Posts Tagged ‘NVidia’

Some few small insights

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Lately I have been overloaded above my capabilities. This did not prevent me from doing all kind of things, but most of them are too small to justify a real entry here, so I have decided to make a small collection of small stuff someone might need to know, in order to make it indexed in search engines. These small insights might save some time for someone. This is a noble cause.

1. Oreon is a nice overlay for Nagios, however, it is poorly documented, and some of the existing docs are in French. I have put hours on building it into a working setup, and I hope to be able to write down the process as is.

2. “Sun Java System Active Server Pages” does not support 64bit Linux installations – at least not if you’re interested in using it with your existing Apache server. Look here. Seems nothing has changed.

3. Under Ubuntu 7.10, Compiz suffers from a major memory leak when using NVidia display adapters. You can read about it in the bug page. I was able, thanks to this link, to workaround it using compiz –indirect-rendering . Does not see to cause any ill-effect on my display performance.

4. Suse 10 and wireless cards – This one is a great guide, which I would happily recommend.

5. Flushing the existing read buffer for your Linux machine (should never be done, unless you’re testing performance) can be done by running the following command:

echo 1 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches

Seems to be enough for today. Hope these tips help.

Hello Edgy, goodbye Feisty!

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

I had a rough experience upgrading Edgy to Feisy.

Hardware listing, for generations to come: Motherboard Abit IB9, including on-board IDE controller IT8211 with firmware and no BIOS upgrade in the near future.

Nvidia 7700 with 256MB RAM on PCIe


1. With IDE controller enabled in BIOS system hangs during startup. This is correct for the livecd as well.

2. XGL requires the flag “–use-copy” or it will show only the “white cube of death”. Performance is far from being optimal.

3. I was unable to use Xorg AIGLX, but only the generic NVIDIA interface.

4. With NVIDIA movement is slow and jittery. System is not stable, beryl tends to consume around 100% CPU, and the black-windows problem (which usually has to do with lack of video memory) is quite common.

I have downgraded to Edgy yesterday. Besides a (bug?) weird behavior with my existing software raid (the installer hung while trying to reconfigure the md device with a black box flashing fast in the left lower corner of the screen. I was able to use console but not to continue the install) which required me to backup everything and create the raid from console before the installer got to it, installation went as expected. The interesting thing is that I can say that my hardware works better, and I don’t think it has to do only with the kernel version.

I followed my past post about the post configuration required for Edgy, and it saved me some searches. However, there are several updated which I will show here:

1. Skype has a new version – 1.4 beta, which, for now, seems not to be affected by the “open sound device” hanging. This seems great. I have installed it from the dynamic package, which had dependencies. To satisfy dependencies, I used a tool I can recommend called getlibs. It installed Feisy packages on my system but it was quite OK.

2. Mplayer requires using the multiverse repository. While I thought I have opened it, it appears I was required to state it in addition manually… Added the following line to my /etc/apt/sources.list:
deb edgy multiverse

3. Beryl packages for Edgy become quire rare nowadays. I had to dig some to find it. I have used the repository:
deb edgy main
following beryl’s guide which was posted by me before, but this repository works one minute, and doesn’t on the next. When it does, though, it has what you need. I’m using the same NVidia driver as before, with XGL alright, and it’s working fast and stable. Can’t complain.

4. I have created a package for Pidgin for Edgy, version 2.0.2. This was the original reason I have upgraded to Feisty… It can be downloaded from here. Notice – this is a crude package, just for my purpose. You can use it, and you can use the “getlibs” util from above to satisfy the binary’s requirements, as I didn’t add them in. pidgin_2.0.2-1_amd64.deb

I’m a happy camper.

Painful upgrade from Edgy x86_64 to Feisty x86_64

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

If it works, don’t touch it. This is one of my mottoes. I have broken this rule just yesterday when I decided that I was too lazy to install Pidgin from source, and decided I wanted it to be installed directly from deb. Unfortunately, there was no pidgin deb for Edgy. None that I was able to find.

My computer has been suggesting to be upgraded for a while now – ever since Feisty was available. I was cautious and avoided upgrading up until now. I have already installed Feisty on my laptop, on one of my servers (installed Edgy and then upgraded to Feisty with no special events), so I was somehow more at ease. This was, of course, a complete disaster.

Upgrading Edgy to Feisty went OK. Nothing really special, no external sources, nothing. After upgrade, the system failed to reboot – just hung there. It appears (and I have yet to post a bug) that my IT8212 IDE controller (which is connected to my CDROM) hangs the computer.

Not only that, but even when disabled, it appears that Feisty’s kernel has an issue with sata_iix. The issue was solved using post #59 from this bug report. Do not follow, though, this recommendation (all_generic_ide) as you will experience a noticeable performance hit.

I was able to boot my system. No CDROM, but working. I have installed NVidia drivers manually, as the restricted modules were too old. I was required to remove the nvidia entries in /etc/modprobe.d/lrm-video (probably because I’ve installed restricted modules and later on removed it). Had X running, but didn’t have Beryl working. Past experience taught me that AIGLX or direct NVidia DRI are slower than XGL. Attempting to use XGL, I get the white-screen-of-death. Following this guide, I was able to setup XGL correctly, as it seems. It did not solve my white-screen-of-death, however, using –use-copy flag things worked, and seemed to be responding fast enough.

