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ben72
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:57 am    Post subject: Graphics Card Update Reply with quote

Hi Forum,
this could be a pretty basic/noob question but I'd like to ask it anyway because it might be a tricky problem.
I'm using a gentoo destkop PC (4.1.12-gentoo AMD64, i7G3, 8Gb Ram) on a daily basis and I'm planning to make some hardware upgrade. I'm an happy Intel i915 owner (HP builtin graphic adapter) [VIDEO_CARDS="intel" in make.conf] and I'm planning to use a NVidia NVS 315 card due to its dual head capabilities.
as suggested in [https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/NVidia/nvidia-drivers] I can switch it with VIDEO_CARDS="nvidia" and with proper kernel checks to avoid framebuffer troubles.
Graphics card is now physically installed but vga cable is still on the Intel side, this computer is used in a production environment so I'd like to minimize downtime and tests to the minimum. Here's what I'm planning to do:
- set VIDEO_CARDS='nvidia' in /etc/portage/make.conf
- kernel recompile with proper checks as suggested in the nvidia-drivers link mentioned above
- rsync. emerge --update --newuse --deep @world. emerge --depclean. revdep-rebuild. Fix/patch the whole process until it ends
- power down the machine
- switch video cable to the nvidia card
- power on and see what happens
Is it good or am I missing something ? I'm asking it before doing it in order to avoid troubles (better safe than sorry)

Thank you in advance for your hints/suggestions

Regards
Ben
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ben72,

First, update your system. The current evil binary blob probably won't play nicely with such an old kernel.

Update Xorg and remove the Intel video drivers. Up to date Xorg uses the modesetting driver for Intel chips.
Its built into Xorg.

When you have a current kernel and current Xorg, you can try nvidia-drivers.

If your kernel indicates the age of the install (about 18 moths), you have a 'learning experience' ahead.
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fedeliallalinea
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
First, update your system. The current evil binary blob probably won't play nicely with such an old kernel.

I think is a typo error, ben72 did forgets '1' digit :D
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ben72
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:27 am    Post subject: solved Reply with quote

I have delayed the entire operation for a while because I'm using this workstation for some real work too.
Few mistakes in the middle due to some misconfigurations on xorg-server+gnome+nvidia drivers so I have finished the upgrade with SSH from a remote shell. but these are the right steps:
- portage/make.conf update (VIDEO_CARDS="nvidia"), I'm not using nouveau but the evil binary blob
- kernel update to latest (4.12.12) version as NeddySeagoon suggested
- carefully followed https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/NVidia/nvidia-drivers to avoid troubles with kernel options, I'm fine after xorg startup but still a little bit creepy on boot. With my previous Intel card I have had framebuffer on boot (before X) to see systemd msgs and crap, I'll probably add some framebuffer on boot with this nvidia card too
- emerge nvidia-drivers, with some exceptions and proper/supported version, my old NV315 doesn't play nicely with latest driver
- emerge xorg-server
- created a file (/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/30-nvidia.conf )
Code:

Section "Device"
    Identifier  "nvidia"
    Driver      "nvidia"
EndSection

without it xorg won't load anything, I haven't that for intel i915 but it seems it's needed with nvidia stuff
- emerge @world with proper attention to it as in a normal gentoo upgrade (always a pain but a continuous learning experience)
- added my user to the video group (/etc/group) to avoid an infamous "oh no, something has gone wrong,... " message as reported on (https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/GNOME/Guide), I have never had it with my old gnome-shell 3.20

Now it works
Thanks folks :)

Ben
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ben72,

Two things to add.

Code:
Section "Device"
    Identifier  "nvidia"
    Driver      "nvidia"
EndSection
is required for the nvidia binary blob as Xorg only tries to auto load open source drivers. In your case, intel.

The binary blob does not play nicely with framebuffer consoles. At least, it won't load if it detects that some other driver has configured the hardware.
That leaves a choice of three.
EFI Framebuffer, on systems with EFI in use.
Vesa Framebuffer on systems with BIOS in use.
Simple Framebuffer but this needs to be configured before the kernel loads as the kernel just uses it.

The old text console should work too but that's not framebuffer. No Tux logos on boot.
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NeddySeagoon

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ben72
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:55 am    Post subject: thanks Reply with quote

Thanks again for your hints.

I have always used opensource drivers, this time I have opted for nvidia proprietary just for the sake of it but I have nothing against nouveau. I have never written a file like that for X but it was easy after looking at my Xorg.0.log and few searches on these forums, I wasn't aware of that XOrg behaviour.
Same goes for the framebuffer, I'm not so interested in seeing eight (in my case) little penguins but system boot messages (before X) are really important (even more because of systemd), a clumsy 80x24 fixed text doesn't help much here...
I'll try to enable that EFI Framebuffer [uvesafb] (PC:HP 8200 Elite) for my EFI BIOS and I'll see what happens (https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-831956-start-0.html), I'm now using nvidia-drivers v340.104 and xorg is fine with this NV315 board
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hhfeuer
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to interrupt, but
vesafb has always been incompatible with nvidia drivers, maybe you mistook it with uvesafb
The xserver for quite some times loads the nvidia binary driver by auto config, so normally no xorg.conf needed when displays are only connected to nvidia and intel diabled in bios.
The important thing is to disable anything nouveau and nvidiafb in kernel
In general, does your mainboard not have a second connector, dual/triple-head is very well possible with just the intel.
Edit: same time post
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ben72
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

uvesafb in my case (did I wrote vesafb? my mistake), that's right.
I don't have a dual head solution here but if I will ever need a second monitor I will attach it to the nvidia (that supports it through its custom connector) even if I have a free connector on the Intel side.
I'll probably try what is suggested on https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-831956-start-0.html . I don't care so much about perfect resolution or character size on boot so I'll play with modes a little just to avoid 80x25.
This is my workstation (not a server or a VM) so boot information needs to be readable once a day for 5/6 secs on startup but then XOrg-server+gnome is what I use mostly (as many of you).

Ben
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hhfeuer
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ben72
Sorry, my post was meant as a comment to NeddySeagoon's post. Was just a same-time post with yours.
Sorry for the confusion.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hhfeuer,

For a long time I used vesafb with nvidia-drivers. The nvidia-drivers gave dire warnings about it not being a supported configuration.
When nvidia dropped support for my card, I moved to nouveau.

I did not mention uvesafb as its going away. It may have gone by now.
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NeddySeagoon

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