Install nvidia-331 on X/K/Lubuntu results in unbootable machine

Bug #1267442 reported by Elfy on 2014-01-09
This bug affects 6 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
nvidia-prime (Ubuntu)
Alberto Milone

Bug Description

Install of nvidia-331 completes, assuming it edits lightdm.conf

left with this - not any use if you're not using Ubuntu


have to comment out the exisiting greeter and user session lines and replace with


to get a satisfactory boot

Related branches

Elfy (elfy) on 2014-01-09
tags: added: trusty xubuntu
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in nvidia-graphics-drivers-331 (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Marcin Sągol (soee) wrote :

I can confirm this issue on Kubuntu 14.04 after installing nvidia-331.

tags: added: kubuntu
Sundberg Pauli (susundberg) wrote :

Affects me too, probably due package: nvidia-prime_0.5.3_amd64.deb.

I tried to reproduce the problem but running --reinstall on the package does not modify lightdm.conf.

Assuming there is no lightdm.conf in the fresh install, then the package creates a file that is reported by @Efry.

Philip Muškovac (yofel) wrote :

looks like something caused by the preinst script in nvidia-prime

affects: nvidia-graphics-drivers-331 (Ubuntu) → nvidia-prime (Ubuntu)
Alberto Milone (albertomilone) wrote :

what version of Xubuntu are you using?

Elfy (elfy) wrote :

I'm using 14.04 - but I think that the rest are kubuntu dev

Sundberg Pauli (susundberg) wrote :

kubuntu daily image from 14.04 downloaded at about 20.01.2014 -> installed and updated -> install packages -> install nvidia-331 -> nvidia-prime (v 0.5.3 ) came with recommendations:

> Recommends: nvidia-settings (>= 331.20), nvidia-prime (>= 0.5) | bumblebee, libcuda1-331, nvidia-libopencl1-331, nvidia-opencl-icd-331

And yes, the 'preinst' script looks kind of guilty:

>>> paste from preinst >>>>

        # Let's create a configuration file
        # from scratch
        cat > $lightdm_orig_conf <<EOF
<<< paste end <<<<<

Alberto Milone (albertomilone) wrote :

The preinstallation script checks the default login manager by looking at /etc/X11/default-display-manager. If lightdm is the default login manager, then nvidia-prime creates (if no lightdm.conf exists) or edits the configuration file.

In your case it should have just edited the file by adding or replacing the display-setup-script and the display-stopped-script sections. Maybe you didn't have a lightdm.conf before installing nvidia-prime?

Changed in nvidia-prime (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Alberto Milone (albertomilone)
importance: Undecided → High
Elfy (elfy) wrote :

I would have had whatever I'd been left with after installing xubuntu and using the default nouveau. I'd assume that includes a lightdm.conf file.

After installing nvidia I then had to edit lightdm.conf to not assume I was using Ubuntu.

Elfy (elfy) wrote :

seems not if a vm is anything to go by.

Even so - assuming that


isn't going to work here :)

Alberto Milone (albertomilone) wrote :

Ok, then I guess I'll have to find a more reliable way to tell what system I'm dealing with. I'll use both Kubuntu and Xubunutu vms so that I can see exactly how I can better detect the system in use.

Elfy (elfy) wrote :

ok - thanks Alberto

Happy to help where I can if needed

Elfy (elfy) wrote :

@alberto - I installed lubuntu - same issue there.

The unadulterated lightdm.conf from that install is the same.


summary: - Install nvidia-331 on Xubuntu results in unbootable machine
+ Install nvidia-331 on X/K/Lubuntu results in unbootable machine
Changed in nvidia-prime (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → In Progress
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package nvidia-prime - 0.5.4

nvidia-prime (0.5.4) trusty; urgency=low

  * Do not touch lightdm.conf any more on anything newer than Precise.
    90-nvidia.conf now contains only the relevant settings for PRIME
    (LP: #1267442).
  * Also remove any previous lightdm.conf that nvidia-prime might
    have messed up.
  * Major packaging clean-up. The variable in debian/rules and in
    templates have clearer names now.
  * Clean up the old 90-nvidia.conf that we used to ship in /etc.
 -- Alberto Milone <email address hidden> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 17:30:43 +0100

Changed in nvidia-prime (Ubuntu):
status: In Progress → Fix Released
Pasi Lallinaho (knome) wrote :

I just experienced this bug on an upgrade from Xubuntu 13.10 to 14.04 with the proprietary Nvidia drivers.

/etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf had both greeter-session and user-session defined as 'null' (user-session=). Manually setting the right values fixed the issue.

Changed in nvidia-prime (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Released → New
Ubuntu QA Website (ubuntuqa) wrote :

This bug has been reported on the Ubuntu ISO testing tracker.