Still have to open a bug about the IT8212 device. Hope for the best.


Monday, April 9th, 2007

As you can see in my previous posts, I have an NVidia card. It worked quite well while using XGL, but due to XGL’s memory consumption (it takes a lot of memory), I have decided to try for AIGLX, which is part of the system.

In my previous post you can see that (and how) it was done. However, my overall experiance is that AIGLX, at least where it comes to Xorg 7.2 and NVidia (Driver 1.0-9755) is that XGL is much much faster.

The slow responses of the system during the several hours I used AIGLX (while trying somehow to increase performance) just made me go back to XGL. AIGLX is not good enough.

I’ve read several posts about it, and still, the results are undetermined. That’s why I post my own software versions here. AIGLX may perform better when using older or newer versions of NVidia’s driver, or Xorg, or whatever, but for me now – XGL does it well.

Nvidia now works with AIGLX!

Sunday, April 8th, 2007

Using Nvidia propriety driver version 9755 allows using AIGLX instead of the slower and deprecated GLX interface.

AIGLX nowadays is part of Xorg 7.1 and above.

You can find a guide in OpenSuse Wiki which will describe the required actions.

I have attached here my own xorg.conf file which allows Dual-head setup with 2 LCD screens running resolution of 1280×1024 for AIGLX: xorg.conf-Nvidia_AIGLX.txt

Good luck


It appears that it doesn’t work quite as well yet – at least not with the xorg.conf file I have uploaded here. You will require two additional lines, as described in Ubuntu forums. The up-to-date file is this: xorg.conf-Nvidia_AIGLX_fixed.txt

My menuscript for a happy Ubuntu 64 bit installation

Monday, March 19th, 2007

I have been extremely busy for the last few weeks and couldn’t find time to update my blog, so apologies are in place. I am sorry, and I will add later this week several tips and tricks about BASH scripting, which might save time and effort for those of you who use if for more complicated tasks.

But alas – This post is about the things need to be done after new installation of Ubuntu Dapper (6.10) x86_64 has just been done, including, of course, links.

First – This is PentiumD 2.8GHz, Duo, on Abit IB9 Mobo (which I wasn’t too impressed with), 2x 320GB Sata2 HDDs, 2GB RAM and NVidia 7100 Dual-Head (I didn’t want ATI due to their limitations with max accelerated resolution, and the limitations it imposed on my Dual-head setup).

Initial installation as follows:

Edgy Server x86_64, created software mirror (raid1) for /boot, 2x 2GB swap spaces (one on each HDD), and LVM2 VG on mirror on the rest of the disk. Created LV for “/” (10GB XFS) and LV for “/home” (30GB Reiserfs).

During installation the Mobo didn’t recognize my IDE CD, and as the quickest remedy I have used USB-to-IDE adapter with additional CDROM which worked just fine.

Post installation I had to fix /etc/fstab to point to the correct (and now working) IDE CDROM.

To install full Ubuntu desktop, I have used “sudo aptitude ubuntu-desktop”. Sound worked out of the box.


– Skype

– Hebrew TTF Fonts

– mplayer

– Beryl (+XGL because of NVidia)

– Flash in Firefox


Skype website has allowed me to download the statically compiled Skype package. It didn’t work, of course, since it was 32bit only. I have installed the following additional packages:

ia32-libs ia32-libs-gtk lib32asound2 lib32objc1 linux32 lib32ncurses5 ia32-libs-sdl

Extracted the archived Skype package, moved its contents to /usr/lib/skype and created symlink from /usr/lib/skype/skype to /usr/bin/skype

Hebrew TTF Fonts:

It was a bit more tricky. I had to get these fonts from some Windwos machine. I got them from one of my licensed desktops, and copied them (only .TTF and .ttf) to /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf-windows – a directory created for this purpose. I have then created a symlink for every ttf file in this directory to /var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/TrueType , which gets included in the default xorg.conf. After restarting X, it worked like a charm.


I have installed mplayer using the restricted and multiverse repositories. I was surprised when I was able to play movies out of the box. Maybe my common codecs are just enough… I will look into it later.


I have installed the latest NVidia driver for amd64 from NVidia’s site, and configured Dual-Head setup per my already-existing-too-messy xorg.conf file. xorg.conf.nvidia

Followed the Beryl Wiki for Ubuntu, by the letter. Mind you – I was aiming at XGL with Gnome.

I was so delighted when it turned out to work with my Dual-Head at a total resolution of 2560×1024

Flash in Firefox:

That was to trickier one. I managed to find this guide in Ubuntu forums which was more than enough for me. I did not notice on the first attempt, however, that there are two RPM packages required, and thus failed the procedure. When I have noted it, I was able to complete the task flawlessly.

So, now I have a completely working system, per my needs and requirements. I’m very happy, and I hope I gave good pointers to others who want to use their new 64bit system in a normal manner, even when some vendors do not supply 64bit compatible binary software.

