Monday, May 28, 2007

X Windows Graphics Drivers problems

Installing the graphics drivers in Linux can be rather tricky, but I recently discovered a way to get out of the command line and into the easier to understand graphical interface. These tips should work for most distributions, but the only one I have done it with is Ubuntu. If your in Debian or Ubuntu and using an ATI or NVIDIA card then Automatix or Envy are definitely the way to go for installing your video drivers. Although envy can also be run in text mode I couldn't get it to work.

I worked on the problem for quite a while and although there is a moderately easy solution I didn't see it anywhere that I looked on the Internet, I don't know if its one of the few remaining "everybody should know that" things in Ubuntu or if everyone else really does use the more complicated methods....

Anyways, here's how to get out of text mode so you can install your drivers. Just change the video driver to vesa!

The easier way to do this (in Ubuntu/Debian) is to type:

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

This command runs the Xorg setup script, the very first question is which video driver the server should use, there should be a Vesa driver in that list, just hit enter once you have it highlighted, then just hit enter for the rest of the options (unless you really want to change something else). Then after the program exits just type:


Of course there is also the good old method of manually editing your Xorg.conf

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Then you need to find the part that looks like:

Section "Device"
Identifier "Videocard0"
Driver "nvidia" ....

Then just change Driver to "vesa" then save the file and:


X should start now, it might be a bit slower and not able to do Beryl, but at least you can use this mode to get Envy or Automatix going and get the proper drivers installed without having to muck about in the CLI. :D

(P.S. if I got anything wrong Please correct me in the comments)

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