GTX 750 Ti installed in 64 bit desktop machine: Linux beginner is stuck and fatigued

I had an ASUS 210 card working fine in a 64 bit desktop machine with a single 2560x1440 Crossover monitor, in Ubuntu 14.04 and with default Ubuntu drivers. I got a desire for a second 2560x1440 monitor, so bought one and also bought Gigabyte GEFORCE GTX 750 Ti. I put all the card-selection effort into trying to make sure the card could do two such monitors, and my research into Ubuntu compatibility was minimal. All I did was notice the “Linux driver” on the NVIDIA website. I thought it would/should be simple to install the driver and start damaging my eyesight with all this screen space. Almost a week later, I am tired out, after facing so many black screens, blinking little cursors, and other manifestations of failed driver installation. I made all the files public on Google Drive via the following links. If you know Emacs Org-Mode, you can experience all the confusion via the blow-by-blow .org file.

File set:
Org-Mode file

installation attempts on 8/21/2014, 8/23, and 8/24

20140821GTX750TiInstallPublic.txt (15.7 KB)
20140821Attempt.txt (3.11 KB)
[This file was removed because it was flagged as potentially malicious] (132 KB)
20140821nvidia-installer.log (158 KB)
20140823nvidia-prime-upstart.log (55 Bytes)
20140823Xorg.1.log (30.1 KB)
20140823Attempt.txt (738 Bytes)
20140823Xorg.0.log (39.4 KB)
[This file was removed because it was flagged as potentially malicious] (131 KB)

20140824Xorg.0.log (27.3 KB)

20140824Attempt1.txt (2.01 KB)
20140824nvidia-bug-report.log.gz (130 KB)

Is there a way you could get back to running off of the ASUS 210 using drivers at least as recent as 334.21?

Hi jwcalla,

The easiest way to run off the ASUS 210 is to reinstall Ubuntu 14.04 (quick and easy), and let the Nouveau driver do it. To run the ASUS 210 using NVIDIA driver 334.21 might be doable, if that driver is in the standard Ubuntu repository, and if it is packaged correctly.

The trouble with GTX 750 Ti is that it is quite new, and there is no driver in the standard Ubuntu repository. The two choices I know about for GTX 750 Ti are: possibly unstable PPA driver from xorg-edgers, or download 340.32 from NVIDIA website and install manually. I tried both ways, using examples from various non-NVIDIA blogs and tutorials I googled up, and got no success. I was using motherboard graphics output to run a Samsung monitor so that I could see something, which might have goofed things up.

The NVIDIA README file for installing their driver is mind-boggling to a basic Linux beginner. The NVIDIA README seems like a very long, very technical outline of every possible thing that could go wrong with a manual installation, and points the reader to many different websites for further reading and study.

It’s amazing what a trainwreck Ubuntu has become. Canonical seems to be more focused on making sure the button colors change in between releases than having a working system. You really should drop them a line and tell them to get their shit together when you need to unload.

But to address your issue. The only thing I can think of is to put the 210 in (no mobo graphics), install Ubuntu 14.04 (if you have to re-install) and then go to the Additional Drivers app and install nvidia-current. That has to be the first step because it gets you out of nouveau and into the nvidia driver package. You’ll have to reboot of course for the new driver to take effect.

After you have the 210 running on the nvidia driver (there should be an NVIDIA Settings app installed to verify), you’ll need to upgrade to 340.32. So add the xorg-edgers PPA and make sure you only install the nvidia-graphics-drivers-340 package, and the other nvidia-* packages like nvidia-settings and maybe nvidia-persistenced. Don’t allow any of the other xserver stuff to get updated and don’t pick a driver later than the 340 series because it won’t work with the 210.

After that installs, reboot and verify you’re running 340.32 and then disable the xorg-edgers PPA so you don’t get any further updates.

Shut down and put the 750 Ti in and see if it boots up.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

I think it’d be nice if nvidia would put together a PPA for its drivers because it’s apparent that it’s beyond Canonical’s technical ability.

