[Needs hybrid graphics switching support] Blank screen (no GUI) after installation of NVidia proprietary driver on Sony Vaio Z119GS

Bug #748320 reported by walkerstreet on 2011-04-02
12
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
nvidia-graphics-drivers (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Binary package hint: xorg

******** UPDATED 12 April 2011: NVidia Proprietary Driver Installation Test Case amd64 20110411 Live CD
Nb: See below (under the dashed line) for result(s) of testing on earlier builds.
The NVidia proprietary drivers failed again this week (11 April). The exact results of the test case were:

1. Boot stock system on compatible video hardware, using the appropriate open source driver (or -vesa). By default, Ubuntu boots with the open source driver.
RESULT: No problems. In fact the open source driver runs the Unity animations fine.

2. Note the contents of /etc/X11/xorg.conf (or simply note absence of the file)
RESULT: The file is absent.

3. Go to System : Administration : Hardware Drivers

4. Verify that it correctly identifies that a video driver is available for this hardware
RESULT: The system nominates "NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver (version -current)" (as is expected/normal)

5. Install the recommended driver.
RESULT: No problem.

6. Verify that a *.ko file is installed properly for the correct kernel(s)
find /lib/modules/ -type f -ls -iname '*.ko' | grep -E "/nvidia-current.ko|/nvidia-173.ko|/nvidia-96.ko|/fglrx.ko"
Check that the timestamp of the file is correct.
RESULT: 13631639 13248 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 13562104 Apr 12 05:55 /lib/modules/2.6.38-8-generic/updates/dkms/nvidia-current.ko

7. Note new contents of /etc/X11/xorg.conf. It should list the name of the proprietary driver as a minimum.
RESULTING CONTENTS OF xorg.conf:
Section “Device”
    Identifier “Default Device”
    Option “NoLogo” “True”
EndSection
i.e. xorg.conf FAILED to show the name of the proprietary driver.

8. Reboot

9. Verify the GUI display comes up
RESULT: The Speed setting LED fails to come on. A message appears saying that I do not have the required hardware to run Unit. A basic gnome desktop loads up with no Unity dock.

10. Verify the proprietary driver loaded
 grep -E "LoadModule:.*\"nvidia|fglrx\"" /var/log/Xorg.0.log
RESULT: No output
So, it appears that the nvidia driver did NOT in fact load.

After this, I typed:
ls -al /var/crash
This showed an empty directory, i.e. no apport or crash files are there.
I then typed:

apport-cli xorg
so that I could submit this bug accompanied by an apport file.
apport.xorg.a7_IWP.apport

I then tried changing xorg.conf to what it should be (so the proprietary driver would load at next boot). i.e.:

Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Default Screen"
    DefaultDepth 24
EndSection

Section "Module"
    Load "glx"
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier "Default Device"
    Driver "nvidia"
    Option "NoLogo" "True"
EndSection

After rebooting, there is a splash screen, but then I am left with a terminal. This time it show’s each of the steps in starting up. The last step is “* Checking battery state....” and then it gets stuck. Once again, no GUI was possible.

I pressed Ctrl-Alt-F1 and logged in at the tty terminal.

I typed to verify if the proprietary driver loaded with:
 grep -E "LoadModule:.*\"nvidia|fglrx\"" /var/log/Xorg.0.log
RESULT: [ 23.176] (II) LoadModule: “nvidia”
So, it appears that the nvidia driver DID in fact load.

At this point I created another apport file (with the driver loaded this time):
apport.xorg.UI8mE8.apport

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
******** UPDATED 4 April 2011: NVidia Proprietary Driver Installation Test Case amd64 20110404 Live CD

The NVidia proprietary drivers failed again this week (4 April), although the results from each question in the Installation test were a little different. I understand that in order to get the driver to work on a Sony Vaio Z series the ‘trick’ is to get the green “Speed” LED to light up (just above the keyboard). This LED has failed to light up during all my trials, including this week’s. When this LED fails to light up, this means the computer has failed to ‘switch on’ the NVidia GPU. The computer defaults to an onboard Intel graphics chip.

Adam from www.voip-x.co.uk/files/adam made a bandaid/hacked solution by creating a custom kernel 2.6.28-10-vaioz. The only purpose of this kernel is to turn on the green light (i.e. turn on the NVidia GPU) at first boot. After doing this, Grub appears again and you can select the ‘proper’ Ubuntu kernel (2.6.38-7-generic) and boot in to a GUI where the NVidia proprietary driver works perfectly.

