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Old 04-03-2013, 01:46 PM   #1
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NVIDIA 304.xx driver issues on Linux Mint 14 KDE

Today I installed Linux Mint 14 KDE edition on my 5-year old rig (a Core 2 Duo E8400 with 4 GB RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce 9600GT video card). After installing the proprietary NVidia drivers from the repository (revision 304, package nvidia-current) I realized that I was unable to switch the scaling mode in non-native resolutions so that the aspect ratio is preserved. That was only the beginning of the problems though. Worse yet, when running applications (in particular, games) in non-native resolutions, e.g. under Wine, the screen commonly pans left/right/up/down revealing black areas around the actual game screen, which is commonly game-breaking (as soon as I mouse over to the screen corner the game screen moves away to reveal a black area beyond the game screen). There's no older version of the driver available in the repository, so I'm not sure if downgrading is actually a possibility - I tried installing a binary driver from NVidia website but that ended up killing my X server pretty good (didn't want to boot into KDE at all after installation) so that I had to uninstall it and reinstall this v304 from the repository again. I've looked around different forums and boards and found some proposed workarounds for the problem which involved adding some metamodes to the X.Org configuration file at /etc/X11/xorg.conf - that was supposed to fix both the aspect ratio issue and, as far as I understand, the positioning issue. However, trying those out did not do much for me - at best they made no difference whatsoever, at worst they caused me to be unable to see portions of my desktop, thus forcing me to kill kdm, remove the metamode option line from xorg.conf, then restart the kdm service to get things right.
Is there any real, actual way around this problem (e.g. make it so that non-native resolutions appear properly scaled, e.g. keeping the 4:3 aspect ratio intact, and especially fixing this issue with the screen panning)? If worst comes to worst and aspect ratio preservation is impossible, is there at least a way to make the thing not pan around into blackness?
Thank you very much in advance for help - I'm still a newbie to Linux, this is my second actual installation (non-virtual) of the system, so I do have a bit of a trouble finding my way around.
P.S. Hope this new change from NVidia did not kill the actual usability of non-native resolutions under Linux, because the way it works right now is absolutely unacceptable for me (pretty much broken), while over at NVidia they consider it to be a beneficial feature somehow.
Thank you very much in advance for help.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that I'm trying to set this up on a 22" Samsung monitor the native resolution of which is 1680x1050.

Last edited by Agetian; 04-03-2013 at 02:18 PM.
Old 04-03-2013, 06:35 PM   #2
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Hi, Welcome to LQ!

LQ has a fantastic search function that may save you time waiting for an answer to a popular question.

With over 4 million posts to search it's possible the answer has been given.

Mint is very much like ubuntu as far as the hardware tools are named.

I tried installing a binary driver from NVidia website but that ended up killing my X server pretty good (didn't want to boot into KDE at all after installation)
What type of error did you get?

Did you see any messages during compilation of the driver?

Can you show the output for
less /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep EE
Regular problems with nVidia proprietary driver install...
nouveau module is loaded first and blocks others. (blacklist nouveau in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist[-xxx].conf, reboot required)
Kernel-devel and associated building packages are required
cli install plain text
sh --ui=none -a
helps to see what's going on..

Can you post your xorg.conf and it's location in code tags here?


Last edited by GlennsPref; 04-03-2013 at 07:03 PM. Reason: install, helps to see what's going on..
Old 04-04-2013, 01:05 AM   #3
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OK, I tried compiling and launching the stock NVIDIA driver again (I chose 295.71 as it was the closest one to 304 that was known to be unaffected by the recent change related to video modes). The only error I got was at the beginning, it said:

The distribution-provided pre-install script failed! Continue installation anyway?
I continued after that and it compiled without any further errors and installed. It refused to run, though, saying that the version of the X server ABI (13.0) was too new for it, and recommended me to either downgrade my X or upgrade my driver or something to that effect. Anyhow, it seems that with the current version of the server, I'm stuck with 304 and above. :\
Here's my Xorg.0.log, as requested:

