Obvious bug in installation instructions/procedure for legacy hardware

Here is what I did on a fresh installed LMDE5 (linux mint debian edition)

  • upgrading to latest versions of default installation (via apt-get upgrade && apt-get dist-upgrade)
  • removed nouveau modules and kernel via Synaptic and CLI
  • removed any nvidia packages via Synaptic
~$ inxi -Fzxxx
System:    Kernel: 5.10.0-19-amd64 x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 10.2.1 Desktop: Cinnamon 5.4.12 
           tk: GTK 3.24.24 wm: Mutter dm: LightDM 1.26.0 Distro: LMDE 5 Elsie base: Debian 11.2 bullseye 
Machine:   Type: Laptop System: LENOVO product: 4282A37 v: ThinkPad W520 serial: <filter> Chassis: type: 10 
           serial: <filter> 
           Mobo: LENOVO model: 4282A37 serial: <filter> UEFI [Legacy]: LENOVO v: 8BET52WW (1.32 ) date: 09/27/2011
~$ inxi -Gzxxx
Graphics:  Device-1: Intel 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics vendor: Lenovo driver: i915 
           v: kernel bus ID: 00:02.0 chip ID: 8086:0126 class ID: 0300 
           Device-2: NVIDIA GF108GLM [Quadro 1000M] vendor: Lenovo driver: nouveau v: kernel bus ID: 01:00.0 
           chip ID: 10de:0dfa class ID: 0300 
           Device-3: Chicony Lenovo Integrated Camera (0.3MP) type: USB driver: uvcvideo bus ID: 1-1.6:5 
           chip ID: 04f2:b217 class ID: 0e02 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.11 driver: loaded: modesetting unloaded: fbdev,vesa 
           resolution: 1920x1080~60Hz s-dpi: 96 
           OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel HD Graphics 3000 (SNB GT2) v: 3.3 Mesa 20.3.5 compat-v: 3.0 
           direct render: Yes

Check: all commands $ lsmod | grep nvidia and $ lsmod | grep nouveau and $ apt list --installed | grep -i nvidia return no result on stdout. After installing nvidia-detect:

~$ nvidia-detect
Detected NVIDIA GPUs:
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: NVIDIA Corporation GF108GLM [Quadro 1000M] [10de:0dfa] (rev a1)

Checking card:  NVIDIA Corporation GF108GLM [Quadro 1000M] (rev a1)
Your card is only supported up to the 390 legacy drivers series.
It is recommended to install the

While installing package nvidia-legacy-390xx-driver from the debian/mint repo’s the dialog stops explaining the GPU will be unusable.


$ nvidia-smi
Thu Nov 17 13:42:42 2022       
| NVIDIA-SMI 390.154                Driver Version: 390.154                   |
| GPU  Name        Persistence-M| Bus-Id        Disp.A | Volatile Uncorr. ECC |
| Fan  Temp  Perf  Pwr:Usage/Cap|         Memory-Usage | GPU-Util  Compute M. |
|   0  Quadro 1000M        Off  | 00000000:01:00.0 N/A |                  N/A |
| N/A   64C    P0    N/A /  N/A |      0MiB /  1985MiB |     N/A      Default |
| Processes:                                                       GPU Memory |
|  GPU       PID   Type   Process name                             Usage      |
|    0                    Not Supported                                       |

nvidia-settings throw:

Running nvidia-xconfig breaks the system, i. e. LightDM fails to start.

Next I tried the download from the official nvidia website - i. e. nvidia(dot)com/Download/driverResults.aspx/191118/en-us/
observing Chapter 8. Common Problems and the LMDE5 supplied package - both after removing nouveau from the kernel. The nvidia supplied package tells me that I should use the debian package (supplied by debian) - the LMDE5 package (nvidia-legacy-390xx-driver metapackage) tells me that my GPU is not supported - obviously a bug

Quiet frankly I’m at a loss now. Any help highly appreciated. Txs -mgw