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Old 09-11-2002, 04:00 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2002
Posts: 14

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Linux installation...problem in X-windows...Please help...easy question...

Hi ,

Ok, me pretty new to the Linux philosophy. Here's my h/w setup......

1. AMD Athlon processor
2. Video card - NVIDIA GeForce ( can't remember the RAM but its 64MB probably )
3. Monitor : Samsung Synchmaster 753s

OS I currently have : Windows XP

I bought the Red Hat Linux 7.3 Bible. Installed the text based OS and it works fine. This I did after trying about 9 installations where I wanted the X-windows to come up too.

Here's whats going on.....
1. While installing : all hardware is correctly detected except for the Monitor ( 'unable to probe' )

2. On coming to the X-windows configuration screen, the correct card is selected and displayed ( ie NDIVIA, etc.... and the V RAM shows 32 Mb.) . I click next.

3. On the monitor configuration screen, the monitor is not displayed in the list. So I selected the Samsung Synchmaster 750. Clicked on 'Test Setting'.....and lo ! the screen went blank. The installation just stopped.

So I booted the system and tried everything again without any luck. Finally, I got the text based OS up and running.

1. I ran the Xconfigurator from the shell prompt and entered some vertical and horizontal synch values for the monitor.

2. The configurator tried probing the monitor, and again , (apparently) the OS crashed.

Whats the problem ? How can I get X-windows working. The book says ....
If the correct monitor is not displayed by the installed, goto and see the driver status document. Went there but couldn't make head or tail out of what was written.

I'm just a simple guy trying to migrate from Windows to a more powerful OS...people, help me out here.

On Windows XP, there are not problems at all, I can change to the NVIDIA driver or the Samsung driver...both work fine.

Much appreciated.


ps Please send me mail directly also , and mark a cc to
Old 09-11-2002, 07:45 AM   #2
Registered: Feb 2002
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Generic SVGA should work for you (choose it using Xconfigurator). Then you can search for a better solution. Were the values you entered taken from your monitor's manual?
Old 09-11-2002, 09:50 AM   #3
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
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You can do an "X -probeonly" or look in the /var directory somewhere (I think) for an Xfree86 log file to see what is going on. I know there have been some issues getting the NVIDIA drivers working in the past.
Old 09-11-2002, 11:12 AM   #4
Registered: Sep 2002
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If your box truly is crashing, rather than you're just becoming unable to see anything on the screen, then it seems more likely that the problem is with your graphics card - have you tried downloading the latest drivers from
Old 09-11-2002, 04:46 PM   #5
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i don't know whether this helps cause i don't have any experience with rh but sometimes little changes in
etc/X11/XF86Config-? take big effects. the setup tool in suse for example prints the inserted values for driver and vendor and so on UPPERCASE. on my box this didn't work. when i edited them manually from NVIDIA to nvidia it got going. maybe u have to load "glx" or so? u have to try out a while. try with a different monitor too.
and don't reboot when the screen keeps black. i'd try <ESC> or Ctrl-Alt-Backspace to kill x. then u should be back to xconfigurator
good luck,

Last edited by j-ray; 09-11-2002 at 04:51 PM.
Old 09-13-2002, 12:43 AM   #6
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Thanks to all . I have tried a couple of things , like selecting generic SVGA , manually entering the monitor parameters from the Monitor manual. Still no luck.

I downloaded the nvidia driver : NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0241.rh73up.athlon.rpm . First I gotta find out how to use this file.

Here are some other things I'll try ...
1. vi the XF86Config-4 file
2. Use x-probeonly and look in the /var directory for xfree86 log file
3 Try and see what can be corrected in the XF86Config-4 file

Windows XP is able to work with the NVIDIA driver and also works when I install the Samsung driver. Why is Linux so complicated ?
Old 09-13-2002, 05:16 AM   #7
Registered: Sep 2002
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You need to be really using the integrated video on an nforce motherboard for the driver filename you specified to work.

Why is Linux so complicated ?
Well, in reality there's nothing much simpler about windows. In many cases, linux provides more elegant solutions to problems than windows can. Windows is just as complicated, and messier, it just appears more simple because it hides its complexity from the users. Correspondingly, windows is less powerful and less flexible. It's also more unstable. I cannot count the number of times that a windows graphics driver has just inexplicably died, leaving my system unusable. What's more, under windows, when I want to fix it, I have no rational method - I simply have to fiddle with various options in the hope that something will cure it: because the operating system hides from me what is really going on. In linux, that is something that simply does not happen, and even if it did, I'm free to boot to a command prompt and make manual changes to my graphical configuration.

