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Author Topic: Nouveau video driver  (Read 1626 times)

nightflier

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Nouveau video driver
« on: March 21, 2012, 10:09:54 am »

While the nouveau driver does great on recent hardware, I have had several experiences with older (Pentium 3 era) video systems where it either performs poorly, or just gives me a blank screen. This may even happen in text mode. Workarounds may require giving boot options, blacklisting/removing modules, and/or manual xorg configuration. This is not limited to VL, other distros have the same issues.

Anyone else had these kinds of problems?
If so, did you find a solution, and what was it?
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bigpaws

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Re: Nouveau video driver
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 12:09:32 pm »

I have normally blacklisted nouveau and then installed the Nvidia
binary.

Bigpaws
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caitlyn

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    • The Linux Works
Re: Nouveau video driver
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2012, 08:07:48 pm »

I had a similar issue with a much more recent system using SalixOS 13.37 which uses the same kernel and X.org server as Slackware 13.37.  The system in question has a NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE chip.  Salix OS boots to the GUI by default and doesn't offer a different option during installation so at first boot instead of a login screen I had a useless mess.  The problem was that the hardware autodetection produced an incorrect configuration for my chipset.

The solution was to open a virtual terminal and add "Option" "ShadowFB" "on" to a file named "50-device.conf" (without the quotes) in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d. In SalixOS that file had to be created.  The file looks like this:
Code: [Select]
Section "Device"
 Identifier "Default Device"
 Driver "nouveau"
 Option "ShadowFB" "on"
EndSection

After restarting X it worked.

The generic solution I give to people who have either very old or very new chipsets which aren't supported by nouveau is to blacklist nouveau and either fall back to the old nv driver or to install the proprietary NVidia driver.  Some really old chipsets are no longer supported by the proprietary driver and some of the legacy proprietary drivers don't play nicely with a new kernel and X.org when used with certain chips.  In that case nv is the only viable solution.

HTH...
« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 08:09:21 pm by caitlyn »
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eMachines EL-1300G desktop, 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 2650e CPU, 4GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 6150 SE video
CentOS 6.5 (will try VL64-7.1 soon)

Toshiba Satellite A135-S4727,  Intel Pentium T2080 / 1.73 GHz, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA 950

HP Mini 110 netbook, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 2GB RAM, Intel 950 video, VL 7.1