Sunday, July 26, 2009

ARRRRGH! Kernel Updates...BLECH!

I'm a Linux user. I have been since 1995, and although I keep a couple of Windoze boxen around because of hardware compatibility issues (Audio/Video capture and editing, and Ham Radio stuff), I greatly prefer Linux for my daily driver. No viruses, spyware, trojans, etc. Part of maintaining *ANY* computers system is to keep the system patched and updated. The latest updates for my OpenSUSE 11.1 installation included a kernel update. The "kernel" is the heart and soul of the Operating System, and as patches become available, I apply them. Well....this one BROKE the video subsystem, and I'm going bonkers trying to get it to run like it used to. It works well enough to be usable, but it's not quite "right" if you know what I mean, and if you run Linux, you know what I mean! Since I use an NVidia GeForce video card, and NVidia does NOT "Open Source" their drivers, I'm used to having to recompile the kernel module so everything interfaces properly, I can run my Dell 2405 flat screen at it's native resolution, 3D acceleration is enabled, etc. Somehow the NVidia driver and the compiled module aren't talking the same language as the new kernel is. I can't get the screen resolution back up to 1920x1200, 3D isn't working (more an annoyance, as I don't game on this box), and it doesn't automagically pick up what monitor I'm using from the EDID that the monitor outputs when it's gets queried. In short, I'm stuck in "Frame Buffer Graphics" which is NOT optimum.
Major Payne, here!
I could probably fix this by swapping out the GeForce 9400GT card I have in here for the GeForce 8800GTS I pulled out, which is a better supported card, but it draws a lot more power, generates a lot more heat, and is really overkill for what I use this machine for.
Or I can wait for the next kernel update, or NVidia driver update, which should hopefully fix this problem.
And on top of this minor annoyance, I'm trying to move all my "junque" over to the girlfriend's place, we just got a new puppy, and it's been too damn hot to work in her/our garage to clean it up so I'll be able to store my junque until we can get everything sorted out.
Not a fun weekend here.......


  1. Ouch! That is one of the shortfalls... I'm assuming you've checked the boards for any fixes from any other users and no luck...

  2. Got it fixed. Turns out you can add a software repository for precompiled NVidia kernel modules. Also turns out they'll OVERRIDE any manually compiled stuff you make. One of my Unix buddies over at DSL Reports clued me in, so after I nuked the repository, and manually removed all the stuff it installed, upgrading to the newest NVidia drivers solved the problem.
    Strange that I've *never* had this before, but now I know not to use the pre-packaged stuff anymore.


Keep it civil, please....