SDB:NVIDIA troubleshooting

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Navigation cartes graphiques NVIDIA
This article will help you in troubleshooting your NVIDIA graphics driver.

KDE 4.x Performance Issues

Both KDE (in particular) and GNOME are currently suffering from degraded performance when using the 177.82 version of the drivers. The issues are largely solved in newer the 180.06 version. However, as the 180 drivers have issues with displaying random images under some circumstances, it may still be advantageous to use the older driver version with the configuration changes outlined below.

To resolve this issue in the interim (until the repository is updated), you can do the following:

1) Add the following line to your ~/.xinitrc file:
nvidia-settings -a InitialPixmapPlacement=2 -a GlyphCache=1

If you do not have a .xinitrc, do the following to create one and then add the above line:

  1. cd
  2. cp .xinitrc.template .xinitrc

2) Modify your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and add the following to the Screen section:
Option "PixmapCacheSize" "1000000"
Option "AllowSHMPixmaps" "0"

That should solve the current (major) KDE4.1 performance issues. The link to the original post:

Problem with some AGP graphics boards

Using AGP graphics boards with some motherboards you may need to manually add [Option "NvAGP" "2"] as shown below. This was the case with a Gigabyte GA-K8NS AMD64 motherboard and AGP Nvidia FX5200 graphics board. Without this command X failed to start.

 Section "Device"
   BoardName    "GeForce FX 5200 (0x0322)"
   BusID        "1:0:0"
   Driver       "nvidia"
   Identifier   "Device[0]"
   VendorName   "NVidia"
   Option       "NvAGP" "2"

Compilation on FACTORY

Running the NVIDIA installer on FACTORY fails with undefined symbols problems, so you might need to follow the instructions |in this page to patch the driver sources.

Application freeze or crash when compositing/3D effects enabled

You have set Option "Composite" "Enable" in /etc/X11/xorg.conf to enjoy your eye candy or 3D desktop, but you see some applications crash or freeze?

Try to temporarily disable compositing with Option "Composite" "Disable" and restart your X server.

Do these applications now not crash or freeze any longer? If the answer is yes, your compositing is unstable.

There is a solution. nVidia drivers after 169.xx introduced a new option named UseCompositeWrapper. Put it in the device section of your xorg.conf: Option "UseCompositeWrapper" "true" and enable compositing again. Restart your X server. Your applications should now not freeze or crash any longer.

TwinView Resolution Issues

Sometimes, when configuring dual monitors by using nvidia-settings, there is no option to choose a resolution above 640x480 for a second monitor. This is caused by the default HorizSync for the monitor settings in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

To increase the low resolution monitor, you will need to increase the HorizSync in order to enable a higher resolution on that particular monitor. To make this possible, perform the following actions:

1. From within nvidia-settings, set the resolution of the monitor in question to the highest available resolution. eg: 640x480. Make sure not to change it to Auto. This will help you identify the correct monitor when editing your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. Save to xorg.conf and exit.

2. Open /etc/X11/xorg.conf and find the following section (minor details will vary slightly):

 Section "Screen"
   Monitor "Monitor0"
   Option  "metamode" "CRT: 640x680 +1280+0, DFP: 1280x1024 +0+0"

3. Change the resolution to the desired resolution.

4. Locate the corresponding monitor section (details will vary slightly):

 Section "Monitor"
   Identifier "Monitor0"
   HorizSync   28.0 - 33.0

5. Increase the HorizSync right-hand value to 65.0 (or higher if monitor still doesn't work after restarting X)

6. Save the file and restart X server.

7. If the second monitor still does not display, repeat Steps 4 through 7, making HorizSync more than 65.0

OpenGL applications won't run on non-SSE capable CPUs

If you see this message when trying to run OpenGL applications, then you probably have a CPU that does not support SSE (e.g. Athlon Thunderbird):

NVIDIA OpenGL Driver requires CPUs with SSE to run.

The current CPU does not support SSE.

NVidia have released beta driver 173.14.15 that does support CPUs without SSE. See for the announcment. Downloads are available for Linux/x86 and Linux/x86-64.

Screen Rotation

If you have monitor with "portrait mode" function. You should edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf to use this feature. Add Option "RandRRotation" "true" string to Device section. And restart X. Now you can rotate your screen.

Example of Device section:

Section "Device"
  BoardName    "GeForce 6800 (0x00C1)"
  Driver       "nvidia"
  Identifier   "Device[0]"
  VendorName   "NVidia"
  Option       "RandRRotation" "true"

Example of rotation:

$ xrandr -o left

You can set your screen to left, right, inverted or normal position.

You also can use gui utils like KRandRTray.

NVIDIA Legacy driver 96.43.19 may require nopat option

If X-server fails to start or can't set some resolution on legacy cards and you see the following message:

NVIDIA(0): Failed to allocate/map the primary surface!        

try adding nopat kernel option (in boot options or in grub menu)