Installing old GeForce on Ubuntu?

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Installing old GeForce on Ubuntu?

Postposted on Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:28 pm

Hey guys,

I got a friend w/ an old crufty computer that had a hard drive fail on him, so he got a new HDD and installed Ubuntu 8.10 on it. Everything Just Works except the video drivers from nVidia--the OS GUI loads fine but any 3D games are garbled messes. He has a GeForce4-series card and he tells me that he downloaded the drivers, but "clicking on them doesn't do anything."

How do you properly install drivers on Ubuntu 8.10 ?
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Re: Installing old GeForce on Ubuntu?

Postposted on Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:00 pm

he needs to install 8.04 instead... 8.10 has a new version of X that doesn't support the older nvidia driver.
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Re: Installing old GeForce on Ubuntu?

Postposted on Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:37 pm

Yeah. Nvidia hasn't ported the old drivers (which are in a separate package) to the new X yet.

On the plus side, 8.04 is Long-Term Support so he'll keep getting updates for three years.
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Re: Installing old GeForce on Ubuntu?

Postposted on Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:16 pm

ssidbroadcast wrote:he downloaded the drivers, but "clicking on them doesn't do anything."

How do you properly install drivers on Ubuntu 8.10 ?
Let the OS do it. Don't try and download the drivers from nVidia, just boot normally and it will tell you that there is a proprietary driver that it can use and offer to install it for you, just let it go ahead. The tool can also be accessed under System->Administration->Hardware Drivers.

I don't know too much about the 8.04 vs 8.10 issue though, I'd defer to the others on that.
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Re: Installing old GeForce on Ubuntu?

Postposted on Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:42 pm

Is there an easy way to "downgrade" to 8.04? Or does he have to download a new ISO, burn that ISO, and re-format/reinstall?
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Re: Installing old GeForce on Ubuntu?

Postposted on Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:52 pm

Doesn't look like it. Best back his data up and reformat.
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Re: Installing old GeForce on Ubuntu?

Postposted on Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:23 pm

He could buy a somewhat newer video card. I think the GeForce FX-series and newer work with 8.10's driver.

Here's the relevant passage from the 8.10 release notes:

"nVidia "legacy" video support

The 71 and 96 series of proprietary nVidia drivers, as provided by the nvidia-glx-legacy and nvidia-glx packages in Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, are not compatible with the X.Org included in Ubuntu 8.10. Users with the nVidia TNT, TNT2, TNT Ultra, GeForce, GeForce2, GeForce3, and GeForce4 chipsets are affected and will be transitioned on upgrade to the free nv driver instead. This driver does not support 3D acceleration.

Users of other nVidia chipsets that are supported by the 173 or 177 driver series will be transitioned to the nvidia-glx-173 or nvidia-glx-177 package instead. However, unlike drivers 96 and 71, drivers 173 and 177 are only compatible with CPUs that support SSE (e.g. Intel Pentium III, AMD Athlon XP or higher). Systems with older CPUs will also be transitioned to the nv driver on upgrade. "
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Update

Postposted on Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:27 pm

Yup. Installing (sidegrading?) to Ubuntu 8.04 fixed the problem. Now he's running on Advanced Visual Effects and he's got wobbly dragging windows and the 3D Cube an' everything.

Oh and BTW it turns out it was a GeForce 2 series card! Even older!

Thanx for the help! Case closed.
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