So if some cluey Ubuntu dev(s) could work out how to switch on the NVidia GPU (and the green LED), I think our problem would be solved!

Here’s my results from the Installation test case for the 20110404 Live Desktop amd64 CD on my Sony Vaio Z119GS. I have attached an new apport file too:

1. Boot stock system on compatible video hardware, using the appropriate open source driver (or -vesa). By default, Ubuntu boots with the open source driver.
RESULT: No problems.

2. Note the contents of /etc/X11/xorg.conf (or simply note absence of the file)
RESULT: The file is absent.

3. Go to System : Administration : Hardware Drivers

4. Verify that it correctly identifies that a video driver is available for this hardware
RESULT: The system nominates "NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver (version -current)" (as is expected/normal)

5. Install the recommended driver.
RESULT: No problem.

6. Verify that a *.ko file is installed properly for the correct kernel(s)
find /lib/modules/ -type f -ls -iname '*.ko' | grep -E "/nvidia-current.ko|/nvidia-173.ko|/nvidia-96.ko|/fglrx.ko"
Check that the timestamp of the file is correct.
RESULT: 148636 13248 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 13562440 Apr 5 22:35 /lib/modules/2.6.38-7-generic/updates/dkms/nvidia-current.ko

7. Note new contents of /etc/X11/xorg.conf. It should list the name of the proprietary driver as a minimum.
RESULTING CONTENTS OF xorg.conf:
Section “Device”
    Identifier “Default Device”
    Option “NoLogo” “True”
EndSection
i.e. xorg.conf FAILED to show the name of the proprietary driver.

8. Reboot

9. Verify the GUI display comes up
RESULT: The Speed setting LED fails to come on. A basic gnome desktop loads up with no Unity dock.

10. Verify the proprietary driver loaded
 grep -E "LoadModule:.*\"nvidia|fglrx\"" /var/log/Xorg.0.log
RESULT: No output
So, it appears that the nvidia driver did NOT in fact load.

After this, I typed:
ls -al /var/crash
This showed an empty directory, i.e. no apport or crash files are there.
I then typed:

apport-cli xorg
so that I could submit this bug accompanied by an apport file.
I got this output from the apport-cli command:
ERROR: .hook /usr/share/apport/package-hooks//source_xorg.py crashed:
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/apport/report.py", line 656, in add_hooks_info
 symb['add_info'](self, ui)
  File "/usr/share/apport/package-hooks//source_xorg.py", line 446, in add_info
 attach_xorg_package_versions(report, ui)
  File "/usr/share/apport/package-hooks//source_xorg.py", line 293, in attach_xorg_package_versions
 report['version.%s' %(package)] = package_versions(package)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/problem_report.py", line 504, in __setitem__
 assert k.replace('.', '').replace('-', '').replace('_', '').isalnum()
AssertionError

I then tried changing xorg.conf to what it should be (so the proprietary driver would load at next boot). i.e.:

Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Default Screen"
    DefaultDepth 24
EndSection

Section "Module"
    Load "glx"
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier "Default Device"
    Driver "nvidia"
    Option "NoLogo" "True"
EndSection

After rebooting, I am left with a blank screen, except for a few words in the top left corner saying “mountall: Disconnected from Plymouth”

I pressed Ctrl-Alt-F2 and logged in at the tty terminal.

I typed to verify if the proprietary driver loaded with:
 grep -E "LoadModule:.*\"nvidia|fglrx\"" /var/log/Xorg.0.log
RESULT: [ 10.979] (II) LoadModule: “nvidia”
So, it appears that the nvidia driver DID in fact load.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

******** 2nd April 2011 - NVidia Proprietary Driver Installation Test Case amd64 20110328 Live CD:

I'm testing the NVidia Proprietary Driver on the Natty 20110328 daily Live Desktop amd64 CD for the Xorg team.
My Sony Vaio VPC Z119GC has a NVidia GeForce GT 330M.

I've tried many times to install Ubuntu and an NVidia proprietary driver since I got my Vaio a year ago (on Karmic, Lucid, Maverick and now Natty). The best I ever get is a blank screen (no GUI). The default vesa driver now works on Natty, which is a big improvement on previous distos, which were completely unuseable. I've read that other Sony Vaios with model numbers starting in Z11 and Z13 have the same problem.

