to do only using the command line.

Please help

any response immensly appreciated
 
Old 01-20-2007, 12:36 PM   #2
rickh
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You could try running dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86, and try using the nv or vesa drivers.

OTOH, you could do it right and start over installing Etch instead of Sarge. Sarge (Stable) is for servers and workstations in a production environment ... not for your home desktop.
 
Old 01-20-2007, 12:49 PM   #3
JimBass
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There are drivers available for your card, and you can get a look at them at http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html

You didn't mention what hardware (specifically what type of processor) you have, or we could give you an exact link. You can download from the command line with a command called wget. For example if you have some type of pentium 3 or 4 (not 64 bit and not dual core), you could type
Code:
wget http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86/1.0-9746/NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-9746-pkg1.run
Which would download the driver into whatever directory you are in when you begin the download.

As rickh said however, you should not be running sarge. Sarge is set to be retired asap, so move up to etch. Also, etch comes with xorg, which the driver will try to modify to give you better settings, and I don't know if they still include the code to modify the xfree display system, as only debian sarge (which again is due to be retired a month ago) still uses.

You can accomplish the update without reinstalling however!
Become root at a command line, edit the file /etc/apt/sources.list and change everything that says sarge or stable with testing. Then save the file, update, then dist upgrade - like this -
Code:
su 
(it will have you type in your root password)
vim (or gedit, or kate, etc) /etc/apt/sources.list
change anything that says "sarge or stable" to "testing".
apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade
Maybe 30 minutes later (if you have high speed) it will download all the updates, configure and install them. Then we'll work on getting the nvidia installer going for you.

Peace,
JimBass
 
Old 01-20-2007, 12:49 PM   #4
DebianDummy
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Thanks for that

will try those ideas

I am a developer believe it or not, bu have only used windows up until this point. So should i be using etch or sarge?
 
Old 01-20-2007, 12:53 PM   #5
DebianDummy
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Thanks JimBass

good to get a post from someone who knows what they are on with!

I have an AMD 64 Athlon and an nVidia GeForce 6800GT

What would i need to do differently to download that driver if i have a 64bit system?

Thanks in advance
 
Old 01-20-2007, 12:56 PM   #6
DebianDummy
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Cancel the last question!

i need to get different drivers for my 64 bit processor - i get it!

Will let you know the results
 
Old 01-20-2007, 02:08 PM   #7
JimBass
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But just because you have a 64 bit processor does NOT mean you have a 64 bit OS! In face, since you installed sarge, I know for a fact you DON'T have a 64 bit OS! The 64 bit version of Debian starts with etch, not sarge. Do this
Code:
uname -r
Unless it says something ending in amd64, it isn't a 64 bit kernel, therefore not a 64 bit OS.

Do not try to install the 64 bit driver, it will fail.

If you want to get your Debian and kernel up to 64 bit, you need to install this OS - http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/da...64-netinst.iso

But be advised, 64 bit OS is still under heavy development. They have no flashplayer for64 bit, java gets a little tricky, but not impossible. In short, it depends what you want to do with it. If you use it as a desktop machine, I suggest sticking with 32 bit for now.

Peace,
JimBass
 
Old 01-20-2007, 02:21 PM   #8
DebianDummy
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Righto

So i have a 64bit processor, but because sarge is installed i am running a 32 bit system... kk. I updated the file mentioned earlier so that anything sarge or stable now reads testing. Stuff appears to be downloading, it estimates over 2 hours so ill watch some snooker.

I am presuming this will upgrade me to a 32bit version of debian etch.

So gathering from what you just said (please correct me if i am wrong) with a 64bit processor and a 32bit OS i need to get the 32bit driver for my Gcard (i guess thats what i would have used in windows)#

Ok thanks forthe help so far, will be back on in 3 hours struggling with my Gcard drivers no doubt.

 
Old 01-20-2007, 02:41 PM   #9
JimBass
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Yes, after the upgrade completes, you'll have a 32 bit version of debian. You would want the 32 bit driver, which is the very first one. It will be a very similar situation to what you had in windows, a 32 bit OS on a 64 bit processor. That doesn't effect the processing much, it is just memory space. A 64 processor can take 64 bit chunks of data, which it won't get in a 32 bit OS.

Write back when the update completes. You'll probably have to reboot to get the new kernel running, then we'll grab the kernel headers and sources, and install the nvidia driver.

Peace,
JimBass
 
Old 01-21-2007, 08:17 AM   #10
DebianDummy
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Some Progress

Hello,

I have succesfully downloaded all files required to upgrade to etch.
I have rebooted my machine and recieved a "xstart unsucessful" message so I am now back to the GCard problem.

I just used wget to download the correct driver for my card (the 32bit version )

I was having a perooze around the nvidia website and there was a link reading "please read this guide before installiing this driver"

So i clicked the link and was scared off by a 1000 pages of double dutch. However the top of the page read :

Quote:
The nvidia installer does not work as long as a Xserver is still
running and the nvidia kernel module is still loaded. Therefore
please boot into runlevel 3 by specifying "3" as kernel boot
option or switch to runlevel 3 ("init 3") and unload the kernel
module ("rmmod nvidia") before running the nvidia installer.
I'm scared to try anything, what should i do next?

Thanks again
 
Old 01-21-2007, 10:38 AM   #11
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DebianDummy
Hello,

I have succesfully downloaded all files required to upgrade to etch.
I have rebooted my machine and recieved a "xstart unsucessful" message so I am now back to the GCard problem.

