#10 No nVidia legacy drivers below version 173.x


With the transition to Debian jessie we lost some of the binary nVidia drivers for legacy hardware. I don't know if they're going to be re-added, but if not then we should provide the packages ourselves to keep the support for older hardware. The driver versions in question are:
71xx and 96xx.


Tickets: #13
Tickets: #15


  • Galen Thurber
    Galen Thurber

    3.3.1 LXDE has the same problem but also includes nvidia 173
    I've added nvidia many times over the years on various distros & I can't determine what is wrong this time.
    If you do try to install nv 173 and it locks up or displays only the flashing cursor.
    boot to rescue mode and find a terminal and
    sudo rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    after wiping the xorg.conf the system will fall back to nouveau or framebuffer mode, then you can tweak nouveau settings

  • Maybe it's a question of the kernel version. If the drivers below 173 aren't provided upstream and we use the drivers from Stable, then it might be a question of kernel-driver compatibility. We should try to provide the packages ourselves, but I don't think anyone has any machine with a nVidia card that could use drivers below 173.
    I might try compiling the necessary packages in a few days so that someone could test them, but I need to set up a 3.4-based Sparky environment (3.3.1 with updates will be compatible) first (I've got some SuperDrive problems right now that need to be resolved first).

  • Moving to 3.4. It's still an issue, but I'll be building some nVidia packages for the current kernel in a moment.

    • Milestone: 3.1 --> 3.4
    • Milestone: 3.4 --> DEV
  • Sadly moving to DEV. Recent changes in the Debian Testing repository made the whole issue equal for all nVidia users (no binary drivers) due to the driver's incompatibility with xorg-server 1.16.

  • Galen Thurber
    Galen Thurber

    I think it is xorg causing the problems, Now with newer video card 7900GT I can get nv304 working with xorg 1.12 (via antiXMepis MX14) but not with xorg 1.15 (sparky, xubuntu etc..) hope this helps, I keep filing xorg bugs maybe one will be considered & fixed

  • It probably won't be fixed. Xorg is moving forward with it's API and ABI versions and supported nVidia drivers get support for the new API/ABI. That's probably why there's no older driver releases in Debian anymore, as nVidia is probably not supporting them with patches for newer Xorg API/ABI, thus they can't be built anymore. It's just a hypothesis though, as I haven't checked if that's the case (if I would, we would already have our own driver builds ;) ).