Installing the Nvidia driver in Debian Lenny RC2 using the Nvidia installer

terryf Debian Pages

This is mainly for my reference…if it helps you…great.

BUT!! Use at your own risk. You smoke it, don’t blame me.

These pages pertain to my systems.

Use this as a guideline.

I have a completely separate machine/system that I test on.


Download the Nvidia driver from the Nvidia website.

Involved parties:

Monitor: 12yr old Gateway Monitor EV900 (CRT 19”)

My video card: e-GeForce MX 4000

Driver(Legacy): NVIDIA-Linux-x86-96.43.07-pkg1.run

Download driver to desktop

Copy driver to from your Desktop to /usr/src

open terminal:

Type: su

Type: <password>

Type: cp /home/<username>/Desktop/<YourDriver.run> /usr/src

The rest of this needs to be done without X running.

To get Debian to boot to a command line without X running.

We will restore this at the end.

in same terminal Type:

update-rc.d -f gdm remove

now reboot

you will be at a command line login.

Login as root

Type: apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r)

navigate to /usr/src

Type: ln -s linux-headers-$(uname -r) linux

At /usr/src

Type: sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-96.43.07-pkg1.run

Accept License

No pre compiled Kernel


No matching kernel


the cc version failed


error: installation failed blah blah blah


Back at command prompt

temp gcc fix to install driver

Type: export CC=gcc-4.1

Now once again Type:

sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-96.43.07-pkg1.run

It should now install

Would you like to run the Nvidia -xconfig utility to automatically update your X configuration file so that the NVIDIA x driver will be used when you restart X? Any pre-existing X configuration will be backed up.


Your X configuration file has been successfully updated. Installation of the NVIDIA Accelerator Graphics Driver for Linux-x86 (version: 96.43.07) is now complete.


Now to restore X at boot.

update-rc.d -f gdm defaults

Important! Lets not damage the monitor.

Before you reboot, navigate to /etc/X11/

Open xorg.conf

Type: nano xorg.conf

Look at the Monitor section.

Make sure your monitor can handle the HorizSync and VertRefresh rates that are showing. My old 19” CRT could not.

A safe setting should be:

HorizSync 31.5 – 57.0

VertRefresh 50.0 – 70.0

Change it if you need to.

Then exit: nano ctrl-x

It will ask you if you want to save it: yes

A Monitor out of range error is a HorizSync VertRefresh issue.

If this happens, you will find yourself at an unusable scrambled screen. Type: ctrl-alt-f1

Now fix it. Reopen etc/X11/nano xorg.conf and make the adjustments…or you might have installed the wrong driver. Doh!


reboot= ctrl-alt-del

You should see the Nvidia splash screen at some point during the boot up process.

That should do it

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