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Ubuntu 10.04 Nvidia Graphics Driver for 8800GTS issues

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July 12, 2010 5:57:58 PM

Hi all.
I recently installed Linux Ubuntu 10.04 32Bit onto my machine. If it matters, its a virtual machine, my main host platform is Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit. Anyway, my GPU is an EVGA Nvidia Geforce 8800GTS 640MB. I am a lot of problems installing the graphics drivers. Anyway know exactly how to install a linux ".run" graphics card driver the proper way. I have tried about 50 ways and no luck.
July 12, 2010 6:24:00 PM

You can't do that. Just about every virtual machine software ever made doesn't allow access to the real graphics card, it has a virtual graphics instead which has its own driver.

What kind of vm are you using and what are your full specs? Real and virtual.

Semper Fi :) 
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July 12, 2010 7:19:00 PM

As linux_0 pointed out, you can't use your actual graphics card within a VM. You can go to the VM settings, and up the graphics card memory up to the max (128MB I think it is?), and enable 3D acceleration. That's about the best performance you'll get; I could run all the desktop effects using said settings.
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July 12, 2010 10:16:44 PM

I use Virtual Box.

My Real Specs:

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 D0
PSU: Corsair 850TX
RAM: OCZ Platinum 6GB Triple-Channel
GPU: EVGA Nvidia Geforce 8800GTS 640MB (I think its factory overclocked a bit).
MB: Asus P6T
SSD: Intel X25-M 80GB
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint 500GB (Used for virtual box OS's)

Virtual Specs for Ubuntu:
RAM: 512MB
HDD: Dynamic Storage, expands as needed, limit is 20GB
CPU's: 1
Graphics: 128MB, I gave it everything, 128 is limit.

I enabled everything for the graphics, but the resolution is stuck at 800x600 tops and 640x480. Thats way to low. I was hoping for full resolution on desktop?

In addition, the virtual box said that i was using 16bit color but I don't know how to switch to 32bit color, maybe this has something to do with the driver?...although I doubt it.

And how would I go about getting a driver for my virtual linux?

And in addition, linux_0, so you are basically saying that if I were to make an ISO out my vista disc that I have laying around and install it into my virtual machine and downloaded my official GPU driver it won't work?....
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July 12, 2010 10:49:15 PM

Have you installed the Guest Additions? That generally allows you to change the resolution to more usable sizes.

The same goes for any OS. Virtual machines can't utilize physical hardware in the way that a proper install can. You can only use your virutal network, virtual graphics, etc.
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July 12, 2010 11:04:59 PM

Guest Additions? Whats that?

Edit:
OH! I see, it says that basically it can make installs a lot easier on you buy adding things such as video drivers, I am installing it as I write this, lets see how it does.
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July 12, 2010 11:30:25 PM

Hopefully that helps you out. I know it added a bunch more resolutions to my list when I installed them. Let us know how it works for you.
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July 12, 2010 11:39:41 PM

WOW! Things are so easy sometimes that they are hard. Now it allows me to take my resolution to 1360x768 which is almost 720p/1080i. However my main monitor supports up to 1920x1080. Would be nice if I can get there but if there is no other solution then oh well. However I'd really like to hear linux_0's reply on how I should handle the problem.

Edit: Just entered into Fullscreen mode and I can take it all the way to 1080p. This is awsome. Everything is so much smoother, the graphics are better. Thanks so much!
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July 13, 2010 12:15:06 AM

Glad to hear it's all working for you.

Modifying the xorg configuration file (I think that's what it is) allows you to run custom resolutions, IIRC.
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July 13, 2010 12:19:40 AM

Hopefully I can do the same with Linux Fedora and Opensuse!
Fedora is my favorite linux out of all, but it has some minor app issues sometimes and it causes me to use Ubuntu a lot.
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July 13, 2010 12:20:57 PM

Fedora and most other linux distros run great in virtualbox as long as you've got a decent system with virt extensions enabled, any modern AMD or Intel should work really well. Your i7 ought to work just fine in both 32bit and 64bit mode.

Intel Atoms on the other hand don't do virt very well, in fact they can be slow as heck.

