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Old 05-24-2008, 03:31 PM   #1
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nvidia Video card and wireless internet problem

hello everyone
I have very little information about the use of linux especially from the command line,so for the problem described here kindly be as descriptive as possible.

i have recently installed debian etch 4.0 (kernel 2.6.18-6-686) on my dell laptopn inspiron has nvidia geforce GPU ge8600m gt
when i boot into linux it says gdm couldn't start and shows the error as

fatal error:no screens found.

i looked up at the internet and figured out that probably the probelm could be due to the driver for the GPU being not installed(i had installed debian by using the 1st installation dvd as available on the debian website).I downloaded the driver from nvidia's website but it seems it requires the linux kernel source code as it would compile the kernel once again but i dont have the source code.moreover the biggest problem i am facing is that the terminal doesn't detect the wireless internet connection at my home.It is a big pain to everytime boot into another o/s and download manually the packages only to find that they depend on some more packages.i am not able to apt-get from my terminal due this problem.

i hereby state the instructions nvidia site provided.i didn't fully understand how to do them especially the linux source code part.if somebody could kindly explain,that shall be really great

Before you Begin

Before you begin the installation, exit the X server and terminate all OpenGL applications (note that it is possible that some OpenGL applications persist even after the X server has stopped). You should also set the default run level on your system such that it will boot to a VGA console, and not directly to X. Doing so will make it easier to recover if there is a problem during the installation process.

Starting the Installer

After you have downloaded the file, change to the directory containing the downloaded file, and as the root user run the executable:

# cd yourdirectory
# sh

The .run file is a self-extracting archive. When executed, it extracts the contents of the archive and runs the contained nvidia-installer utility, which provides an interactive interface to walk you through the installation.

nvidia-installer will also install itself to /usr/bin/nvidia-installer, which may be used at some later time to uninstall drivers, auto-download updated drivers, etc. The use of this utility is detailed later in this chapter.

You may also supply command line options to the .run file. Some of the more common options are listed below.

Common .run Options


Print embedded info about the .run file and exit.

Check integrity of the archive and exit.

Extract the contents of ./, but do not run nvidia-installer.

Print usage information for the common commandline options and exit.

Print usage information for common command line options as well as the advanced options, and then exit.

Installing the Kernel Interface

The NVIDIA kernel module has a kernel interface layer that must be compiled specifically for each kernel. NVIDIA distributes the source code to this kernel interface layer, as well as precompiled versions for many of the kernels provided by popular Linux distributions.

When the installer is run, it will determine if it has a precompiled kernel interface for the kernel you are running. If it does not have one, it will check if there is one on the NVIDIA FTP site (assuming you have an Internet connection), and download it. If one cannot be downloaded, either because the FTP site cannot be reached or because one is not provided, the installer will check your system for the required kernel sources and compile the interface for you. You must have the source code for your kernel installed for compilation to work. On most systems, this means that you will need to locate and install the correct kernel-source, kernel-headers, or kernel-devel package; on some distributions, no additional packages are required (e.g. Fedora Core 3, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4).

After the correct kernel interface has been identified (either included in the .run file, downloaded, or compiled from source code), the kernel interface will be linked with the closed-source portion of the NVIDIA kernel module. This requires that you have a linker installed on your system. The linker, usually /usr/bin/ld, is part of the binutils package. You must have a linker installed prior to installing the NVIDIA driver.

Features of the Installer

Without options, the .run file executes the installer after unpacking it. The installer can be run as a separate step in the process, or can be run at a later time to get updates, etc. Some of the more important commandline options of nvidia-installer are:

nvidia-installer options


During installation, the installer will make backups of any conflicting files and record the installation of new files. The uninstall option undoes an install, restoring the system to its pre-install state.

Connect to NVIDIA's FTP site, and report the latest driver version and the url to the latest driver file.

Connect to NVIDIA's FTP site, download the most recent driver file, and install it.

The installer uses an ncurses-based user interface if it is able to locate the correct ncurses library. Otherwise, it will fall back to a simple commandline user interface. This option disables the use of the ncurses library.

Note that, as suggested by the options, the installer has the ability to download updated precompiled kernel interfaces from the NVIDIA FTP site (for kernels that were released after the NVIDIA driver release).

Kindly Kinldy,plz help me out with these 2 above mentioned problems.
the driver solution was just what i found out to be many of one solutions to the xserver error.if you have some other solution kindly share the same.

thanks in advance


Last edited by yoprabhat1; 05-24-2008 at 03:58 PM. Reason: i am uploading the xserver and nvidia driver log files
Old 05-25-2008, 11:36 AM   #2
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Denmark
Distribution: Ubuntu, Debian
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Try installing the "nv" video driver (aptitude install xserver-xorg-video-nv).

Next, set up Xorg to use it: either run `dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg', or edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf, replacing `Driver "something"' with `Driver "nv"', where "something" is probably "nvidia"; it should be in a `Section "Device"`.

This should at least give you the comfort of X to work in. It won't do 3d acceleration, for which you need the proprietary driver. I seem to recall that debian ships with a pre-built binary-only driver for some nvidia cards, but whether for your particular card I'm not sure.

Try doing an `apt-cache search nvidia driver'. In particular, nvidia-glx looks promising (apt-cache show nvidia-glx; aptitude install nvidia-glx).

If you want the kernel source code, `aptitude install linux-source-$(uname -r)'.

Without further information on your wireless card, I can't think of anything helpful to say. It would be easier for me (and others) to help you if you post the output of the `lshw' command. If you don't have lshw installed, do an apt-cache search and an aptitude install.

(if any of the commands fail, try running them as root; if you don't have aptitude, install it with apt-get or use apt-get instead)

I've run both debian and ubuntu for a while (ubuntu for 1 year, debian for 4). Although I've got much praise for Debian, Ubuntu does have a reputation of being easier to approach, especially for people new to linux, and in my experience it's well-deserved. If you're not heavily invested in debian, you may want to look at Ubuntu. I suggest you obtain a live CD (download and burn, or get one for free in the mail) and run it; if your wireless internet Just Works on the live CD, it'll work in the installed version with at least 99% probability.


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