Thanks to the excellent advice from jwcalla, I now have a working setup with one monitor. The other monitor is still a black screen. The graphical NVIDIA setup tool does not seem to recognize the second monitor, and is assigning it a much lower resolution than 2560x1440. For some reason, the mouse cursor is able to travel off the working monitor in the direction of the non-working monitor. I find the NVIDIA README to be too much of a reference for programmers, instead of something written for the basic consumer. It would be awfully consumer-friendly to show a simple example of one video card and two monitors, with nice diagrams. The non-detected monitor is a Crossover 27Q. Nouveau drivers detected it previously, with no problem. Oh well, back to googling in desperation.

The on-screen help in the NVIDIA graphical setup tool is mostly of the flavor: you hover the mouse pointer over something, and the help pop-up simply repeats what you can already see/read (the button labeled “do A” has a ‘help’ popup that tells you, ‘this button does A’).

Well it’s good that you have the 750 Ti working with the NVIDIA driver. It’s certainly possible that there is a bug preventing the second monitor from being enabled.

Can you post your newest /etc/X11/xorg.conf and Xorg.0.log files since getting the new driver installed?

Attached should be the two requested files. Not sure if xorg.conf actually gets updated when I make changes in the NVIDIA GUI, or if I actually have to manually hit the button to generate an updated xorg.conf.

I just tried swapping the monitor cables (with everything powered off), to see if maybe the 750 has a bad output. I just bought it and never got dual monitors going yet. I ended up with the Crossover (which was black initially) remaining black, and the QNIX (which worked initially) going all black, except for a mouse cursor displayed as a hollow white X. I could not even get into a TTY. I held down the power button to shut down hard. I swapped the monitor cables back the way they were. QNIX is working again, and Crossover remains black. It’s power button always stays blue, which makes me think it has some kind of interaction with the 750. Otherwise it’s power button would turn red.

Needed to change xorg.conf to xorg.conf.txt to get this webpage to accept it.

After some googling, am getting the impression: the Crossover 27Q does not send out configuration data (EDID?) to the 750. People seem to get it to work by manually editing the xorg.conf file (google: modeline crossover 27q). Concern: the webpages I am finding might be out of date; concerned I will damage something by putting in some obsolete xorg.conf code.
Xorg.0.log (56.5 KB)
xorg.conf.txt (2.65 KB)

Yeah the log file definitely indicates that the EDID is invalid for that display, which is actually a common occurrence since many manufacturers don’t think that supplying valid EDID is particularly important.

There are some workarounds – I’ve seen a lot of posts here about invalid EDID – but I’m not familiar with them. I think it’s like you say where you have to get the right Horizontal Sync and Vertical Refresh and put them in the xorg.conf.

Also, regarding the xorg.conf, I’m not sure how the newer versions of the driver want it, but I think you don’t want to use separate Screens. So in the ServerLayout section in the top, maybe comment out the Screen1 line. Then go down to the “Screen” section for Screen0 and try these lines:

Option “nvidiaXineramaInfoOrder” “DFP-0, DFP-3”
Option “metamodes” “DVI-I-1: nvidia-auto-select +0+0, DVI-D-0: nvidia-auto-select +2560+0”

Changes to the xorg.conf don’t take effect until after you log out and log back in.

I do think you’ll need to get a replacement for the EDID first though.

Finally, got both QNIX and Crossover monitors running (dual monitors) with the NVIDIA driver and GTX 750 Ti. Much googling, then trial and error. Needed two computers side by side, a third mainstream monitor (Samsung), and lots of note-taking. I went with Xinerama instead of Twinview because I could not even find a clear and memorable explanation of why I should prefer one over the other, and creating xorg.conf for Xinerama seems easier to understand. I also want to make a Wacom tablet operate in only one monitor (so as not to spread it too thin over both 27" screens), so perhaps Xinerama is the way to go(?). I would have given up without the kind assistance of jwcalla on this forum. Hopefully NVIDIA will find a reason to further develop their Linux driver and its documentation, so their non-brainiac customers can more easily install and use their product in the relatively mainstream Ubuntu Linux environment.
xorg.conf.txt (3.93 KB)

Glad to hear you got it working!

And just think… now you’re a trained expert and can help somebody else when they have the same problem! ;)