The following is the list of results I get when I try to go through the steps in the "Installation" mandatory testcase for "Nvidia Proprietary Drivers" using Natty Daily Live CD 20110328:

1. Boot stock system on compatible video hardware, using the appropriate open source driver (or -vesa). By default, Ubuntu boots with the open source driver.
RESULT: No problems.

2. Note the contents of /etc/X11/xorg.conf (or simply note absence of the file)
RESULT: The file is absent.

3. Go to System : Administration : Hardware Drivers

4. Verify that it correctly identifies that a video driver is available for this hardware
RESULT: The system nominates "NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver (version -current)" (as is expected/normal)

5. Install the recommended driver.
RESULT: No problem.

6. Verify that a *.ko file is installed properly for the correct kernel(s)
find /lib/modules/ -type f -ls -iname '*.ko' | grep -E "/nvidia-current.ko|/nvidia-173.ko|/nvidia-96.ko|/fglrx.ko"
Check that the timestamp of the file is correct.
RESULT: 133605 13248 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 13562440 Apr 2 21:31 /lib/modules/2.6.38-7-generic/updates/dkms/nvidia-current.ko

7. Note new contents of /etc/X11/xorg.conf. It should list the name of the proprietary driver as a minimum.
RESULTING CONTENTS OF xorg.conf:

Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Default Screen"
    DefaultDepth 24
EndSection

Section "Module"
    Load "glx"
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier "Default Device"
    Driver "nvidia"
    Option "NoLogo" "True"
EndSection

8. Reboot

9. Verify the GUI display comes up
RESULT: FAILURE
After Grub, there is a blank screen. This stays indefinitely. There is no Ubuntu splash screen. I have left it for half an hour or more and it just stays blank.

After a long time, I tried pressing some keys, and got garbled text output in the very top left corner of the screen:
e.g. "^[[B ^[[C"
I can type letters but typing commands or trying to login does not work.
I then pressed Ctrl-Alt-F2, and was able to login as a user to the tty terminal

10. Verify the proprietary driver loaded
 grep -E "LoadModule:.*\"nvidia|fglrx\"" /var/log/Xorg.0.log
RESULT: [ 5.899] (II) LoadModule: “nvidia”
So, it appears that the nvidia driver did in fact load.

After this, I typed:
ls -al /var/crash
This showed an empty directory, i.e. no apport or crash files are there.
I then typed:
apport-cli xorg
so that I could submit this bug accompanied by an apport file.
I answered Yes to allow gdm log files to be included.
I also got this output from the apport-cli command:
cat: /var/log/gdm/:0.log.2: No such file or directory

I can get the NVidia proprietary driver to work on Natty (20110328) if I install the following custom hacked kernels and boot from this:
* linux-headers-2.6.28.10-vaioz_2.6.28.10-vaioz-10.00.Custom_amd64.deb
* linux-image-2.6.28.10-vaioz_2.6.28.10-vaioz-10.00.Custom_amd64.deb
You can read about this procedure and download the hacked kernels from:
* http://www.adhocism.net/2010/11/installing-ubuntu-10-10-on-sony-vaio-vpc-z13m9eb/
* http://www.voip-x.co.uk/files/adam/IMPORTANT_README
However this is a dirty hack, not a real fix. Please Ubuntu devs, help all those Sony Vaio users get Ubuntu (legitimately) in Natty. :)