Okay, enough of the OS-philosophy. I'm not sure that XFree has integrated support for the nforce at present, so that could explain the failure of the installer to auto-configure your gui. Installing the nvidia driver (if it's the correct one for your setup) is very likely to yield progress. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions in the nvidia README - it requires you to make some manual changes to XF86Config-4. Also, monitor settings are often irritating. Be sure that you're using correct values, you should be able to get them from the manufacturer of your monitor.
Old 09-13-2002, 05:37 AM   #8
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My NVIDIA card is integrated into the motherboard. On Windows, it shows up as NVIDIA Integrated GPU....( something like that ) . During Linux installation, what shows up is NVIDIA MX ,etc.

Yup yup, I do agree that windows hides the OS from you and may be complicated per se. Guess since I'm just new to the Linux, its an OS shock. The reason for migrating is speed and performance.

The reason that I haven't yet tried the NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0241.rh73up.athlon.rpm file yet is that

1. I just got a link about what to do with RPMs !
2. I don't yet know how to mount my A: and the CD ROM !! So I haven't yet copied the RPM file onto the HD.

(Now, I'm sure you all must have been in that stage at some time ,so no laughing, alrite)
Old 09-13-2002, 05:56 AM   #9
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To mount your drive:

Your A drive is probably known as /dev/fd0

So in a command line (with the floppy in the drive) type:
mount -t filesystem /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy

You will have to already have the mount point /mnt/floppy, so:
mkdir /mnt/floppy

The filesystem would be the one you have formatted the floppy with, if you did this in winbloze, probably going to be vfat.

Now you can enter the directory:
cd /mnt/floppy
and view the files:
ls (LS lowercase)

And to install the rpm:
rpm -Ivh filename.rpm

Old 09-13-2002, 08:04 AM   #10
Registered: Sep 2002
Location: York, UK
Distribution: Debian Sid
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Just to add, installing that rpm needs to be done as root (use su -). Also, your floppy-mounting is probably preconfigured by your distribution - try just "mount /dev/fd0" or "mount /mnt/floppy". Not only are these useful because they're shorter than a full mount command, they can also be used by non-root users (although the rpm install must still be done by the superuser).

For your information, drive mounting configuration is in the file /etc/fstab - this is a table that the superuser can edit to specify who can mount which drives using what types of filesystem etc. For more info, fstab has its own manpage: "man fstab".

It's good that you're persevering - a lot of people give up with linux if they can't get a gui going - when a newcomer has to troubleshoot their system from the command line, it's kinda being thrown in the deep end :-)

Oh, and I spent years not having a clue how to mount filesystems when I only used linux occasionally.

update:Hmm. Perhaps that particular rpm isn't what you need. I just looked over the readme, and it doesn't say anything about video drivers. Perhaps the nvidia video driver package is appropriate. Still investigating this...

Last edited by Faecal; 09-13-2002 at 08:13 AM.
Old 09-13-2002, 08:25 AM   #11
Registered: Sep 2002
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Okay, so it turns out that you want the nvidia unified graphics driver. You'll probably want the nforce package sooner or later, but it makes sense to get the graphics fired up first, and that's not done with the nforce package.

Nvidia's linux graphics drivers consist of two packages. One provides the opengl/xfree86 driver, and the other is a kernel module. You require both. I've selected what I believe to be the appropriate download links.

GLX Driver

Kernel Module
That's for the unupgraded RH7.3 uniprocessor kernel, for i686. There's also a version for i386 available, and it does make a difference. Personally, I use the source tar.gz, but you'll be more comfortable with an rpm.

All this is in the nvidia readme, but I'm just laying out the essentials for you.

Installing the kernel module should be a simple case of running an "rpm -ivh" on it. This will copy the module to the appropriate location on your hard disk.

Installing the GLX driver is a little more in-depth. After installing the rpm, you need to make some changes to your XF86Config-4 file, which are detailed in nvidia's documentation.

Before installing these, it helps to have a generally functional XF86-Config-4 file, so run whichever configuration script you prefer to generate the configuration for keyboard/mouse etc, and input your monitor settings.
Old 09-13-2002, 08:34 AM   #12
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Registered: Sep 2002
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Are you using X-windows classic or that newer X-windows package ?
RH7.3 allows you to select different versions of xwindows installation.

Try that newer version of may help.

Old 10-18-2002, 11:52 PM   #13
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Hi Faecal et al,

Thanks for the time you people put in. Me finished with my exams so have time now.

I installed the RPM file. Didn't work. I readme file for NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0241.rh73up.athlon.rpm and it doesn't say
much about the video part.

I've downloaded the GLX driver and the Kernel module and about to start ....after reading the readme file.

Will post once again.

Thanks !

Old 10-19-2002, 01:45 AM   #14
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There is a thread at nVnews-linux with info on nforce boards and RH-7.3, you might want to give it a read.


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