Fedora 12 and 13, for the most part, run beautifully in virtualbox 3.2.4 but some of the drivers from the guest Guest Additions ISO may not always work perfectly well, you'll have to do some tinkering here and there and try different versions until you find ones that work well together.

I haven't tried Opensuse but it'll probably work too.

Good luck :) 
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July 13, 2010 6:48:41 PM

Well the guest additions work amazing, i can do full screen with full 1080p resolution, so it really helps! However the thing is, I downloaded KDE for ubuntu so I can change from gnome to kde during the login so i have ubuntu/kubuntu in one. However KDE is more graphical and it gets very slow, even with the guest additions. The video driver isn't enough for power KDE. Any ideas?
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July 13, 2010 7:18:40 PM

You're never going to get the performance, particularly graphics, from a VM than you would get natively. They are fine for playing, for servers, or for a non-demanding desktop but not so good when you want to push things to the limit.

Why not install natively? You'll get better performance and it won't take up any more space than a VM.
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July 13, 2010 8:22:49 PM

Ijack said:
Why not install natively? You'll get better performance and it won't take up any more space than a VM.


Seconded. You'll get much better performance, won't take up much more space, and you can choose to dual-boot if you don't wanna get rid of your W7 install.
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July 13, 2010 8:51:07 PM

I see, well i'll just stick to the gnome desktop, it much easier to run on it. And I don't want to run natively, because that means I'd have to reboot to get into my other OS. I restart my win7 like every two weeks or so...there is no point doing it more often because i have lots of apps open. I want it virtualized so I can use it whenev
er I want without rebooting constantly, each of my OS's has a different purpose. I have win7 as my primary/main OS which hosts the virtual app, then I have xp for testing out new apps and messing around, vista for secure purposes, and linux just for fun so I can learn it better as linux after all...is the future, businesses and companies are all starting to dump windows and starting to move to linux/unix/solaris...etc. So i have it easily available, i will more likley want to use it and learn it.

In addition I also had a question, in Virtual Box, whenever I want to set the OS to use more then one CPU, it doesn't boot...what if I want to give it more?
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July 13, 2010 8:56:35 PM

Yeah, that's another performance killer - running it whilst you have lots of open Windows applications. Like any OS, the more RAM Linux has the better it will run. You're limiting yourself (I guess) to at most half of your RAM. But, it's horses for courses. If running it at the same time as Windows is more important than performance then a VM is a good choice. I've got a few Linux distros installed in VMs for playing and then a couple of native installs for when I want to do something a bit more serious.

I dual boot, but Windows 7 boots so quickly that that's not a problem for me.
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July 13, 2010 9:32:54 PM

Yeah same mine boots in under 10sec, I just don't like rebooting. I only reboot my computer for updates and when I install very large/important applications. Or if the power goes out in which after 20minutes, my UPS will shut it down. And since you people know a hell of a lot more then me in linux, out of curiosity, which distro is your favorite and why?...and which ones do you have because you seem to have a lot of them.
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July 13, 2010 9:51:30 PM

I have native installations on my main PC of:

Fedora 13 (because I've had Fedora for a long time and keep updating it).
Mandriva (seems to work best on a variety of hardware).

And on a second PC that acts as a server for my home network:

FreeBSD (the best OS there is for a server).

On a PPC MacMini I have:

Ubuntu (because everyone raves about it - it's OK).
Gentoo (everyone should try Gentoo - real man's Linux).

I also have VM installations of:

Ubuntu (same reasons as above, but the x86_64 version).
Mandriva (a test system that I haven't got around to deleting yet).
FreeBSD (again a test system so I don't have to mess with the server).
SuSE (why not?).
OpenSolaris (real UNIX).
Solaris (the commercial version).

and probably a few more that I've forgotten (oh yes, I have Debian on a Buffalo Linkstation). I just like playing with these things, and disk space is cheap.

If I had to choose one, no-trouble system to install it would be Mandriva (I have a second native install of that on a laptop).
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July 13, 2010 10:24:23 PM

FINALLY SOMEBODY LIKE ME....A lot of people ask me whats the point and why I virtualize all these OS's...and I say why not..? Its fun and easy. Thank you!

