Because my motherboard (ASUS P5K) and its SATA hard disk were not recognized by the Sarge installer I decided to install Debian testing aka Lenny. The installation was smooth (thanks to all the work done by the installer team) and most of my hardware was identified automatically (including for example the volume up/down buttons on my logitech keyboard). Unfortunately, at this point, I was using the nv driver and had no 3D support.

The installation of the nvidia driver should be pretty straight forward :

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apt-get install module-assistant gcc nvidia-kernel-common<br />m-a update<br />m-a prepare<br />m-a auto-install nvidia

This will only work after adding main and non-free to the sources.list for Aptitude…

Unfortunately, the installation is not always that simple and that’s why a debian wiki page lists no less than four methods to install the driver.

In my case, the problem was that I was using Lenny and that, at the moment, the package nvidia-kernel-source is ot available for testing. So I had to use a backport. Thanks to the help from the folks at on the debian irc channel, I found out how to do just that :

  • Add the following to sources.list and update the package list

deb-src http://ftp.debian.org/debian sid

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main contrib non-free<br />apt-get update
  • Build the missing package

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apt-get build-dep nvidia; apt-get -b source nvidia
  • Install the resultant deb packages

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dpkg -i &amp;lt;packageName.deb&amp;gt;

That done, the command m-a a-i nvidia finally worked. After restarting gdm, everything worked fine. Next step, test Beryl…

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  1. Trackback on Debian: from testing to unstable : World Gone Web on June 14, 2008 at 5:29 pm

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    photo of Samantha Halfon Samantha Halfon
    Software Engineer
    blueKiwi software
    Paris, France
    I enjoy playing with my computer(s), listening to Bob Dylan (and related artists) and watching movies (especially if they were directed by Martin Scorsese or John Cassavetes). Sometimes, I play a little guitar... If not doing any of the above, I am either riding a small red bike around Paris, or, making videos. About my videomaking please check out World Wide Angle and its blog.