It’s been more than a decade since I started using Linux on the desktop. During that time I’ve installed and used various flavours (Red Hat, Suse, Yoper, Vector etc.) before finally settling on Ubuntu.
I’ve never attained Linux “god” status, though I’m usually able to find my way around things – keep that in mind while reading this guide 🙂
In the past decade, Linux as a desktop operating system, as well as its built in driver support has matured considerably. In fact, I can’t even recall the last time I had to resort to any sort of hack or work around for a successful install.
Today was a little different. This install took a little tweaking, so thought I’d post what worked for me, in case anyone else faces similar problems installing Ubuntu on this motherboard.
I’d picked up an old motherboard+CPU combo at work (ASUS motherboard M2N68-AM Plus with an AMD Athlon II X2 240), to set up a basic desktop for my Dad.
After I’d assembled the machine, I popped in the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS installation DVD and installed the OS without a hitch.
However, on booting up I faced the following problems:
1. First boot went fine right up till the log-in screen, I entered my password and everything froze and I had to do a hard reboot.
2. Second time I was not even able to even enter my password before the the cursor and the keyboard froze. Had to hard reboot again.
3. I played around a bit with the BIOS settings and this time I was able to log in and actually launch a few applications before everything froze again.
It was time to consult Google for information on what was going on.
After reading various forum threads, it seemed that the problem was most probably due to an errant Nvidia display driver. The ASUS M2N68-AM Plus motherboard ships with onboard Nvidia Geforce 7025/ Nforce 630a GPU and it seems Nvidia no longer supports or updates these (legacy product) drivers.
When I installed Ubuntu, I’d ‘checked’ the ‘install 3rd party drivers’ option, which meant that the (now unsupported) Nvidia drivers were installed – which were causing the problem.
Since I had no data on the system, I chose to do a fresh install. This time I opted to install only open source software.
Once the install was complete, I needed to install the (supported) Nvidia driver from Xorg. For this I followed the instructions at howopensource.com.
Step 1. Add the PPA repository (for Ubuntu 14.04 / 13.10 / 13.04 / 12.10) by typing the following command at the terminal
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa
Step 2. Update system repository
sudo apt-get update
Step 3. Install the Xorg Nvidia driver
sudo apt-get install nvidia-current nvidia-settings
In stead of doing a reinstall, you can boot into a safe mode (press “esc” at boot time to view Ubuntu boot options) to remove the existing driver and replace it with the one from Xorg.
Ever since switching to the Xorg drivers, the system has been running like a charm.