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Old 03-22-2008, 09:10 PM
Gregory Shearman
Default nVidia GeForce4 MX 440 AGP 8x - tainted driver 96.43.05 causes X crash sig 11 - Kernel 2.6.24-gentoo-r3

Last week I upgraded the kernel on one of my 5 year old Pentium 4 desktop
machines to 2.6.24-gentoo-r3. Kernel compilation went fine as usual but
when I tried to emerge the current (x86) binary nVidia driver [96.43.01]
for its GeForce4 MX 440 AGP 8x graphics card it failed with an error
message that the it couldn't determine the kernel version.

The graphics card is around 5-7 years old and won't run on later 1xx.xx.xx
versions of the binary blob, so I'd masked the driver to:




The driver worked fine on the previous kernel 2.6.23-gentoo-r9. The solution
was to do what I've always done for binary blobs (nvidia,ati,madwifi-ng
etc) and add:


x11-drivers/nvidia-drivers ~86


This allowed me to go from 96.43.01 to 96.43.05.

Unfortunately, even though the driver compiled fine and started without
error this driver proved to be unstable on my machine and graphics
hardware. X (1.3.0-r5) failed on KDE logout with:


0: /usr/bin/X(xf86SigHandler+0x85) [0x80c7c57]
1: /usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers//nvidia_drv.so(_nv001216X+0xe5)
2: [0x1]

Fatal server error:
Caught signal 11. *Server aborting


Maybe running the uvesafb framebuffer and fbcondecor (livecd-2007.0 theme)
has something to do with the sigsegv problems on just this particular
driver version but I knew that I couldn't run this driver.

I did a bit of research and found an ugly hack to get the 96.43.01 driver
working on kernel 2.6.24-gentoo-r3 so I changed the mask to:




I then worked the dark magic:

# ln -s */usr/src/linux/include/asm-x86 /usr/src/linux/include/asm-i386

(/usr/src/linux points to the new kernel 2.6.24-gentoo-r3)


I reemerged nvidia-drivers and the hack worked. I got the reliable 96.43.01
driver working again, though with some concerns about future reliability.
There might be other changes within the kernel 2.6.24 that driver 96.43.01
doesn't know about that could cause me some grief in the future, but for
now it works fine.

Now a week later I find that portage has released the nvidia binary driver
96.43.05 as stable on x86. I allowed it to emerge, but it still had the X
killing problem when logging out of KDE.

Some of the things I've read suggest nvidia have been informed of this
specific problem but I was wondering if there's any more information around
about this issue? I know the card is getting old and perhaps I should use
the open nv driver, but the card usually works really well with the binary

I would also like to know if these problems were known to the Gentoo devs
when they released 96.43.05 as stable on x86.


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