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OpenSUSE 10.3 with Toshiba Satellite 2430 Geforce4 420 GO

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I have 5 years old laptop, Toshiba Satellite 2430, equiped with Geforce4 420 Go. OpenSUSE could detect most device on my laptop and that's why I choose OpenSUSE as my Linux Distribution. Okay, most problem arise when we want to install NVIDIA driver and replacing the nv driver. You may know sax2 to configure your xorg.conf. I found that sax2 makes headache for this kind of laptop. You may meets these condition:

  • One click install from OpenSUSE need newer Kernel-Source which very big
  • GDM Screen goes blank when you're succesfully installed from One click install
  • You would need legacy nvidia driver if you choose to use hard way
  • if you're using the hardway by installing Nvidia driver, you need sax2 -r -m 0=nvidia which lead to blank screen for long time

I was confused and find the way that should be done to achive best perfomance of my Nvidia GPU. You would need makes you OpenSUSE dirty and probably you would reinstalled the OpenSUSE after succesfully installing the nvidia legacy driver.

Backup your working xorg.conf

If you still use nv driver and you're never play with the xorg.conf. I recommends you to backup the working configuration, you need to be root user to copying xorg.conf.

sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup

Installing dependency package

Installing nvidia driver needs several requirement. The simplest way is using YAST Software Management (Control Panel -> YaST -> Software Management) and sort the package by pattern. I install following package:

  • Base Development (Under Development Category)
  • C/C++ Development (Under Development Category)
  • Linux Kernel Development (Under Development Category)

Download the Nvidia Legacy Driver

Most of tutorial lead to Install the newest driver version 173.14.09, but it's not, you need the legacy version of Nvidia driver for our Geforce4 420 Go which is 96.43.05. You may download the driver or see the full list of the driver. I am using the Linux IA32. Save it under your hom, e.g /home/nurasto/Downloads/

Get out from graphical environment

You must get out from graphical environment a.k.a init 5. Many way to achieve this condition, but I prefer to get out completely from init 5 state. This is mean that you need to print this article, you can't interact with X Window and Firefox. We need to edit our /etc/inittab

sudo vi /etc/inittab 

comment this line

add new line with same text from commented line, change 5 to 3


Installing our driver

If you done so far, you probaly printed this article. Now, please login with root account. If you done, you need to go to your directory where you saved your file. I was saved on  /home/nurasto/Downloads/

Goto to that directory

cd /home/nurasto/Downloads

Start the installation


Say yes to reconfigure xorg.conf

Remember, you need dependency package installed on your system. If you have no error, you would be asked by installer whether you want to reconfigure the xorg.conf. Just press Yes. DO NOT REBOOT after installation is finished!.

Testing our Geforce4 420 GO and laptop LCD

It's wise to test the driver installation, type this

X # (Uppercase X and a Sharp symbol) 

Did you see any NVIDIA logo before the X is started?  Most of case is not. To escape pres CTRL-ALT-BACKSPACE from blankness, we try to solve this. We will need to issue X # command in next step.

Driver Not work?

I am not technical person or hardware guru, but I suspect there's something must be tweak. In my log, I didn't find any error. We may need to edit our xorg.conf.

vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Add these lines under screen section

Save it

Now, type X # again. Did you see any NVIDIA logo? you should jump to  if you're not, start over from scratch.

If you're out of luck, the you must back to nv driver

cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf.mybackup /etc/X11/xorg.conf 

Horay it work!

You see the NVIDIA logo? Congratulations!

Testing the 3D Acceleration

Enable Desktop Effect

Restart once

Enjoy the world