And i installed ubuntu and it seems really good. It works, it has a nice GUI, the commands aren't to hard to learn and it has tons of applications. I tried fedora a while ago and I also liked, I am going to install right now as a matter of fact.

However I also have more questions. I downloaded ubuntu and fedora ISO's and they are under 1GB...around 600-700MB to be precise. But then I downloaded OpenSuse it was a massive 4.18GB...! What can possibly be on that linux to make it so large.

And I also have massive problems with linux on my laptop as I can never get the wireless card driver and graphics driver working.
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July 14, 2010 6:42:10 AM

The difference in size of the distro is just that SuSE contains a large number of optional programs on the DVD. Most of the same programs, and maybe others, will be available for other distros but are supplied over the network. The best distributions, likd FreeBSD (OK, not Linux but you know what I mean), allow you to boot from a minimal image - maybe 60MB or so, and then do the rest of the install via the network.

Wireless can be a problem, depending on chipset, as can graphics. But rest assured it is much easier than in the early days and getting easier all the time; then you had to produce an X11 configuration file by hand, including the relevant lines for monitor timings, and if you got it wrong you could - literally - destroy your monitor. If you were lucky you then ended up with a 640x480 black and white display.
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July 14, 2010 3:56:44 PM

Oh I see. Well i'd rather have a minimal install with the rest to be downloaded over network. And yes, wireless is a huge problem. Thats why my laptop can't have linux because I installed once and I had to much frustration as I could never get the wireless driver going.
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July 14, 2010 4:14:42 PM

Mandriva installed nicely on my laptop, and wireless networking worked just like that. It does seem to be one of the better distros for detecting hardware, but I might just be lucky with my laptop's chipset. But it might be worth giving their Live CD a go to see how it goes on your laptop. You should be able to test the wireless network without installing it to the hard disk.
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July 14, 2010 4:21:18 PM

Oh yeah, live CD's are nice. As a matter of fact, for my virtualization, I technically didn't need to install my OS, I could run them as a live CD, because my ISO was already on my hard drive so the speed would be pretty much the same. And i'll give mandriva a try, if everything works, I'll drop windows and switch.
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July 14, 2010 7:11:08 PM

:lol:  4.18GB isn't massive :)  Debian is massive! It comes on 5 DVDs or 31 CDs!

4 4.4gb DVDs and 1 1.1gb DVD, that's a cool 18.7 gb.

That puts the single 3.3gb Fedora DVD to shame. [ fixed typo ]

Semper Fi :) 
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July 14, 2010 8:08:55 PM

WHAT!!? 18.7GB!!!??? That absolutly ridiculous. Hell it puts windows to shame. My windows 7 takes up a little less then 8GB on a fresh install and the DVD is even smaller. So what can possibly be in Debian to make it so crazy?

In addition, I tried installing fedora onto my virtual machine and the Virtual Box guest addition doesn't work on it. I mounts but when I open to install, the file isn't there.

I put open solaris on (why not), and I am also going to try putting FreeBSD!

So any thoughts how to get a video driver for Fedora since the guest additions won't work for it?
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July 14, 2010 8:18:18 PM

Once you have selected to install guest additions you may have to mount the CD. A command like

sudo mount -a

should do that, but it's possible that you might have to specify the device and the mount directory. It's a while since I've had Fedora in a VM, but I'm sure that guest additions works fine with it.
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July 14, 2010 8:25:57 PM

Okay i'll try it. I like Ubuntu since its easy to use, but Fedora seems a bit more secure as it can have a boot password and its command system makes a lot more sense to me, its more like windows...so I am going to learn Fedora if I can!

Anyway thanks for the help you guys gave me. I really appreciate it!
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July 14, 2010 8:28:29 PM

Whatever you do, have fun! That's what it's all about.
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July 15, 2010 1:49:12 AM

I am going to try the Mandriva Live CD on my laptop and see how it works regarding wireless and video drivers.
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July 15, 2010 1:50:33 AM

What wireless chipset do you have? We can try to find some drivers for you :) 
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July 15, 2010 12:02:00 PM

No need, I put a live CD in of ubuntu and recognized wireless right away :) ! Linux just gets better and better a few years ago you had to do all that by command which is why is dumped it now its all much more user friendly!
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July 15, 2010 7:51:16 PM

ijack, I need your advice. Currently my virtualization is on "Virtual Box" but I downloaded the free version of VMware server. If you have used both, which do you think is better? I know that VMware is what companies use so maybe its better? Any ideas?

