[lug] debian

David Morris lists at morris-clan.net
Thu Sep 18 14:32:15 MDT 2003

On Thu, Sep 18, 2003 at 03:40:18PM -0400, Hugh Brown wrote:
> I'm beginning to play with debian and haven't had a whole lot of luck.
> I did a net install with the floppies and got woody installed. 
> Unfortunately, it doesn't know what to do with my video card (Nvidia Ge
> Force 2 Go) nor my wireless card.  

The problem with the video card is that NVidia cards need a
special driver.  Drop by http://www.nvidia.com...download
the linux driver, and install as per the included

In the 2.4 kernel, I think there is a generic 'nv' driver
now, but it doesn't work nearly as well. (or is that in
XFree86 4.x?  been too long since used anything but the
NVidia driver).  Either way, you'll probably have to add the
module to /etc/modules (for testing, use insmod).

I would guess you simply don't have the correct driver for
the wireless card.  You should be able to do a search on the
web (try http://www.google.com/linux) to find the
driver...you'll probably have to add the driver to

> I tried dselect'ing a 2.4 kernel but every time I boot into it, the
> system won't respond to keyboard input.

Can you post more information on any error message(s) and
the actual laptop model?

> I added testing to my sources.list and did a dist-upgrade.  Booting into
> the 2.4 kernel still got my to a system that wouldn't respond to
> keyboard input.
> So, my question is this:  what's the best way to get Debian installed
> with a 2.4 kernel and a recent version of Xfree86 (the laptop is working
> fine with Redhat 9 w/o the NVIDIA drivers).

> I've gone lightly over some of the debian documentation but haven't had
> much luck with it.  What should I be reading to get myself more familiar
> with Debian?

One note is that RedHat, like Sun, took the route of
tweaking everything slightly....this means many things they
do is slightly off-norm compared to most *nix variants.
This has benefits for people who only use RedHat, but makes
it harder to go between distributions.

Redhat, for instance, likes to install as much as possible
by default (both in terms of kernel modules and software
packages).  Myself, I hate this as it leads to a messy
and slow system.  It is, though, why RH9 runs the video card
without extra work...the extra functionality for NVidia
cards is already loaded.


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