How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10? [SOLVED]

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jakoline1
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How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10? [SOLVED]

#1 Post by jakoline1 »

I'm running Debian 10, my machine has both an integrated CPU graphics (Intel) and a dedicated GPU (Nvidia GeForce).

1- Running (lspci | grep -i 'vga\|3d\|2d') confirms that I have both and outputs:

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00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Haswell-ULT Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 0b)
03:00.0 3D controller: NVIDIA Corporation GF117M [GeForce 610M/710M/810M/820M / GT 620M/625M/630M/720M] (rev ff)
2- Running (glxinfo|egrep "OpenGL vendor|OpenGL renderer") shows that Intel is the one running the show:

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OpenGL vendor string: Intel Open Source Technology Center
OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI Intel(R) Haswell Mobile
3- Running (lspci -vnnn | perl -lne 'print if /^\d+\:.+(\[\S+\:\S+\])/' | grep VGA) also shows that intel is the one running the show:

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00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation Haswell-ULT Integrated Graphics Controller [8086:0a16] (rev 0b) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
4- Running (glxheads) also shows that Intel is the one running the show:

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Name: :0
  Display:     0x5566eeccdd20
  Window:      0x9400002
  Context:     0x5566eecf48a0
  GL_VERSION:  3.0 Mesa 18.3.6
  GL_VENDOR:   Intel Open Source Technology Center
  GL_RENDERER: Mesa DRI Intel(R) Haswell Mobile
How do I instruct the system to use my Nvidia GPU via Nouveau free driver?
Last edited by jakoline1 on 2021-07-22 05:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#2 Post by mm3100 »

To run selected programs on dGPU you can use prime offloading. Just run it with DRI_PRIME=1 environmental variable.

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DRI_PRIME=1 glxheads
You can read more on arch wiki
https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/PRIME

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#3 Post by jakoline1 »

Prepending (DRI_PRIME=1) before any commands still isn't enough, didn't do the trick.

Running (DRI_PRIME=1 glxinfo | grep "OpenGL renderer") will output:

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OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI Intel(R) Haswell Mobile
And running (DRI_PRIME=1 glxheads) as you suggested gives me:

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GL_VERSION:  3.0 Mesa 18.3.6
GL_VENDOR:   Intel Open Source Technology Center
GL_RENDERER: Mesa DRI Intel(R) Haswell Mobile
Unfortunately Intel integrated is still being used

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#4 Post by jakoline1 »

Running lsmod | grep nouveau gives me nothing, empty, nouveau driver is not even loaded.

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#5 Post by jakoline1 »

I give up, been searching the internet for weeks or even months trying to install Nvidia proprietary driver on Debian 10, kernel fails to load after installation, now trying the free Nouveau driver, fails again, Nouveau won't even load, Debian documentation: zero, Nouveau documentation: useless out-dated garbage.

I can see now why any user looking to make use of his graphics card will always prefer Ubuntu.

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#6 Post by mm3100 »

Did you follow debian wiki page for Nvidia drivers, as they should work better then noavuae.

https://wiki.debian.org/NvidiaGraphicsDrivers

But if you find too many issues with it, switch to pop-os or ubuntu, both should have Nvidia working out of the box. I don't know how it is on ubuntu now, but pop-os has nvidia switching option, so you can shut it off, and not lose battery life when not in use.

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#7 Post by jakoline1 »

Yes, I did try following the instructions at Debian wiki, it was very straightforward, eventually after installing the proprietary driver my whole system failed to boot, kernel failure or something like that.

Then I tried the downloadable *.run package from Nvidia's website, this time after restart my system booted fine but with no detectable graphic card at all,
OpenGL: renderer: N/A

Thank you for directing me towards Pop!_OS, but I prefer Debian over any Ubuntu-based distro, the stability is unmatched, plus I don't think my issue is distro-related, as I'm not the only one who faces hard-to-diagnose problems with Nvidia cards, there is a reason they call it No-video.

I'll stick to Debian and the anger will eventually go away.
Maybe I'll have more luck when Debian 11 comes out.
Last edited by jakoline1 on 2021-07-07 03:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#8 Post by jakoline1 »

Image

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#9 Post by kedaha »

I guess that your graphics card would require the proprietary:
nvidia-legacy-390xx-driver
To find out if the card is supported, install and run nvidia-detect
I have an old nvidia card on one of my machines but the card isn't supported in Debian 11 so it's best to check first before trying Bullseye.

