Information Technology

Elementary Beta and BOINC

The other day I pulled down the 20170716 Beta 2 of Elementary OS 0.4. I tend to like the look of Elementary and if they ever get around the problems of 32-bit UEFI with a 64-bit CPU it will make a great choice for 2-in-1 computers. I loaded it on a 6-core AMD BOINC machine with 24-Gig of RAM, an SSD and an NVIDIA video card providing 384 CUDA core.

Once it booted I noticed BOINC wasn’t finding a GPU. The “Additional Drivers” option was also missing from the system menu. Poking around on-line found some posts with instructions on making a temporary change to the Grub menu item and command line installing a compatible driver. This of course pointed out the problem that, by default, Grub menu is configured to not appear. Rather than risk link-rot I’m posting everything here.

Getting Grub menu to appear

Boot and log in. Open a terminal window. Type

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

After entering your password you will see a line for GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT. You can either change the value from 0 to something like 3 or you can comment out the line as follows:

#GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=0

Use ctrl-x to exit, respond yes to save your changes. At the command line type:

sudo reboot

Installing NVIDIA driver for Elementary Beta 2

When the Grub menu comes up hit E to edit. Arrow quite a ways down to the “linux” command line. At the end of that line add a space and:

nouveau.modeset=0

Hit the F10 key to reboot.

When the login screen appears hit ctrl-alt-F1 and log in with your username and password on the full screen terminal. Once logged in type the following:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

sudo apt-get install nvidia-352

sudo reboot

There will be various Y/n prompts to respond to and it might take a bit to pull everything down. Hopefully you are not so far behind you have an upgrade which needs a reboot to complete (such as a kernel change) as that will be a killer.

When you reboot you will notice a better looking display and that BOINC can now find the GPU.