A list of all reports related to this bug can be found here:

tags: added: iso-testing
Alberto Milone (albertomilone) wrote :

I thought the new lightdm would get rid of the /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

Pasi Lallinaho (knome) wrote :

I hit this bug again with a Xubuntu 12.04 to 14.04 upgrade. Seems likely it is actually caused by the lack of xubuntu-default-settings installed than nvidia-* packages.

Will get more people look at it.

Dimitri John Ledkov (xnox) wrote :

Alberto Milone, i'm pretty sure that instead of generating lightdm.conf, additional snippets should be added to /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf.d/ with just display-setup-script and display-stopped-script stanzas.

Changed in nvidia-prime (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Alberto Milone (albertomilone) wrote :

@Dimitri: nvidia-prime doesn't do that any more. It only installs 90-nvidia.conf in /usr/share/lightdm/lightdm.conf.d/

Changed in nvidia-prime (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Hannu N (garbage-collector-) wrote :

I cannot say I'm sure if this information helps, but in hope it does:

OS: Pure Ubuntu (*not* X or L...) 13.10 "apt-get upgrade" to 14.04 LTS

CTRL+Alt+F1 -> login -> Bash -> sudo bash ->

# blacklisting of at least "noveau" REQUIRED to be able to get anywhere
# *** more detail not investigated!
# NOTE: I do NOT se the login prompt unless this is in place!
# USE recovery mode boot -> 'root prompt' on fsck'ed filesystems to get it in place.

# cat /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-graphics-drivers.conf
blacklist nouveau
blacklist lbm-nouveau
blacklist nvidia-173
blacklist nvidia-96
blacklist nvidia-current
blacklist nvidia-173-updates
blacklist nvidia-96-updates
alias nvidia nvidia_current_updates
alias nouveau off
alias lbm-nouveau off

-- end of file --
Commands to install the OEM-driver.

sudo service lightdm stop
sudo apt-get purge nvidia*
sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

# In this step I got bitten by nvidia-prime getting pulled in by
sudo apt-get install nvidia-331-updates-dev
# From memory: "init" says "nvidia-prime" does not exist, "start" failed - in the last screenful of text

# the following doesn't matter
# as ^- stops with "init" telling it cannot start "nvidia-prime" (out of memory, from tty output)
sudo sh NVIDIA-Linux-*

NOTE: If I replace
"sudo apt-get install nvidia-331-updates-dev"
"sudo apt-get install nvidia-settings-319 nvidia-settings-319-updates"
the above sequence works.

Summary, getting things to work:

sudo service lightdm stop
sudo apt-get purge nvidia*
sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install nvidia-settings-319 nvidia-settings-319-updates
sudo sh NVIDIA-Linux-*

-- on a working installation --
$ dpkg --list | grep nvidia
ii nvidia-settings 331.20-0ubuntu8 amd64 Tool for configuring the NVIDIA graphics driver
ii nvidia-settings-319 331.20-0ubuntu8 amd64 Transitional package for nvidia-settings
ii nvidia-settings-319-updates 331.20-0ubuntu8 amd64 Transitional package for nvidia-settings
hannu@wkbox ~ bash (P)PID=(3961)3969, s=0
$ apt-get install nvidia-331<TAB>
nvidia-331 nvidia-331-dev nvidia-331-updates nvidia-331-updates-dev nvidia-331-updates-uvm nvidia-331-uvm
hannu@wkbox ~ bash (P)PID=(3961)3969, s=0
$ apt-get install nvidia-pri<TAB>
hannu@wkbox ~ bash (P)PID=(3961)3969, s=0

Hannu N (garbage-collector-) wrote :

Ouch what a mess, is there a &lt;PRE&gt; - thingy here?

Hannu N (garbage-collector-) wrote :

Display at the end of it.

Pasi Lallinaho (knome) wrote :

Alberto, what kind of information you would need to get this bug from Incomplete to Confirmed/Triaged?

Alberto Milone (albertomilone) wrote :

@Pasi: I'll test it here on a clean system and see if I can reproduce it, so that I can see what's going on

@Hannu: please do not recommend installing the nvidia driver using the nvidia installer, as that will likely make your system unusable.

I tried to reproduce the problem using a Xubuntu 14.04 image and
everything worked as expected:

The main problem is that systems older than 14.04 might still have a
/etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf that was altered by older nvidia-prime

I thought lightdm would take care of the issue by removing such
configuration file but I was wrong. This is the preinst script from
lightdm in trusty:

if dpkg-maintscript-helper supports mv_conffile; then
  dpkg-maintscript-helper mv_conffile \
    /etc/lightdm.conf \
    /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf \
    0.3.7-0ubuntu2 -- "$@"

I believe 0.3.7-0ubuntu2 should be updated to a more recent release such
as 1.10.1-0ubuntu1~.

This is something that we should deal with in the lightdm package
though. I don't think it would be right for nvidia-prime to remove
lightdm's configuration files.

Changed in lightdm (Ubuntu):
status: New → Triaged
importance: Undecided → High
no longer affects: lightdm (Ubuntu)
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