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Old 08-15-2003, 09:28 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 10

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nvidia, XFree86 & strange characters

I've been trying to troubleshoot this problem for a week. I had originally had the problem under Gentoo trying to get X working. This issue doesn't occur with the 'nv' drivers, but does with the 'nvidia' drivers. My X log doesn't show any errors afaik.
I'm also at work as I write this. So please bear with me as I won't be able to post any specific files atm, and will be describing this problem entirely from memory.

The current distribution I'm using is JAMD 6b. This installed flawlessly and I was able to easily dual boot with Windows XP. The problems started under JAMD when I installed the most recent .run file from nVidia and configured /etc/X11/XF86Xonfig to use "nvidia" instead of "nv".

When I do this and try and startx, my screen is filled with odd characters in a number of different colors (mostly white and red-ish). My keyboard works (I can toggle numlock), but I end up rebooting because I can't recover from this. I was having the exact same problem trying to startx under Gentoo (using various kernels, mainly gentoo-sources and gaming-sources).

My system specs: Athlon XP 2400+, nForce2 motherboard (Epox), gf3 ti200 64M video card. In JAMD, my system is up and running fine using the nv drivers, and this only happens when I use the nvidia drivers.

I've commented out dri and made sure I'm using glx in XFConfig. I've printed out a number of threads and tried a number of fixes (including making changes to my BIOS).

This happens even after I (for verification's sake) insmod nvidia.o.

I'm installing Linux with a hobbyists heart, so I'm not exactly tearing my head out. But I do have a purpose - I want to be able to run RTCW:ET and AA under Linux!

Eventually I would like to do this under the Gentoo distro. I installed JAMD because I wanted to test with something that would install smoothly and quickly (which this did). I'm also considering seeing how Vector linux behaves (as it's based off of Slackware whereas JAMD is RH9 based).

Would downgrading my kernel from 2.4.20 to 2.4.18 help? I'd read that nVidia only released part of their drivers as open source, and the majority of it is a binary that needs to be updated with each kernel revision.

If anyone needs a cat from any of my config files, or has a thread to refer me to (I've seen all that I could find on the issue after a week of part-time troubleshooting every day) please let me know.

This is a problem with moving from the 'nv' driver to the glx enabled 'nvidia' driver. When this change is implemented in XF86Config, odd characters appear to fill my entire screen when startx is run.

Help, help!
Old 08-15-2003, 01:37 PM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 10

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I found the nVidia Linux Driver Troubleshooting Guide and noticed that I was GLcore shouldn't be being loaded (even though I verified that it wasn't in my XF86Config file) when X starts. I recall seeing in /var/log/XFree86.#.log that it was loaded as a "sub module" on my system.

So to fix this, I need to "Delete or rename libglx.a (/usr/X11R6/lib/modules/extensions)", right?

I'm going to give that a shot when I get home.


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