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.04
Package: xorg 1:7.6~3ubuntu11
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.38-7.39-generic 2.6.38
Uname: Linux 2.6.38-7-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
.proc.driver.nvidia.gpus.0: Error: [Errno 21] Is a directory: '/proc/driver/nvidia/gpus/0'
.proc.driver.nvidia.registry: Binary: ""
.proc.driver.nvidia.version:
 NVRM version: NVIDIA UNIX x86_64 Kernel Module 270.30 Fri Feb 25 14:34:55 PST 2011
 GCC version: gcc version 4.5.2 (Ubuntu/Linaro 4.5.2-7ubuntu1)
Architecture: amd64
CompizPlugins: [core,bailer,detection,composite,opengl,decor,mousepoll,vpswitch,regex,animation,snap,expo,move,compiztoolbox,place,grid,imgpng,gnomecompat,wall,ezoom,workarounds,staticswitcher,resize,fade,unitymtgrabhandles,scale,session,unityshell]
DRM.card0.DP.1:
 status: disconnected
 enabled: disabled
 dpms: On
 modes:
 edid-base64:
DRM.card0.DP.2:
 status: disconnected
 enabled: disabled
 dpms: On
 modes:
 edid-base64:
DRM.card0.HDMI.A.1:
 status: disconnected
 enabled: disabled
 dpms: On
 modes:
 edid-base64:
DRM.card0.HDMI.A.2:
 status: disconnected
 enabled: disabled
 dpms: On
 modes:
 edid-base64:
DRM.card0.HDMI.A.3:
 status: disconnected
 enabled: disabled
 dpms: On
 modes:
 edid-base64:
DRM.card0.VGA.1:
 status: disconnected
 enabled: disabled
 dpms: On
 modes:
 edid-base64:
DRM.card0.eDP.1:
 status: connected
 enabled: enabled
 dpms: On
 modes: 1600x900
 edid-base64:
Date: Sat Apr 2 22:28:12 2011
DistUpgraded: Fresh install
DistroCodename: natty
DistroVariant: ubuntu
DkmsStatus: nvidia-current, 270.30, 2.6.38-7-generic, x86_64: installed
GdmLog2:

GraphicsCard:
 Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller [8086:0046] (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
   Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:905a]
 nVidia Corporation GT216 [GeForce GT 330M] [10de:0a2b] (rev a2) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
   Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:905a]
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" - Alpha amd64 (20110328.1)
JockeyStatus: xorg:nvidia_current - NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver (Proprietary, Enabled, In use)
MachineType: Sony Corporation VPCZ119GS
ProcEnviron:
 SHELL=/bin/bash
 LANG=en_US.UTF-8
ProcKernelCmdLine: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.38-7-generic root=UUID=bedfb76a-dd10-47d6-a1cb-e1931085a16b ro quiet splash vt.handoff=7
Renderer: Unknown
SourcePackage: xorg
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)
dmi.bios.date: 07/30/2010
dmi.bios.vendor: INSYDE
dmi.bios.version: R3030C3
dmi.board.asset.tag: N/A
dmi.board.name: VAIO
dmi.board.vendor: Sony Corporation
dmi.board.version: N/A
dmi.chassis.asset.tag: N/A
dmi.chassis.type: 10
dmi.chassis.vendor: Sony Corporation
dmi.chassis.version: N/A
dmi.modalias: dmi:bvnINSYDE:bvrR3030C3:bd07/30/2010:svnSonyCorporation:pnVPCZ119GS:pvrA222GMUK:rvnSonyCorporation:rnVAIO:rvrN/A:cvnSonyCorporation:ct10:cvrN/A:
dmi.product.name: VPCZ119GS
dmi.product.version: A222GMUK
dmi.sys.vendor: Sony Corporation
version.compiz: compiz 1:0.9.4git20110322-0ubuntu5
version.libdrm2: libdrm2 2.4.23-1ubuntu5
version.libgl1-mesa-glx: libgl1-mesa-glx 7.10.1-0ubuntu3
version.nvidia-graphics-drivers: nvidia-graphics-drivers N/A
version.xserver-xorg: xserver-xorg 1:7.6~3ubuntu11
version.xserver-xorg-video-ati: xserver-xorg-video-ati 1:6.14.0-0ubuntu4
version.xserver-xorg-video-intel: xserver-xorg-video-intel 2:2.14.0-4ubuntu4
version.xserver-xorg-video-nouveau: xserver-xorg-video-nouveau 1:0.0.16+git20110107+b795ca6e-0ubuntu6

walkerstreet (dbonner) wrote :
walkerstreet (dbonner) wrote :

I reported this initially under the 'xorg' package, go by instructions in: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Reporting. However, I think nvidia-graphics-drivers is more specific.

affects: xorg (Ubuntu) → nvidia-graphics-drivers (Ubuntu)
walkerstreet (dbonner) on 2011-04-03
summary: - NVidia Proprietary Driver fails to function at all after installation on
- Sony Vaio Z119GS (results in blank screen)
+ Blank screen (no GUI) after installation of NVidia proprietary driver on
+ Sony Vaio Z119GS
walkerstreet (dbonner) on 2011-04-03
description: updated

I've just uploaded a new apport from today's test of the 20110404 CD.

description: updated
walkerstreet (dbonner) on 2011-04-05
description: updated
walkerstreet (dbonner) wrote :
description: updated
walkerstreet (dbonner) wrote :
Bryce Harrington (bryce) wrote :

Thank you for writing such a thorough test report.

