Hi, I'm Paul

I'm a software geek, photographer, yogi and dog lover

Fedora Core 4 + NVidea GeForce2 = Dead

2 minutes
August 11, 2005

Just upgrade my desktop (play) box at home, and I got caught out badly by a new ‘feature’ in Fedora Core 4. Now if you read the installation instructions for FC4, it has an explicit section for installing the NVidia drivers, just login as root and install the replace the standard drivers. Simple, right?

Alas no, at least not if you are doing an upgrade. The problem is that you cannot get to a login screen because the riva frame buffer is trying to load (and yes I did remove Redhat Graphical Boot). Now in my case, that meant I couldn’t login on the console, and I couldnt login remotely since I use a wireless network card which requires installation :-(

OK, so reboot in rescue mode, install the kernel module from livna in a chrooted environment and reboot right? Alas no, because during boot, rc.sysinit will scan the hardware and decide you need the rivafb driver installed before you get a chance to load the incompatible nvidia driver.

But why was rivafb being loaded? Well, to cut a long story short, rpm had dropped a new hotplug blacklist in as /etc/hotplug/blacklist.rpmnew, rather than moving the old list to blacklist.rpmsave. Moving the new file into place, and the machine started prefectly, loading the nvidia driver and runs a treat.

You know, there is a reason that Unix systems have graphics as a user space daemon. Somehow, we forget the old lessons and try to add ‘sexy’ features to make the OS look pretty. I, for one, don’t want a pretty OS, I want one that works, always, all the time. Graphics belong in userspace, along with web browsers, and cute mouse cursors that look like cats :-)