Remember the power of the open source – If it is required to work under 64bit environment it wil be ported to one, while commercial software companies tend to fall behind with new, and sometimes not too popular, propriety systems.

Xgl, ATI fglrx and Dual-Head setup

Monday, December 11th, 2006

I’ve had a problem for a long while now configuring Xgl on my Dual-Head setup, using GLX and fglrx driver. I have been using 1280×1024 on both of my screen, so my total resolution was 2560×1024. When using Dual-Head setup in “Wide Desktop” mode (via the option Option “DesktopSetup” “horizontal” in the Device section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf), I was unable to load Xgl. When hashing this specific option, I reverted to mirror-mode (two screens show the same content), and Xgl worked fine.

Since I’ve seen dual-head setups (screenshots on the net), I assumed that the problem was due to ATI drivers. I didn’t know how accurate I was.

It appears, based on post in this forum, that fglrx (ATI Drivers) do not function in a resolution beyond 2048. I have tried alterning the max resolution per-screen to 1024×768, and although I get huge icons now, Xgl works correctly with Beryl (version 0.1.3). I have used a combination of this excellent guide, and of a link to the new SVN Beryl binaries, available for Ubuntu here. So far, it seems to work nice, although it forces me to use low resolution at the moment. I think I will just go and buy myself a nice Dual-head capable AGP NVidia card.

Radeon 9600 Dual Display (dual-head)

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

After much agony with my faulted NVidia Dual-head card, and the frequent hard-freeze which were part of this experience.

A new and shining ATI Radeon 9600 has entered my AGP slot, and I was ready to make it rock.

First thing first – I utterly failed to install the damn driver. ATI build their drivers for someone else. Not me. I was able (I swear I don’t remember how) to make it work, and was into setting my brand new VGA card for dual-head for my Xorg.

I’ve used aticonfig, and run the following commands to do the trick:

aticonfig –initial=dual-head –screen-layout=right

aticonfig –screen-layout=left –dtop horizontal –resolution=0,1280×1024,1024×768 \ –resolution=1,1280×1024,1024×768 –screen-overlap=0

It worked like charm (I’m saving you from the ugly trial and error part of it).

Nokia’s AMR, and Linux conversion

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

First and foremost, although I’ve purchased a new display card, I haven’t installed it in the computer yet, as my NVidia has decided to behave. Maybe it’s something to do with some specific build of Firefox, as it’s the only main package changed during the last two or three days.

Second, I’ve tape-recorded into my cell an event, and wanted to play it, afterwards, on my desktop. I discovered that it’s being saved in AMR format, which is rather annoying, and uncooperative. Google brought me this site, pointing to an important place on the web. Them both gave me a hint. I’ve been able to download Nokia’s package, and although it got compiled, it segfaulted, so using the second site, I’ve noticed the changes required both to the Makefile and to the codeĀ  itself, and it works correctly now.

Second, I’ve had problems with the script. I’ve altered it a bit, to fit my needs, and it’s attached here

You need to copy the compiled “encode” and “decode” to /usr/local/bin in this case, because it’s the right place for them.

It works correctly now, and I’m as happy as I can be. Got some good laughes out of these records.

One more thing – As today I’ve started working heavilly with VMWare, I’ve discovered a bug in it. I will probably verify it in the near future, but it can be replicated following these steps:

1) On an existing Win2003 Ent. Server install VMWare GSX 3.2.1

2) Check “Host Settings” to make sure it uses “C:\Virtual Machines

3) Create a storage partition on another disk, formatted to NTFS, and mount it to “C:\Virtual Machines

4) Repeate step 2. Use “Browse” to set it up right, if you’re not sure.

5) If you don’t have enough space on your C:, for example, less than the default Virtual Disk of 4GB, even if your mounted partition “C:\Virtual Machines” does have enough space, VMWare wizard will complain about “not enough space”, and will not continue.

6) Setting drive letter to the storage partition and defining VMWare to use it works correctly.

So I’ve encountered it, and will try to repeate it on the next server I get to use. Could be interesting if I can actually reproduce it. Didn’t find anything about it in their documentations and knowledge-base.

Hadrware accelerated multi-screen solution – NVidia card

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

I don’t know why, but ever since the last shutdown of my desktop, I’ve had stability problems with my X. I’m using Xinerama, and it’s been working rather OK, for the last month or so, however, now, especially when using Firefox version 1.5, it tends to halt, with “NVRM: Xvid: 12

” error, which means some crash with NVidia card. I’ve had this before, for a short period of time, and it might be due to failure of the fans, or the likes.

During the search for a newer driver, I’ve read NVidia’s README, and got to the understanding I can either use Xinerama, which is a software based multi-screen solution, or I could use Nvidia’s built-in “TwinView” mechanism. I’ve decided to use it, and after short while of tempering with it, got to the following config file xorg.conf-nvidia-hardware-enabled.txt, which works correctly.

It did not solve, however, my crush problems, and my X keeps on hanging once a while. I might just purchase a new, medium class NVidia card, for that matter.