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Old 05-19-2009, 10:32 PM   #1
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 277

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"URGENT" Help Installing a GForce 2MX NVidia

Hi everyone,

I am having problem installing Nvidia driver for Debian OS

I am installing the following package

I have got stuck on the following step

ERROR: Unable to find the kernel source tree for the currently running kernel.
Please make sure you have installed the kernel source files for your
kernel; on Red Hat Linux systems, for example, be sure you have the
'kernel-source' rpm installed. If you know the correct kernel source
files are installed, you may specify the kernel source path with the
'--kernel-source-path' commandline option.

I didn't have installed the rpm, therefore, I did a apt-get install rpm, and now I have it installed.

if I type, "uname -r" answer: 2.6.18-6-686

if I type, "rpm -q kernel-source" answer: "package kernel-source is not installed"
if I type, "rpm -q kernel-headers" answer: "package kernel-headers is not installed"
if I type, "rpm -q kernel-devel" answer: "package kernel-devel is not installed"

According to the read file I should have the following package "kernel-source, kernel-headers, or kernel-devel

I am newbie to Debian I dont know how to get this files from the DVD or from the internet

Can someone please help here? I need to be able to have this package on somewhere in my PC folder? and rpm recognize them

Thank you in advance!
Old 05-19-2009, 11:35 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: in a fallen world
Distribution: slackware by choice, others too :} ... android.
Posts: 23,067
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Hi, welcome to LQ!

If you're using debian try using apt-tools (apt-cache, aptitude, synaptic, ...)
to determine whether or not you have the kernel source installed, not rpm.

Old 05-20-2009, 01:57 AM   #3
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Socorro, New Mexico
Distribution: Debian ("lenny", "squeeze"), Linux Mint, XUbuntu
Posts: 218

Rep: Reputation: 24
Help installing GForce 2MX NVidia

Hi -- And welcome to Debian and to Linux Questions.
It is important to realize that Linux requires you to make a committment
to learning how your computer works. If you really aren't interested,
go use Windows or a Mac. That said, I love Linux, and I've learned
a lot since I first messed with Unix in 1988 and became a serious user in 2002. I hope you do too -- just have patience.

As far as your problem, you are in luck. I just built a new computer and had to go through this yesterday.
It turns out there are many different
ways to install NVidia drivers, some are far more difficult than
others -- and really more difficult than a newbie should have
to deal with.

First I want to repeat what your last responder said. Although
you can use rpm's on Debian, they are not the preferred method.
The preferred method is apt. Rather than typing

rpm packagename
you type
apt-get install packagename
The newer versions of Linux keep getting smarter. Based on your
statement below
if I type, "uname -r" answer: 2.6.18-6-686
I see you are using a fairly old version of Debian.
In fact you are using
Debian 4, stable, called "etch". If you are building a new computer
and installing Debian, I recommend you install Debian 5 (lenny), which is
kernel version 2.6.26. Maybe you don't want to deal with this now --
but more and more problems get fixed as you move to newer kernels, so
keep it in mind.

Based on this comment --
if I type, "rpm -q kernel-source" answer: "package kernel-source is not installed"
if I type, "rpm -q kernel-headers" answer: "package kernel-headers is not installed"
if I type, "rpm -q kernel-devel" answer: "package kernel-devel is not installed"
I see you are trying to compile the drivers. This is not a newbie
kind of thing to do. You might get away with it, but unless you are
a C-hacker, there is an overwhelming number of ways to get this wrong.
So in addition to using the wrong tool (rpm) you are using a complicated
approach (compiling drivers). In fact, you are very far from success
by this method. You also have to compile these drivers -- something
that involves "make" -- a mysterious incantation of C-programmers --
and something you show no indication or recognizing the need for
(forgive my presumption if you are a C-hacker). That way lies madness...

There are MUCH easier ways. You can
just install the right driver directly.

All is very well explained here:

In particular, read the section that begins as follows:
Install a pre-built module

This method is easy if you're running a recent stock kernel for which a pre-built module is available...
To show you how easy it is -- I will tell you EXACTLY what I did yesterday and try to point out what might be different for you.
Become root user (hope you know about that) and at root command
line type the following.
# The following line installs the main driver you need
# apt-get install nvidia-kernel${VERSION}-$(uname -r)
# The next line installs the 3D drivers
# apt-get install nvidia-glx${VERSION}-$(uname -r)
# The next line installs something that allows you to tell your computer  you installed the driver
# apt-get install nvidia-config
# This is where your old graphics config file is
# cd /etc/X11
# Copy it -- so if you make your computer completely unusable you
# can always set it back to the way it was.
# cp xorg.conf xorg.conf.old
# Go ahead and reconfigure your graphics
# nvidia-config
# reboot
What problems might you have? First, apt-get might complain and say it can't find these things. You have to edit your /etc/apt/sources.list file and add "non-free and contrib". The web link above mentions this. Also nvidia-config seems to be new -- it
might be a Debian 5 thing. In this case, you have to edit your xorg.conf file by hand. There is lots of info about how to do this.

Good luck. Let us know how it went.
Old 05-20-2009, 10:08 AM   #4
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 277

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16

First of all, big thank you for the super fast reply....

My goal in all this was to be able to change the monitor resolution.

I did what you suggest on the link (

In a console as root/su
typed this (grep Driver /etc/X11/xorg.conf 2>&1|grep 'nv\|vesa')
I copy the .conf file
and them
run this commands:
apt-get update
apt-get install xserver-xorg

I realized that the OS was already running the nvidia generic "nv"
and the xserver as already running too

so I kept googleing and found that you can configure the x.conf file by typing this on the console

dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

By the way someone can tell me why every time I open a file from the visual interface I don't have right to modify it

after running the "dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg" now I can got to display resolution and change it to lost of option

At the moment I am going to stop trying to install the nvidia driver because its taking me lost of time and I would like to get a better PC on the near future.

I did try you comment but they didnt work

I type on the console:
# apt-get install nvidia-kernel${VERSION}-$(uname -r)

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done

E: Couldn't find package nvidia-kernel-2.6.18-6-686
Upss Ive decided to spend a littler more time here......

I have add the non-free on the sources.list (I have to open it with "gedit /etc/apt/sources.list")

It work the fist steps
# The following line installs the main driver you need
# apt-get install nvidia-kernel${VERSION}-$(uname -r)
But when I try the nvidia-glx said it cannot find package-glx-2.6.18-686

Any Suggestion here????

Old 06-29-2009, 04:30 PM   #5
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 277

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
I have installed lenny with another nvidia card and it works fine with any additional work (straight from the installation DVD) Thanks
Old 06-29-2009, 06:08 PM   #6
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jun 2006
Posts: 25

Rep: Reputation: 15
Hi, Peter,

I have had issues with my Nvidia card in debian etch,
I have resolved them with the help of the chat

you can get a real-time immediate help there.

without this chat, I would never be able to manage my debian.

By the way, I am not quite happy with my drivers: I have installed
the open source drivers, not specific ones elaborated by Nvidia.

So what is your experience? do you use the proprietary Nvidia drivers?




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