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#10 Post by conclave »

I bought a PNY Nvidia GeForce GT1030 a few years ago and had nothing but trouble with the graphic card, and I mean bad trouble. I really had it out with their customer support and even wrote a long detailed letter to their corporate headquarters about the problems that lead to me loosing two operating systems by Linux and had to reinstall them. Also wound up breaking the latches on my motherboard that held the card in place locked within a PCI slot as a result of pulling it out and locking it in so many times while trial and error and deductive means of troubleshooting exactly where the problem was coming from. Got so disgusted that I packed the card up and left it off in the packaging box for a year. The very first problem that really is the fault of Nvidia is their lack of mentioning that this specific graphic card was not supported for legacy bios CMOS only support for UEFI. Nothing on the retail packaging box found in a local Best Buy store when reviewing system requirements. They should realize that a lot of people looking for graphic cards are upgrading older machines to take advantage of the HDMI cables you can then hook up to an older computer from a monitor. My card would not work on Debian, or AV Linux and worked half hazard on Fedora constantly slow and freezing creating a situation that made the operating system unusable. The card also caused my Windows 7 operating system to constantly crash although between crashes it ran normally. I could use this card on Debian yet only two different screen resolutions appeared 800 X 600 and 1024 X 768. I tried the Nvidia drivers .run from their web site and constantly got this message while attempting to install about how the Linux kernel needed to be updated for this card, something totally confusing and impossible to find any instructions on what to do. Replaced the card with AMD Radeon, less than half the cost of the Nvidia and works fine on older legacy bios computer, for Debian needed X11org package and Fedora nothing needed to be done to get it working.
Since that experience have a newer used refurbished intel7 sixth generation with a really great bios motherboard called Gigabytes. This computer handles boot loaders with multiple hard drives and operating systems very well and unique, in fact the Nvidia card works on this system for all operating systems. Again there is this Xserver-xorg-video-nouveau package that seems to be needed for Nvidia graphic cards to work on Debian operating systems. I put this graphic card on this newer used refurbished machine since I use the graphic arts program Blender. Although this card is low end the later Blender programs require Nvidia graphic cards for CUDA and use in Cycles rendering. This particular card is slow as a turtle with renders being low end yet all I can afford and at least have something to work with.
Last edited by conclave on 2021-07-11 16:13, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#11 Post by NFT5 »

jakoline1 wrote:I'm not the only one who faces hard-to-diagnose problems with Nvidia cards, there is a reason they call it No-video.

I'll stick to Debian and the anger will eventually go away.
Maybe I'll have more luck when Debian 11 comes out.
Bullseye may work better, or maybe worse.

I have 5 machines running basically the same card as yours (GT 710). On some Bullseye solved the problems out of the box but on others it was even worse. Depends on CPU and motherboard. As kedaha says, later kernels have been dropping support for some graphics chips, but I don't believe yours is affected...............yet.

Important things to note:
- Turn off the on-board graphics card in the BIOS. If you can't turn it off, at least change the order of priority (depends on motherboard and BIOS version).
- Install the operating system using a CD/DVD/USB that comes with firmware. At least then you have a 50:50 chance of getting a GUI rather than the dreaded flashing cursor. Check that contrib and non-free are enabled in your sources.list.
- On first boot make sure you install all the firmware needed for your card and CPU. Includes packages for microcode, graphics, linux misc, free and non-free, plus nvidia packages specific to your card (390xx legacy). Turn off and start the machine again.
- If, after rebooting, you have a stable GUI, leave it alone. The nouveau drivers work well in some applications. If your system isn't stable then change to the Nvidia drivers but don't do this unless absolutely necessary. Sometimes the Nvidia drivers can make a system so bad that only a clean re-installation will fix it.

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#12 Post by sunrat »

As it seems you have tried multiple methods to install and uninstall Nvidia proprietary driver, it is possible the blacklist config for Nouveau may still be in place in which case Nouveau won't work. Check for any nouveau blacklist files, remove them and any installed proprietary driver, and Prime render may work although I'm not sure about that. You may still have to use Bumblebee and optirun for older cards.
On my system, nouveau blacklists appear at:

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/etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-blacklists-nouveau.conf
/etc/nvidia/nvidia-blacklists-nouveau.conf
/etc/nvidia/current/nvidia-blacklists-nouveau.conf
and also in the alternatives system:

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/etc/alternatives/glx--nvidia-blacklists-nouveau.conf
/etc/alternatives/nvidia--nvidia-blacklists-nouveau.conf
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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#13 Post by stevepusser »

No mention of MX Linux's Nvidia driver/Optimus detector/Bumblebee installer tool? :(
MX Linux packager and developer

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#14 Post by jakoline1 »

Thanks for all your informative answers. In my case I did forgot to delete the nouveau blacklist config files located at:

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/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-nouveau.conf
/etc/modprobe.d/nouveau-kms.conf
/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
My file names were not identical to Sunrat's (look above this post). After deleting those files the system now makes use of my Nvidia GPU, I checked using the commands in my initial post.

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$ glxinfo|egrep "OpenGL vendor|OpenGL renderer"

OpenGL vendor string: nouveau
OpenGL renderer string: NVD7

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$ glxheads

Name: :0
  GL_VERSION:  4.3 (Compatibility Profile) Mesa 18.3.6
  GL_VENDOR:   nouveau
  GL_RENDERER: NVD7
Unfortunately there is zero improvement in graphics rendering after using 0.A.D. and MegaGlest (two popular native games) as a benchmarking tool, I can notice no difference, in fact 0.A.D. was running smoothly and now it's laggy to the point of being difficult to play and interact with, although the Features Matrix shows that Nouveau supports all the capabilities of my card except for power management, my card's code is NVC0.

