Will Lenny release without NVIDIA?

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Postby Gomer_X » 2008-08-05 13:12

I use an nVidia card because I can't buy a card with free accelerated drivers. Intel doesn't make video cards, and ATI is no better than nVidia.

To answer the original question, Lenny will most certainly ship with nVidia drivers but it may not ship with the proprietary drivers available from the repos.

I've solved the hassle by using the 'nv' driver and not worrying about it. It would be great if nVidia fixed their code so it builds. It would also be great if Debian decides not to ship a Xen enabled kernel by default. In the end I don't care because 3D acceleration isn't worth the hassle (for me).

If I ever have to buy a new motherboard it will probably have an integrated Intel chipset. I'll probably go for a laptop with Intel video instead.
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Postby plugwash » 2008-08-05 18:20

my experiance with a laptop with intel integrated graphics and lenny has been pretty bad. Certain apps crash the x server for me every time and even when not using those apps it falls over sometimes. I have seen others reporting similar issues too.
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Postby Telemachus » 2008-08-05 18:25

plugwash wrote:my experiance with a laptop with intel integrated graphics and lenny has been pretty bad. Certain apps crash the x server for me every time and even when not using those apps it falls over sometimes. I have seen others reporting similar issues too.

Really? This laptop has Intel integrated graphics, and I've never had a problem with it. (X has never gone down.) On Etch everything is fine if I install the old 915-resolution package, and on Lenny the new Intel graphics driver does the trick itself. I was pretty happy to find a good alternative to NVIDIA and ATI.

Is your laptop old(ish) or new(ish)? I'm just wondering if new Intel graphics is worse.
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Postby actionM » 2008-08-06 03:30

This is a big deal to me. I hope this gets solved soon.
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Postby AdrianTM » 2008-08-06 03:39

What is the problem can't you install the driver from there: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us

Is really not that hard...
1. you need kernel headers installed and linked to /usr/src/linux
2. stop the X
3. run installer.

That's pretty much it.
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Postby Telemachus » 2008-08-06 10:51

AdrianTM wrote:That's pretty much it.

You're kidding, right? If you do exactly what you said, the Nvidia script will try to bail out since the default version of gcc in Lenny (now 4.3.1) doesn't match the version of gcc that built Lenny's default kernel (4.2.4, I think). I'm hoping that the kernel actually released with Lenny (2.6.26 is the target, I think) will fix this problem, but so far as I know it hasn't been fixed yet. The script won't run cleanly on an untweaked Lenny system.

So, at the start, you would need to install gcc-4.2 and run "export CC=/usr/bin/gcc-4.2" or ignore the warning in the Nvidia script. Even if you did one of those things, the module build won't work on many systems because of various problems with the kernel. In last few months, it seems to me that questions and problems about this issue have tripled here. Some of those people may have made mistakes, but I doubt all of them did.

Right now Lenny users have to pick from three bad options:

(1) Use the nv or vesa driver. This is fine for 2D on some systems. On other systems, it leaves video unworkable, even for 2D. (On my desktop, for example, only vesa works at all, and it draws the screen too far to the left. The main part of a default Gnome menu (top panel, far left) and the "Show Desktop" icon (bottom panel, far left) were invisible the first time I installed both Ubuntu and (later) Debian. An interesting challenge for a newbie.)
(2) Mix Sid and Lenny in your sources and try the Debian way. If you don't have a legacy card this seems to work pretty well as far as I can tell, but many people don't want to mix in unstable.
(3) Use a "pure" Lenny system and use the Nvidia binary script. A lot of us don't like this on ideological grounds. Some people won't do it no matter what, some of us only with reluctance. Either way, as I said above, it only begins to solve your problem since there are a number of "gotchas" involved in using their script.
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Postby AdrianTM » 2008-08-06 12:44

I don't know about Lenny but in Sid I simply used gcc 4.1 and that worked fine. For what I know the kernel is still built with 4.1 but that's a trivial thing, change the default gcc, compile Nvidia drivers and you are good to go.
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Postby Telemachus » 2008-08-06 13:03

AdrianTM wrote:I don't know about Lenny but in Sid I simply used gcc 4.1 and that worked fine. For what I know the kernel is still built with 4.1 but that's a trivial thing, change the default gcc, compile Nvidia drivers and you are good to go.

Sorry: you're right about the gcc version (4.1 not 4.2). For whatever reason, things are not always that simple in Lenny right now. I'm actually fine (I compile my own kernel), but my point is simply that many people are having a hard time. Maybe more importantly, it will be an interesting statement if Lenny releases without Debian-style support (m-a a-i etc.) for Nvidia. It will also, I think, be a statement by accident or default. That is, they haven't decided on principle, "No more Debian-style support for Nvidia" - the timing is just off.
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Postby AdrianTM » 2008-08-06 13:18

but my point is simply that many people are having a hard time.

People who can't compile nvidia driver can use something easier... like Ubuntu... problem solved.
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Postby Telemachus » 2008-08-06 13:25

AdrianTM wrote:
but my point is simply that many people are having a hard time.

People who can't compile nvidia driver can use something easier... like Ubuntu... problem solved.

Rickh is that you?

More seriously, I also care about the statement it makes for Debian.
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Postby AdrianTM » 2008-08-06 13:38

It makes the statement that Debian doesn't care about 40% of its users?

*disclaimer 87.6% of statistics are invented on the spot.
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Postby Telemachus » 2008-08-06 13:55

AdrianTM wrote:It makes the statement that Debian doesn't care about 40% of its users?

Even if the number were right, that's not how I would interpret it. Thanks for your valuable input.
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Postby AdrianTM » 2008-08-06 13:56

How would you interpret it, I'm curious.
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Postby Gomer_X » 2008-08-06 17:27

AdrianTM wrote:
but my point is simply that many people are having a hard time.

People who can't compile nvidia driver can use something easier... like Ubuntu... problem solved.

The problem is that the Nvidia driver won't compile against the Debian kernel because it is Xen enabled.

Nvidia may have fixed their code by now, but I haven't heard anything.

I'm not sure why Debian needs to ship all Xen enabled kernels, but their attitude is "oh well, Nvidia needs to fix their code." Not a user ignorance or stupidity problem.
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Postby AdrianTM » 2008-08-06 17:31

Gomer_X wrote:The problem is that the Nvidia driver won't compile against the Debian kernel because it is Xen enabled.

Nvidia may have fixed their code by now, but I haven't heard anything.

I'm not sure why Debian needs to ship all Xen enabled kernels, but their attitude is "oh well, Nvidia needs to fix their code." Not a user ignorance or stupidity problem.

Would that be true for Sid kernels too? I haven't had this problem. In the list of packages I see that Xen enabled kernels have "xen" in their name, maybe you got the wrong kernel.
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