2. When you get to the point where you really understand your computer, it's probably obsolete. - Murphy's Laws of Computing

Beginner's Guide to Debian Etch

Wednesday 11th April 2007

Categories: Guides, GNU/Linux, FLOSS

Graphics drivers

If you want to use nVidia graphics drivers, then the Debian wiki has an excellent page on installing nVidia drivers. However, it is a bit lengthy, so here's the short and sweet version if you just want to get your 3D effects working. Note that this asssumes you are using a stock kernel i.e. a kernel just downloaded from Debian repositories. If you don't know what this means, that probably means that you are using a stock kernel, and don't need to worry about it!

The following should be done as root, since you are making changes to the system. The following also assumes that nothing will go wrong. If, at any point, anything does goes wrong, then the wiki page should be the first place to look.

  1. apt-get install module-assistant gcc nvidia-kernel-common (Install module-assistant, gcc and nvidia-kernel-common)
  2. m-a update
  3. m-a prepare
  4. m-a a-i nvidia, or m-a a-i nvidia-kernel-legacy-source if you need legacy drivers
  5. apt-get install nvidia-glx
  6. apt-get install nvidia-xconfig
  7. nvidia-xconfig, and say Yes when asked if you want update the configuration files for X
  8. Restart X, normally using the command /etc/init.d/gdm restart for gdm or /etc/init.d/kdm restart. If you're not sure how to do this, a simple reboot of the computer will have the same effect. You can also hit Ctrl+Alt+Backspace, although this isn't as 'nice'.

That's it! If, at any point, nVidia drivers or the kernel gets updated, then you will need to run the steps involving module assistant again.

Disabling the speaker

One last hint - if you don't want your PC to keep making that beeping noise (from your system speaker, not the sound card), then you can fortunately get rid of it. Unfortunately, the way you're supposed to do it doesn't work at the moment (you should just be able to add the line blacklist pcspkr in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist), so we'll have to find an alternative. The method I've used, even though its not very nice and shouldn't really be done this way, is just to get rid of the pcspkr driver itself. So, as root, simply type the command mv /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/drivers/input/misc/pcspkr.ko /root/. This moves the driver from its proper location to root's home directory - moving it is a safer bet than just deleting it just in case you want it back. In case you're wondering, the $(uname -r) bit inserts the name of the kernel you're using, such as 2.6.18-3-k7.

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