I just used wget to download the correct driver for my card (the 32bit version )

I was having a perooze around the nvidia website and there was a link reading "please read this guide before installiing this driver"

So i clicked the link and was scared off by a 1000 pages of double dutch. However the top of the page read :



I'm scared to try anything, what should i do next?

Thanks again
What that means is that it won't install with the X server (graphical interface) running.

To get round that, you would open a terminal window (or if you're just getting a command line interface) you either need to log in as root or do the
Code:
su -
command, which then asks for the root password, then hit enter. Once thats done (shown by the prompt changing from $ to #) if you know what the package is called you can just do
Code:
apt-get install <packagename>
or if you're not sure about what it's called, or if it's available from the repositories you have set, you can do
Code:
apt-cache search nvidia
which will give you the names of the packages available for you to do the "apt-get install packagename" bit.

Once you know the name of the package(s) that you need to install - if you are in graphic interface, then you'd need to (as root) do
Code:
init 3
which would put you into a CLI login situation - if you're already in the CLI situation, then init 3 will just make sure that you have not background graphics processes running - you're then free to do the (I'm guessing)
Code:
apt-get install nvidia-kernel-source
and
Code:
apt-get install nvidia-glx
What I would suggest though, is that you checked out Sidux (the distro that I'm using now). It's based on pure debian SID. I think I'm right in saying that you'd just have to run h2's script - as long as you have a working net connection it does everything in a Q & A format, including installing the latest kernel, and at the end of the process, the nvidia driver (it gives you a choice of which nvidia driver too install - I have to use the default one as I have a Geforce 4 MX420).

I'm not a technical person, but if I can manage it, then I think you'd find it quite an easy process - their forums are good and if you "fire up" their IRC channel you can usually get a quick answer from one of the knowledgeable types who are developing it (just looked at the IRC list and, for example, slam and slh are both logged in - slam is one of their website admins and slh does most? of the kernel stuff - AFAIK they are all ex-kanotix developers - which is another story).

regards

bigjohn
 
Old 01-21-2007, 12:52 PM   #12
DebianDummy
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Ok so i looked at nVidias website and the next step according to them is to run the command

sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-9746-pkg1.run

which runs an interface that should take you through a step by step process to get my graphics card driver working.

I run the instruction and got the following:

Quote:
No precompiled interface was found to match your kernel; would you like the installer to attempt to download a kernal interface for your kernel from the nvidia ftp site ftp.nvidia.com
so i selected yes even though im not sure what that means
and then i get:

Quote:
No matching precompiled kernel interface was found on the NVIDIA ftp site; this means that the instaler will need to compile a kernel interface for your kernel
only choice is ok so i choose it (again i didnt understant what that last message meant)

then:
Quote:
The CC version check failed:

you appear to be compiling the NVIDIA kernel module with a different compiler than the one that was used to compile the running kernel. This may be fine, but there are cases where this can lead to instabillity. The compiler used to compile the kernel was gcc 3.3; the current compiler is gcc 4.1

If you know what you are doing and want to ignore the gcc version check, select "No" to continue the installation. Otherwise select "yes" to abort installation, set the CC environment variable to the name of the compiler used to compile your kernel, and restart installation. Abort now?
what the hell! might aswell carry on so i select No

followed by:
Quote:
ERROR: Unable to find the kernel source tree fo rthe currently running kernel. Please make sure you have installed the kernel source files for your kernel and that they are properly configured; on Red Hat Linux systems, for example, be sure you have the kernel source or kernel devel RPM installed. If you know the correct kernel source files are installed, you may specify the kernel source path with the '--kernel-source-path commad line option
sounds great!

I really have no idea what to do and seem to be feeling more and more thick, can anyone kindly suggest a solution for me as diving out of my window and splattering myself all over the floor seems to be a reasonable idea right now!

Thanks in advance.
 
Old 01-21-2007, 01:22 PM   #13
JimBass
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It sounds like you haven't rebooted since doing the upgrade. You have gcc 4.1, and 3.3 was probably used to compile the old sarge kernel you were running. Please reboot, and then when you get debian back up, post the results of the command "uname -r" without quotes. We may need to install (through apt-get) a new kernel with full sources, largely to get one made with the newest gcc compiler.

Peace,
JimBass
 
Old 01-21-2007, 01:24 PM   #14
DebianDummy
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i have deifnately rebooted since upgrading

uname -r gives output

2.4.27-3-386

whats the next logical step?

I'm off out for T but will be back later, thanks again (i owe you a few beers already )
 
Old 01-21-2007, 01:37 PM   #15
JimBass
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2.4.27 is the old sarge kernel, so we need to get you upgraded. I'm a bit surprised that doing the dist-upgrade didn't grab you a new kernel, but whatever.

I use unstable, and the newest full kernel available at present is linux-image-2.6.18-3-686. See if you can get apt-get to install that, with the command
Code:
apt-get install linux-image-2.6.18-3-686
If that fails, use apt-cache search linux-image to see what kernels are available to you, grab the one with the highest numbers. We may need to get you headers for it as well, I'm not sure. In any case, once the kernel installs, reboot, check uname -r again, and you'll be using a recent kernel compiles with GCC 4.1, and we'll get the nvidia driver installed.

Peace,
JimBass
 
  


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