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Installing nVidia drivers [WAS: Using apt to install only one package]

Stackpole, Chris wrote:

Well I can't guarantee that it will all be smooth sailing when using Sid
packages. It should work, but obviously mileage varies. You do not want
to do an apt-get upgrade or anything like that but just a simple
'apt-get install package' may work for you. I do not foresee a reason
why you would need to change your kernel or to change anything but the
dependencies required by the package being upgraded by apt-get.

I wish you the best.

Have fun!
Chris Stackpole

Chris - no worries about a guarantee! I can fully appreciate that and have, over a number of years of using GNU/Linux now, come to expect that if something can go wrong, it probably will! The result inevitably has been that I get dragged kicking and screaming into Computer-World with all its arcane incantations and nuanced temperaments :-) until I can figure out a fix that works and stays working and almost certainly due to the help of many people along the way.

So, learning from past experiences, I now need to change my question from one about controlling apt-get to the methodology of installing a nVidia driver (and associated libraries, etc.) so that whenever the kernel headers are upgraded, it doesn't deep-six my xorg, which is what happened today!

Therefore ...

What is the "correct"/"best"/least error-prone method for installing an nVidia driver from the Debian repositories, on a Lenny machine, so that whenever the kernel headers are upgraded, the xorg continues to work?

I have done some searching on this, and to be honest some of the docs seem quite out of date, and some even contradict each other. But so far I have established that I do the following (I think!):

1. identify the kernel I am running (uname -r)
2. change my apt/sources.list to enable the latest drivers from Sid
3. download nVidia-driver and nVidia-glx and nVidia-settings (?) from the Sid repos
4. download module-assistant
5. run m-a prepare && m-a a-i nvidia
6. check it's okay: grep -q ^nvidia /etc/modules || echo nvidia >> /etc/modules
7. install the additionals: apt-get install nvidia-glx/Sid
8. restart the *DM /etc/init.d/gdm restart

Do I have this correct? If not, an informed steer would be welcomed. What are the gotchas and any tips for troubleshooting?




"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." - Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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