Ubuntu 13.04 and GeForce 8200

Update: for Xubuntu 13.10

My private Linux workstation is an ASUS Barebone V3-M3N8200, equiped with an Athlon II @ 3GHz. Not the fanciest machine, but it is ok. As mentioned before I have had video-related problems when running Ubuntu on it. Well, it worked fine until 12.10, when I needed to fall back from proprietary Nvidia drivers to Nouveau drivers. That is just fine with me, except lately those drivers have not been working perfectly either (lightdm has not always started automatically, so I have needed to Ctrl-Alt-F1, log in, service lightdm restart…).

Everything applies to the x64-version. I dont bother with x86. I also use Xubuntu rather than Ubuntu, but I believe most of what I write is true for [L/K/X/Ed]Ubuntu.

So, I decided to give 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) a try before it is actually released.

Result first, for those who have Nvidia GeForce 8200 and problems with 13.04. LiveCD does not work at all. Upgrade from (fresh) 12.10 to 13.04 leaves you with unusuable system, unless you have SSH Server activated! To fix 13.04 ssh to the system, remove all nvidia drivers and nouveau drivers, and install nvidia-173.

Some more details follow.

13.04 LiveCD problems
The LiveCD starts, the screen goes black. Ctrl-Alt-F1 does nothing. I found no way forward. It could be that the Xserver starts correctly, and that Compiz crashes for some reason – I have no idea.

Upgrade from 12.10
Installing 12.10 works just fine. I update it completely. I install SSH-server and then upgrade to 13.04:

$ sudo apt-get install openssh-server
$ update-manager -d

It can be a good idea to test the ssh-server, if nothing else to make sure you know your IP (hopefully you get the same after upgrade), before you go on with the upgrade. The upgrade is quite simple, just follow instructions.

For me, upgrade gave me an unusuable system, just like the LiveCD. But – I can now SSH into it!

Nouveau does not work
Noveau-driver, installed by default, and uninstalled and installed with:

$ sudo apt-get purge xserver-xorg-video-nouveau
$ sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-nouveau

does not work. Ctrl-Alt-F1 does not give me a console.

nvidia-current does not work
nvidia-current-driver, installed by default, and uninstalled and installed with:

$ sudo apt-get purge nvidia-current
$ sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

does not work. Ctrl-Alt-F1 does not give me a console.

nvidia-313-updates do not work
I installed those ones via the GUI (update-manager, Additional Drivers tab), and uninstalled with:

$ sudo apt-get purge nvidia-313-updates

I dont know what the “updates”-word mean in this situation. However, the 313-driver was a little better; Ctrl-Alt-F1 worked, and I could see boot-information (press C to abort disk checking…).

nvidia-173 works!
The old nvidia 173 driver works though (maybe thats why it is still there). Install with:

$ sudo apt-get install nvidia-173

Make sure you have purged all the other drivers.

Submitting a bug? Helping out?
There are many registered Ubuntu-bugs related to Nouveau and/or GeForce 8200. Many of them are old. Some seem to overlap. Some seem to more or less describe my problem. I dont really know if this is a Nouveau-problem, a problem for Nvidia, or a problem for Canonical. I am willing to give more information, logs, or test stuff if anyone is interested, but for now, no submitted bug.

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