"""
7. Note new contents of /etc/X11/xorg.conf. It should list the name of the proprietary driver as a minimum.
RESULTING CONTENTS OF xorg.conf:
Section “Device”
    Identifier “Default Device”
    Option “NoLogo” “True”
EndSection
i.e. xorg.conf FAILED to show the name of the proprietary driver.
"""

As of natty it is no longer necessary to specify "nvidia" manually in xorg.conf, as Ubuntu's X now autoloads the driver. In fact no xorg.conf is necessary in many cases. Can you please update the test plan document to reflect this change?

Bryce Harrington (bryce) wrote :

As far as the failure itself, I notice this system appears to be hybrid graphics; please note that hybrid graphics with the -nvidia driver is not yet a supported feature. C.f.:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux-display-ia32-270.18-driver.html

"""
Note that the list of supported GPU products is provided to indicate which GPUs are supported by a particular driver version. Some designs incorporating supported GPUs may not be compatible with the NVIDIA Linux driver: in particular, notebook and all-in-one desktop designs with switchable (hybrid) or Optimus graphics will not work if means to disable the integrated graphics in hardware are not available. Hardware designs will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so please consult with a system's manufacturer to determine whether that particular system is compatible.
"""

summary: - Blank screen (no GUI) after installation of NVidia proprietary driver on
- Sony Vaio Z119GS
+ [Needs hybrid graphics switching support] Blank screen (no GUI) after
+ installation of NVidia proprietary driver on Sony Vaio Z119GS
Bryce Harrington (bryce) wrote :

Because we do not yet officially support hybrid graphics in Ubuntu (esp. involving the proprietary drivers), I do not think it is time effective for you to continue testing this particular hardware configuration. I would suggest instead manually switching off the intel device (how to do this varies by hardware vendor; some you can do it in bios, others have a toggle switch, others need kernel tweaks or busid settings... google around a bit and you should find some docs, or ask on askubuntu.com), and then test -nvidia in isolation.

Thanks again for providing such a well written test report. I hate that this is probably not the news you hoped to hear, but at least I can say the need for better hybrid graphics switching support is very widely and well known, and I'm hopeful in a release or two we'll start to see better support for it.

Changed in nvidia-graphics-drivers (Ubuntu):
status: New → Invalid
walkerstreet (dbonner) wrote :

Hi Bryce,
Thanks for getting back to me. I don't think I've been searching the forums with the right keyword ('hybrid'). Unfortunately, keeping the vaio in 'nvidia mode' with the switch, doesn't solve the problem. The good thing is that (until there is a substantial fix) there is a pretty good workaround. As I mentioned,
I can get the NVidia proprietary driver to work on Natty if I install the following custom hacked kernels and boot from this:
* linux-headers-2.6.28.10-vaioz_2.6.28.10-vaioz-10.00.Custom_amd64.deb
* linux-image-2.6.28.10-vaioz_2.6.28.10-vaioz-10.00.Custom_amd64.deb
You can read about this procedure and download the hacked kernels from:
* http://www.adhocism.net/2010/11/installing-ubuntu-10-10-on-sony-vaio-vpc-z13m9eb/
* http://www.voip-x.co.uk/files/adam/IMPORTANT_README
Adam from www.voip-x.co.uk/files/adam made this bandaid/hacked solution by creating this custom kernel 2.6.28-10-vaioz. The only purpose of this kernel is to turn on the green light (i.e. turn on the NVidia GPU) at first boot. After doing this, Grub appears again and you can select the ‘proper’ Ubuntu kernel (2.6.38-x-generic) and boot in to a GUI where the NVidia proprietary driver works perfectly. Before Natty, you also needed to install another custom kernel 2.6.37-x-vaioz from Adam and install the latest binary nvidia driver (downloaded from nvidia). With Natty, you don't need to do this last step. The native Ubuntu kernel and the nvidia proprietary driver that Ubuntu automatically downloads work now.
Thanks again.

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