Mar 082016

This post is more of a note to myself on how to install the proprietary nVidia drivers on a fresh Debian install as I keep forgetting which packages I need!

After recently reinstalling Jessie onto a computer with an older Geforce card, I had to install an older version of the drivers (340.96).

From a fresh install, I needed to install the following packages:


# apt-get install gcc make linux-headers-3.16.0-4-amd64

The kernel version above will change as time goes on, so you can substitute the version number with $(uname -r) – e.g. apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

Once the packages are installed, you need to make sure the gcc version that your kernel was compiled with matches your current compiler.
You can find out what version your kernel was compiled with by checking the contents of /proc/version
# cat /proc/version
Linux version 3.16.0-4-amd64 ( (gcc version 4.8.4 (Debian 4.8.4-1) ) #1 SMP Debian 3.16.7-ckt20-1+deb8u4 (2016-02-29)

In my case, my kernel was compiled with gcc-4.8, so I had to also install gcc-4.8.
# apt-get install gcc-4.8

Once the compiler was installed, I also need to set the CC environment variable so that the correct compiler is used to compile the nVidia driver.
# export CC=gcc-4.8

Now that everything is setup, I can run the nVidia installer to install the drivers.

Dec 262010

I’ve finally managed to get my triple screens working in Debian Sid with a PCI Voodoo Banshee (Got ancient ?) and a Geforce 7300GS, this is on an Asus A8N-SLI motherboard, custom 2.6.32 kernel and nVidia drivers ver. 256.53.

Trickiest part was to get them recognised in the right order.

For the Quick Rundown – assuming you’re starting from scratch :

  1. Set default video card to PCI in the BIOS.
  2. Install Debian.*
  3. Install nVidia Drivers.
  4. Setup X with Screen 0 as nVidia Geforce 7300gs and Screen1 as Voodoo Banshee.
  5. Start X.
  6. You should end up with two screens, each with a seperate X server running (you cannot drag programs between the two).
  7. Run “sudo nvidia-settings” in a terminal.**
  8. The nVidia settings manager should show you 2 screens under “X Server Display Configuration”, one which is disabled.
  9. Click on the disabled screen, click configure, then click Seperate X Screen.
  10. Tick “Enable Xinerama”.
  11. Click “Save to X Configuration File”.
  12. Reboot the computer / Restart X.
  13. You should now have both screens on the nVidia card going but the third one on the Banshee (or whatever you’re using in its place).
  14. You will need to manually edit the xorg.conf file now *** –
  15. Add this line ‘Screen 2 “Screen2” LeftOf “Screen0″‘ in the Section “ServerLayout”.
  16. Add an extra “Monitor” Section with the Identifier as “Monitor2”, VendorName and ModelName I have as “Unknown” but you can customise it.
  17. In the device section, you should still have the section for your second video card, change the Identifier for that card to “Device2”
  18. There will already be 2 Screen sections after the Device sections, copy one of those but replace the Identifier, Device, and Monitor lines with “Screen2″,”Device2″,”Monitor2” respectively.
  19. Restart the X server and hope for the best !

I got this working just this afternoon and now I am happily typing away on my 3 monitors.

* Debian can be replaced by any other distribution but I’ve tested this on Debian.

** If sudo is not installed, then login to X as root.

*** This will need to be done as root.