Upgrading MEPIS 3.4-3 Breaks Nvidia/Xorg

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!!! Warning! The info contained in this article pertains to older versions of MEPIS !!!
-be sure your problem is not simply xorg.conf related - check through Monitor_and_Display_Setup pages first

Mepis 3.4-3 comes with the option to install the official nvidia drivers - which should work fine at time of install - problem is that if you upgrade your Mepis install it will install a newer version of xorg: => 6.9.x but unfortunately (at time of writing 3/06) this conflicts with nvidia-glx <=1.0-7174-4 - the default nvidia version that is installed with Mepis 3.4-3. There are several solutions to this situation:
  • Pin Your Nvidia Driver Config
Pinning Nvidia Drivers - (link) - Set your system to lock the versions of nvidia drivers you are using to prevent upgrade - remember to change version numbers to match the versions you want to pin
  • Don't Upgrade! (xorg/nvidia)
"If it ain't broke - don't try fix it!!" - If your nvidias are working - there is no need to upgrade them...unless of course you need newer versions to comply with the latest xorg version - which you need to get the funky xgl 3D eye candy stuff working - which of course we do!
  • Compile A Custom nvidia-kernel
It's not too difficult to make your own nvidia-kernel to use with whatever kernel you are running (whether its a stock one from Mepis/Debian or one you have 'rolled yourself').
The different methods of doing this are excellently documented here: Debian-nVidia HOWTO - The Debian Way - the preferred method being the 'module-assistant' method -as it is easy and uses the Debian package system to install - meaning it is easy to un-install afterwards using apt/synaptic/dpkg
Note - the module-assistant method has been proving un-successful lately (3/06) - this may be to do with the version of gcc used to compile the mepis kernel being older than the version installed on your system (un-confirmed at time of writing)
  • Use A Pre-Packaged .deb of nvidia-kernel Not In The Debian/Mepis Repo's
As of 10/04/06 there is a newer un-official nvidia-kernel module: nvidia-kernel-2.6.15-1-586tsc_1.0.8756-1+2.6.15-3.ww1_i386 to match the nvidias now in Sid/Unstable - 8756, get it here - requires re-boot to load (not just Ctrl Alt Backspace).
  • Downgrade
It could be worth downgrading xorg/nvidia versions to avoid conflicts - in practice this will become harder as time goes by - the Debian repo's are constantly introducing newer versions - older packages getting more difficult to source. You can try using the 'Force Version' option in Synaptic - to see what versions are available via the repo's. If you wish to install packages manually you can find nvidia-glx 1.0.7174 in the Mepis install cd - browse its folders, also try browsing:
apt.mepis.org/~/nvidia
packages.debian.org/~/nvidia
-download the desired packages and click to install (with Kpackage) or from a command line as root from the download folder (cd /home/user/Desktop if you use Firefox):
dpkg -i package1 package2 etc
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