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 Voilà!! Working Lucid Lynx on laptop with Nvidia card.

[1] -
[2] -
[3] -
[4] -


rpd said...

Interesting post.
Great work by you to get Lucid to detect your monitor!
I too run Ubuntu10.04LTSLucid on a Vista PC & it does not detect the monitor but I am not confident to try your fix as I do not really I understand these issues properly just now.
Thanks & best wishes

Simone said...

I have the same problem... but I dont wish to reinstal windows nether ubuntu. I figured out that when I set manually the boot configuration to nomodeset, the nVidia drives works as well. But when ocurrs to just let the boot directly even with the nomodeset configured, nVidia drives does not work at all.
Have any ideas? (

Somenath said...

i have been facing this problem since the day i installed Lucid Lynx on my Sony Vaio machine. i edited the monitor section /etc/X11/xorg.conf but it is of no use.

i am not very familiar with the system side of Linux. i think you are the right person who can pull me from this Ubuntu mess.

could you please guide me? if you want you can email me at

Somenath said...

this is my xorg.conf file.

# nvidia-xconfig: X configuration file generated by nvidia-xconfig
# nvidia-xconfig: version 1.0 (buildmeister@builder75) Thu Apr 22 11:44:23 PDT 2010

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "Layout0"
Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0
InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer"

Section "Files"

Section "InputDevice"

# generated from default
Identifier "Mouse0"
Driver "mouse"
Option "Protocol" "auto"
Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "no"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"

Section "InputDevice"

# generated from default
Identifier "Keyboard0"
Driver "kbd"

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Monitor0"
VendorName "Unknown"
ModelName "Unknown"
HorizSync 61.0 - 61.0
VertRefresh 61.0
Option "DPMS"

Section "Device"
Identifier "Device0"
Driver "nvidia"
VendorName "NVIDIA Corporation"

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Screen0"
Device "Device0"
Monitor "Monitor0"
DefaultDepth 24
Option "ConnectedMonitor" "DFP-0"
Option "CustomEDID" "DFP-0:/etc/X11/SEC3253.bin"
SubSection "Display"
Depth 24

the message when i restart the XServer is that u do not appear to be using nvidia driver.

please help me out.

Chris said...