(WW) warning, (EE) error, (NI) not implemented, (??) unknown.
[  2052.673] (EE) NVIDIA: Use the -ignoreABI option to override this check.
[  2052.673] (EE) Failed to load module "nvidia" (module requirement mismatch, 0)
[  2052.674] (EE) NVIDIA: Use the -ignoreABI option to override this check.
[  2052.674] (EE) Failed to load module "nvidia" (module requirement mismatch, 0)
[  2052.674] (EE) Failed to load module "nv" (module does not exist, 0)
[  2052.755] (EE) [drm] failed to open device
[  2052.755] (EE) open /dev/dri/card0: No such file or directory
[  2052.756] (EE) open /dev/fb0: No such file or directory
[  2053.446] (EE) Failed to initialize GLX extension (Compatible NVIDIA X driver not found)
Trying to call "startx" from cli results in a message saying that the ABI version 13.0 is too new for the driver.
So, anyhow, I uninstalled the binary driver again and reverted to v304.

Here's my xorg.conf (with the non-working metamode line I tried to add commented out - it's most likely absolutely wrong, please assist if you know how to write it right - I was trying to follow some advice on the other boards in order to make the aspect ratio scaling work right and with no screen panning, but did not get anywhere with it after several different attempts). The xorg.conf file is located in /etc/X11:

# nvidia-settings: X configuration file generated by nvidia-settings
# nvidia-settings:  version 304.51  (buildd@batsu)  Fri Oct 12 12:53:54 UTC 2012

Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier     "Layout0"
    Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0
    InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
    InputDevice    "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
    Option         "Xinerama" "0"

Section "Files"

Section "InputDevice"

    # generated from default
    Identifier     "Mouse0"
    Driver         "mouse"
    Option         "Protocol" "auto"
    Option         "Device" "/dev/psaux"
    Option         "Emulate3Buttons" "no"
    Option         "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"

Section "InputDevice"

    # generated from default
    Identifier     "Keyboard0"
    Driver         "kbd"

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier     "Monitor0"
    VendorName     "Unknown"
    ModelName      "Samsung SyncMaster"
    HorizSync       30.0 - 81.0
    VertRefresh     56.0 - 75.0
    Option         "DPMS"

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BoardName      "GeForce 9600 GT"

Section "Screen"

    Identifier     "Screen0"
    Device         "Device0"
    Monitor        "Monitor0"
    DefaultDepth    24
    Option         "Stereo" "0"
    # I TRIED THIS AND IT DIDN'T WORK: Option "MetaModes" "DFP-0: nvidia-auto-select { ViewPortIn=1680x1050 }; DFP-0: nvidia-auto-select { ViewPortIn=1152x864, ViewPortOut=1680x1050 }; DFP-0: nvidia-auto-select { ViewPortIn=1024x768, ViewPortOut=1680x1050 }; DFP-0: nvidia-auto-select { ViewPortIn=960x600, ViewPortOut=1680x1050 }; DFP-0: nvidia-auto-select { ViewPortIn=800x600, ViewPortOut=1680x1050 }; DFP-0: nvidia-auto-select { ViewPortIn=640x480, ViewPortOut=1680x1050 };"
    SubSection     "Display"
        Depth       24
Other than that, I tried to get rid of the panning effect but it seems like it's either the way Wine interoperates with the new driver or something like that, so even if I disable panning on the desktop, it will come back when I start a game in Wine and it changes the resolution. I can easily enable or disable panning on my standard desktop with this:

xrandr --output DVI-I-3 --panning 0x0+0+0
(disables panning) or:

xrandr --output DVI-I-3 --mode 800x600 --panning 1680x1050
(will enable and simulate the panning effect that I get in Wine).

However, calling that xrandr program to disable panning has no effect whatsoever on Wine, the games that are run in Wine still pan like crazy (it seems like the game sets, for instance, the 800x600 mode, but that mode is set up as 800x600 that can pan all the way to 1680x1050).

As for scaling, nothing I've ever tried so far was able to fix the problem with scaling - the 3:4 aspect ratio is still not preserved.

Thank you in advance for further help.

Last edited by Agetian; 04-04-2013 at 02:59 AM.


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