In addition, I installed Mandriva which is 10x better than Ubuntu/Fedora/Suse in my opinion since it immediatly notices your hardware and there is no need for any guest addition crap as the video driver is already installed, however I couldn't find anywhere how to run a file. I know that "su" gets you into root just like in Fedora, but if I want to run a file like I do in ubuntu "sudo sh"..what do I do for that for Mandriva, it says no where on the net, i've been looking all day and feel like I am a noob and looking in all the wrong places hehe.
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July 15, 2010 8:07:30 PM

I find VirtualBox slightly better than VMWare, and it does get updated more frequently. I did use VMWare server at one time, but have now switched to VMWare player (also free). Despite it's name this does allow you to create new VMs; I would recommend it over VMWare server. The only need that I have for VMWare, rather than VirtualBox, is to run an OS X VM. Never managed to do that with VirtualBox. Companies will prefer VMWare because it has more official support, particularly the enterprise versions.

"sudo" should work just like in Ubuntu. The only thing is that you may need to actually add the software. I can't remember if it is installed by default. Go to "Add Software" in "Configure your computer", type "sudo" in the find box, and then tick and install sudo. If you get a message when you try to use sudo "xxxx is not in the sudoers file", then - as root - edit /etc/sudoers. You really should do this using the vidudo command, which uses vi syntax, but any editor can be used if you're careful. There are a few comments in the file explaining the entries, but the easist thing for your purposes is just to uncomment the line

%wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL

by removing the initial "#".
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July 15, 2010 8:39:24 PM

Thank You for the command help.

I'll try and get back with the results.

Edit:
Okay weirdly enough, virtual box guest additions actually makes mandriva worse. It comes with an excellent video driver as it is and virtual makes the resolution lower and makes it choppy...So i am not going to use for mandriva.
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July 15, 2010 10:46:56 PM

I downloaded Vmware and I like Virtual Box a lot better. With Vmware you need to open up your browser, login and use a web application interface which is slow and way to complecated...Virtual Box is easier,simpler, and I think its better. Maybe there is something I'm missing about vmware and there is an actual program.?
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July 16, 2010 1:58:38 AM

I find VirtualBox tends to be more popular. I like it better as well, personally. In all fairness I've only played with VMWare a few times, but first impressions can mean a lot :p 

VirtualBox is also open-souce (although I'm sure Oracle will try to change that), while I don't believe VMWare is, so instant brownie points :D 
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July 16, 2010 3:48:12 AM

Oracle won't have to, they are so rich and own massive databases, probably one of the largest on earth.

And I think I can finally conclude this thread, I got much more help and assistance then I thought I would and I thank everyone who commented :) 

-Blackhawk1928
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July 16, 2010 4:16:46 AM

blackhawk1928 said:
Oracle won't have to, they are so rich and own massive databases, probably one of the largest on earth.


Oracle has been trying to ruin open-source projects that Sun Microsystems managed since they acquired them :( 

blackhawk1928 said:
And I think I can finally conclude this thread, I got much more help and assistance then I thought I would and I thank everyone who commented :) 

-Blackhawk1928


Glad we could be of service ;) 
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July 16, 2010 6:25:03 AM

I have similar concerns re Oracle and VirtualBox/OpenSolaris. I guess we'll see.

VMWare Player is much more like VirtualBox (non-web interface) which is why I recommended it over VMWare Server (but stlill slightly under VirtualBox).
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July 16, 2010 7:55:44 PM

With Virtual Box guest additions, the graphics are pretty smooth and work fine with good resolutions...but there is still a little bit of choppiness/stuttering. So I went to vbox and made a snapshot of ubuntu and just for the heck of it went the software center and searched nvidia drivers in the search bar and installed the latest one that came up in the mananger which is called "NVidia binary X.Org driver ('version 185' driver). After installing I restarted and I really don't know if its just a mental/illusional thing with me but every feels smoother...its as if this is the graphics driver that I needed all along. I have this application called Docky which is basically object dock from windows and when I moused over, it really stuttered when it was zooming the icons...now its smooth as butter. Is this possible? Everything feels smoother like when I scroll on a webpage and the mouse glides better.
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July 16, 2010 8:46:52 PM

