Tracking Debian Unstable: the nvidia kernel module paradox

Submitted by dylan on Thu, 2006-09-28 17:27.

Tracking the Unstable distribution of Debian Linux is a nice way to stay on the bleeding edge, while maintaining all of the benefits that a package management system like aptitude has to offer. However, if you happen to be using the NVIDIA kernel module- there is a possibility with each aptitude upgrade that something will break it. Most changes to the kernel-image, or parts of Xorg will result in a broken NVIDIA kernel module- leaving you without a GUI. Fortunately, there is a simple fix: compile the offending kernel module by hand. The Debian tool module-assistant makes this process simple. The entire process is outlined in an excellent article by Andrew E. Schulman here. Essentially, after an NVIDIA-breaking update, re-run the module-assistant snippet, and all should be well.

General Process

aptitude install module-assistant nvidia-kernel-common
m-a prepare
m-a auto-install nvidia

Fixing a broken NVIDIA module

m-a auto-install nvidia

After an Upgrade sometimes NVIDIA parts will get out of sync

sudo aptitude install -f
sudo rmmod nvidia
sudo modprobe nvidia
sudo /etc/init.d/nvidia-kernel restart
sudo /etc/init.d/nvidia-glx restart
sudo /etc/init.d/kdm restart

When all else fails... maybe you accidentally started X in your own directory as root?

# in your home directory
sudo rm .ICEauthority
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