Image
(Source https://nouveau.freedesktop.org/FeatureMatrix.html)

I guess the only thing I can do now is wait for Debian 11 to come out and see if I can get Nvidia's proprietary driver to work, or maybe I'll test Pop!_OS or MX Linux just for the sake of experiment (sorry).

One thing worth mentioning though, I'm unable to access my bios settings because it's password protected and I don't have the password, many tutorials on the Internet suggests disabling secure boot from bios settings as the first step, which I'm unable to do, I don't know if it's active or not right now, this could be the root of my problem, or it could be not.

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#15 Post by mm3100 »

In order to access bios settings, you can revert it back to default, which hopefully doesn't have password in it. By plugging out battery on motherboard. If password was added later, that should clear it out. But be wary of doing that, if it has password by default, you should first try to look it up for your model.

Also to check if you have secure boot on just run

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mokutil --sb-state

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#16 Post by jakoline1 »

mm3100 wrote:
In order to access bios settings, you can revert it back to default, which hopefully doesn't have password in it. By plugging out battery on motherboard
My machine is a laptop not a PC, modern laptops doesn't have a CMOS battery, I've tried all the tricks I could think of to no avail, the only way to revert it back to defaults for me is paying the guy at the local computer shop to "recharge my bios", which I'll have to do at some point.
mm3100 wrote:
Also to check if you have secure boot on just run

Code: Select all

mokutil --sb-state
It says EFI variables are not supported on this system, which is not true because I know my system has UEFI, maybe I'm seeing this error because I'm using legacy partition table and legacy boot.

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#17 Post by p.H »

jakoline1 wrote: 2021-07-14 12:39 maybe I'm seeing this error because I'm using legacy partition table
No.
jakoline1 wrote: 2021-07-14 12:39 and legacy boot.
Yes.

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#18 Post by mm3100 »

jakoline1 wrote: 2021-07-14 12:39 My machine is a laptop not a PC, modern laptops doesn't have a CMOS battery
My laptop has a CMOS battery, but it is 6 years old now. So you can try to search online for your laptop model to see if it has one as well.

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#19 Post by jakoline1 »

Mine is 7 years old, Lenovo Z50-70

I did search online, found an amateur-made disassembly guide on Youtube, after disassembling I found what looks like a CMOS battery but it's welded in unlike how I remember in PCs, removing it requires tools.

I also found a Windows tool called CMOS De-Animator that will supposedly erase my BIOS password, thing is it displays a warning about laptops. Same warning is posted on their website.
Administrator (BIOS SETUP) and power-on passwords are usually in the CMOS on desktop computers, and in a separate EEPROM in certain laptops
There have been positive reports on laptops, but also negative ones, where the proprietary BIOS evaluated the CMOS access as an intrusion and locked itself up. If that happens, a BIOS re-flash or replace may be necessary
(Website http://boginjr.com/it/sw/dev/de-cmos3/)

So even if I was able to remove the CMOS battery, there is a chance that BIOS password is not stored in there.

Lastly I tried updating my BIOS firmware using another Windows tool provided by the manufacturer at Lenovo's website, on the hope that updating the firmware will erase the password, but it complains about the battery percentage.
Battery is too low(0<30), Please charge your battery to 30%
Unfortunately my battery is too old and doesn't charge at all.
Re-flashing my BIOS is the only guaranteed method, I should either learn how to do it myself or pay the guy at the local computer shop to do it for me.
Last edited by jakoline1 on 2021-07-18 15:40, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: How To Enable Nouveau Driver In Debian 10?

#20 Post by jakoline1 »

Lenovo knowledge base is useless and Lenovo laptops in general is not Gnu/Linux friendly nor informed-user friendly. I couldn't even know what model and serial is my motherboard, by searching online it turns out that the same Lenovo Z50-70 comes in many versions each with it's own unique specifications.

There are two ways to re-flash a bios I think, one is via software and the other is done by an external electronic device attached to your motherboard with a wire. I needed info about my motherboard because online tutorials about re-flashing via software required that piece of info.

One way to know my motherboard model and serial is by using HardInfo (system profiler tool for Linux) and other tools like that, but to make things more complicated, Lenovo doesn't follow the universal standard in typing serial numbers, they invented their own scheme of naming hardware pieces.

I think buying that electric device is cheaper than paying for a one time re-flash, or maybe I need to be more patient and try harder.

EDIT #1: found this https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Flashi ... from_Linux
EDIT #2: I've marked this as solved, turns out I forgot to delete or comment out Nouveau blacklist configuration files, but I'm still unsatisfied with the performance.

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