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Old 07-03-2005, 08:54 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2005
Location: orange county california
Distribution: linspire 4.5
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Installing Nvidia drivers

ok.... i just got this linspire 4.5 os.... and im not really good with linux.... in fact i suck at it. so i need somebodys knowledge to help me out.

now when i try to install my nvidia display drivers i get "you appear to be running an x server; please exit before installing"

now, i need to figure out how to disable or shut off the x server so i can install the nvidia driver set ( any help would be greatly appreciated


Last edited by ocstoner714; 07-03-2005 at 10:37 PM.
Old 07-03-2005, 11:17 PM   #2
Bruce Hill
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Registered: Jun 2003
Location: McCalla, AL, USA
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Welcome to LQ!

I don't know how Linspire works, but I think you should be able to
use some menu button to logout of the X server. If not, close any apps
you have open, and then hit Ctrl+Alt+Bkspace and that should get
you to a virtual terminal. Login as root, cd /directory/with/NVIDIA-blah
and then issue "sh"

There are specific instructions on the Nvidia website in a file called
README-text or something to that effect...where you d/l the driver.

Don't forget, Google is your friend.
Old 07-04-2005, 10:21 AM   #3
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Arlington Heights, IL USA
Distribution: Fedora Core 1 & WinXP Pro & Gentoo 1.4 & Arch Linux
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The easiest way I have found to quit the X server in order to install the Nvidia driver is to reboot and when the grub screen comes up select "Diagnostics" which will boot you to a command line without the X server running.

From there you can log in as root and cd to the directory where the driver file is and then run the file using sh NVIDIA.....
Old 07-04-2005, 12:03 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2005
Distribution: slackware, knoppix
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Post basic nvidia setup

Beware that you'll have to leave the newbie-feel-safe desktop environment and do things in console mode. This is because your X-server (the service that provides your desktop) has to be restarted using the new drivers.
You'll make changes to ensure that your window environment will from now on restart using the nvidia drivers. If you mess up you may not be able to return to your desktop until tour changes have been corrected.

open in your favorite text editor "/etc/X11/xorg.conf". Read the nvidia documentation concerning the changes that should be made in the xorg.conf file: "driver nvidia" and something about dri. In here you'll also be able to set the wheel of your mouse and right monitor settings among other things if you want to. Just read the comments supplied in the file. You'll need the monitor documentation to know your horizontal and vertical refresh rates and a correct size of your desktop. WARNING: don't go trying some refresh rates. You may blow up your monitor.
save your file in your home directory. (you won't be able to overwrite the old file yet). ensure you know the path where this file is located and the downloaded nvidia driver.
open a console and type:
password: <rootpassword>
mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf_old
cp /home/[USERNAME]/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf
in order to install the driver you'll have to exit your window system. safe all your changed documents now. then:
init 3.
login: root
password: <rootpassword>
bash /path/to/your/
They'll guide you through the installation. If they complain that the driver is incompatible with an installed driver (NOT an module) then revert (see below). You'll have to recompile your kernel in that case. That will require some knowledge of your computers intestines however.

Return to your window system:
init 4 or init 5 to return to your window system (depending on your distribution). If your screen doesn't return you can revert

hit ctrl+alt+F1, ctrl+alt+F2, ctrl+alt+F3, ... until a console where you can login returns. type
init 3
mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf_old /etc/X11/xorg.conf
now try to return to your window system as described. That should work.

Last edited by picobyte; 07-04-2005 at 12:19 PM.


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