Archives – June, 2009

Bad graphical behaviour with Nvidia GeForce 9200M GS

The following applies for those that, running a lspci, get:

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation G98 [GeForce 9200M GS] (rev a1)

When trying to play a DVD or a divx movie at fullscreen, the image movement were not fluent, just like a 25fps movie played at 11fps. Similiarly, the 3D screen-savers were slow. Checking the /var/log/Xorg.0.log file everything seemed ok, since the default NV drivers included in Xorg are capable of recognizing the NVidia graphic card. Unfortunately, those driver are definitely not optimized and they perform very bad. NVidia released some alternative drivers for linux and -still- unfortunately, they are propertary. It’s your choice to use the free unoptimized drivers or the propertary optimized ones. Anyway, here follows the procedure to install the propertary ones.

Drivers depends on the architecture used by your system. Nvidia releases driver only for x86 and AMD64 CPUs. To check what’s your architecture, type

uname -r

If your kernel version ends with -*86, follow the blue steps, otherwise if it ends with -amd64 follow the red steps. (NOTE: if you have this video card and are using a x86 kernel, you are probably not using all your PC potential. Consider installing an AMD64 distribution. More information here.)

  1. Get into a non-X shell (typing CTRL+ALT+F1) and log in as root.
  2. Install the linux-kernel headers:apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)
  3. stop the Gnome Desktop manager:/etc/init.d/gdm stop
  4. take the NVIDIA propertary drivers:
    for x86: wget http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86/190.53/NVIDIA-Linux-x86-190.53-pkg1.run
    for AMD64: wget http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86_64/190.53/NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-190.53-pkg2.run
  5. make the driver installer runnable:
    for x86: chmod a+x NVIDIA-Linux-x86-190.53-pkg1.run
    for AMD64: chmod a+x NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-190.53-pkg2.run
  6. run the installer:
    for x86: ./NVIDIA-Linux-x86-190.53-pkg1.run
    for AMD64: ./NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-190.53-pkg2.run
    accept everything and when asked to update the /etc/xorg.conf file, answer yes.
  7. restart gdm:
    /etc/init.d/gdm start
  8. (now Gnome should start, but you still have an open root shell. Type again CTRL+ALT+F1 and close it, then CTRL+ALT+F7 to go back to Gnome.)

The NVidia drivers should be now loaded and the movies should play fine. If you want to run a 3D test, try:

apt-get install mesa-utils

and then run from a console:

glxgears

The tool will print the FPS rate, that should be around 3000 frames/sec

Enjoy your movies and 3D games, and reclaim your optimized free drivers from your hardware vendor!

June 5, 2009

Audio and wireless on a HP Pavilion dv6-1060

This post has been updated since something changed (yeah, the audio out jack now works great!)

Making both the wireless connection and the audio board work on a HP Pavilion DV6-1060el with Debian Lenny (currently stable) and Squeeze (currently testing) needs a small effort. This is due to 2 reasons: first, the linux kernel up to version 2.6.26 (current version distributed with Lenny) doesn’t support the Intel 5100 wireless interface, second, the ALSA driver up to 1.0.21 (that comes with Squeeze’s kernel) doesn’t support the audio board’s codec (that is, IDC 92HD75B3X5) out of the box, yet you can force the driver to use another codec and make the audio board fully work.

So, if running lspci you got:

02:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 5100 AGN [Shiloh] Network Connection
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 03)
[...]

And running

cat /proc/asound/card0/codec#* | grep Codec

you got:

Codec: IDT 92HD75B3X5
  1. If you are using Debian Lenny, follow the instructions here to install a new kernel >= 2.6.30. This kernel version supports the wireless interface and has the pre-built ALSA module version >= 1.0.21.
    (to check your running ALSA version, type cat /proc/asound/version)
  2. Otherwise, if you are using Debian Squeeze, just add non-free to your repository list and install 2 packages as described here. If your kernel is not up to date, update it with:
    apt-get install linux-image-amd64
    (replace ‘amd64’ with your architecture)
  3. edit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf adding the line: options snd-hda-intel model=hp-dv5 at the bottom of the file. This can be done with the command (as root):
    echo “options snd-hda-intel model=hp-dv5” >> /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf
  4. remove and reload the snd-hda-intel module with the command (as root):
    alsa force-reload
    or restarting your machine.
  5. Now everything should work fine. With alsamixer raise up the volume of Master, Speaker and PCM. Switch to Capture (using Tab key) and make sure it is activated, pressing space until a red CAPTURE appears. Raise up Digital and Digital Mic volumes. Try out the speakers, the headphones, the internal and external microphone (try recording with Audacity or another sound recorder). Everything should work now.

The audio card is still not fully supported. When switching the pc off, you may hear some weird noises. Anyhow, that’s a workaround that will make your PC rock. When an ALSA version fully supporting this audio board will be released in future debian kernels, you’ll probably have to remove the line “options snd-hda-intel model=hp-dv5” from /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf, and everything will work as is.

If you found this post useful, you have alternative solutions, some news, or something is unclear, please comment.

June 3, 2009

WICD dbus problems

Tried WICD 1.5.9 as a network manager on Debian testing (Squeeze). After apt-get installing and running it, i got the following error:

dbus.exceptions.DBusException: org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceUnknown: The name org.wicd.daemon was not provided by any .service files

This is a known bug that should be fixed in future relases. To solve it, i only had to restart dbus and gdm:

/etc/init.d/dbus restart
/etc/init.d/gdm restart

(yes, this will close all your gnome session and applications) then everything worked, at least for me.

June 1, 2009


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