Whatever works for you, but I can't think there's any way that your Linux can be using that driver. As far as it's concerned it doesn't have an NVidia card but a hypothetical graphics card that follws Vesa standards. You can check by browsing /var/log/Xorg.0.log. That will tell you which video driver is being used by xorg.
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July 17, 2010 5:47:20 PM

I have no clue either how its possible since according to the OS or as far is knows, it's using a virtual card...but for some reason I have this little Zoom Docklet and it zooms on the icons smoother then before...oh well. Whatever I did or however it got better, i'll just keep the driver installed, it won't hurt will it?

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July 19, 2010 5:14:53 AM

linux_0 said:
You can't do that. Just about every virtual machine software ever made doesn't allow access to the real graphics card, it has a virtual graphics instead which has its own driver.

What kind of vm are you using and what are your full specs? Real and virtual.

Semper Fi :) 


You said just "about" every virtual machine. Are there any that do?
The "Virtual Drivers" that come with virtual box allow good resolutions, but they really suck...video sucks...not much you can do with them. Anyway to get good drivers...non guest additions that give better performance? I can't even run KDE because it is all choppy since its apparently more graphical.
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July 19, 2010 6:00:45 AM

I said that because Xen does, but it's not easy to do, doesn't work all the time and requires your computer to run Linux or Unix natively, because you can't run Xen under windows and even if you could you shouldn't.

To try it you'd have to install Linux or Unix on your computer, can't be inside a VM, install Xen with all the required Xen patches and hope for the best.

If you're able to get all that working ( Linux or Unix and Xen ) then you can try to use Xen's VGA pass-through feature, install windows virtualized as a guest inside Xen and try to get the VGA and the windows vm to play along.

There's no guarantee it's going to work.

Good luck :) 
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July 19, 2010 6:56:06 AM

Oh lord, that sounds to complicated and i'd like windows to be my native...:(  Oh well, dual boot will have to do. I installed ubuntu in dual boot on a partition I made and It work 1000x better then the VM install. only thing is that Nvidia drivers are extremely hard to install on ubuntu. It keeps saying some kind of X server isn't working and I can't disable no matter what.

But in a native, I get all 8 CPU cores, in vm i only get 1, since it can't boot with more. I get all ram, all GPU power...etc.
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July 20, 2010 12:06:35 AM

It's a lot easier on fedora most of the time ;) 

rpmfusion makes it real easy to grab the nv drivers and a bunch of extras.

http://rpmfusion.org/Configuration

http://rpmfusion.org/keys

VMs are awesome to play with, but they're not that great performance wise. They've gotten much better over the years but they're still way behind native installs.

Good luck :) 
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July 20, 2010 12:17:55 AM

Yeah I guess, Vm's are so easy and fast (as in fast to install, boot, and delete). However, since you say Fedora is more nvidia driver friendly, i'd be glad to try Fedora out. Its just that on the internet everyone likes Ubuntu and say its the best distro ever...they say its Linux for human beings LOL!. But i'll give Fedora a try. The main reason I want a native install is because I much prefer KDE over gnome as it looks a lot better and in my VM's KDE performance sucks because its probably a lot more graphical. And Native performance is just better as is.
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July 20, 2010 12:19:31 AM

The reason Ubuntu is under such praise is because it's so easy to use, and there's an enormous community behind it.
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July 20, 2010 12:41:30 AM

linux_0 said:
There's info about this on the wiki, you've got to have the right chipset and vga to improve your chances of this working.

http://wiki.xensource.com/xenwiki/XenVGAPassthrough

Even so, there's no guarantee it's going to work.

Semper Fi :) 


hmmm, i am going to try to get this to work

@OP, if you want a learning experience after this try Arch or Gentoo linux, and if you feel brave LFS (this can run very nicely as you compile everything yourself)

EDIT: NVM, between my desktop, laptop, and HTPC, none of them support this oh well i guess i will wait until BD and 9 series chipsets
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!