Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx and Nvidia Problem

Eventually, First year of my graduate study is passed (time flies). When the semester ends, it's about time to clean my laptop. Before reinstalling Windows, I decided to try Lucid Lynx on my new laptop (Sony Vaio CW). An obvious improvement in this version is User Interface which I quite like it.

First obstacle is installation and live CD mode cannot run properly on my machine. It always display only black screen. I found that the problem is with my Nvidia Geforce GT230M. The solution[1] is to enable 'nomodeset' option when trying to boot (using F6).

After finish installation, Ubuntu still cannot be booted since it suffers from the same problem. So, I need to go into live mode and edit grub file (/etc/default/grub) to add 'nomodeset' parameter. But, because instance that run is not installed instance, I cannot use 'update-grub' script to update boot loader. Therefore, I also need to edit grub.conf (/boot/grub/grub.conf) to make sure that next boot will be started with 'nomodeset'.
Note: instead of going into live mode, you can press shift during grub2 load to change boot option. I've not tried it myself but found it on an article.

Ubuntu 10.04 on Sony VAIO CW

Not yet, using a free OS is not that easy :p. After I installed Nvidia driver for my machine, the screen is not correctly displayed. It is the problem that Nvidia's driver cannot detect my monitor (I experienced a Nvidia's problem with Ubuntu since Intrepid Ibex). The solution[2-4] is to custom xorg.conf (/etc/X11/xorg.conf) file to use custom EDID (Extended display identification data). So, I have to reinstall windows and export EDID using programe named 'softMCCS'. Then, reinstall Ubuntu and going through a whole process again. Finally, make a reference to a EDID exported by windows by adding this code
Section "Device"
Identifier    "Device0"
Driver        "nvidia"
VendorName    "NVIDIA Corporation"
Option        "NoLogo"       "True"
Option        "ConnectedMonitor"   "DFP-0"
Option        "CustomEDID"         "DFP-0:/etc/X11/.bin"

And VoilĂ !! Working Lucid Lynx on laptop with Nvidia card.

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