LinuxLite desktop image

LinuxLite 5.4 to 5.8 Upgrade Breaks NVidia

If you are using the easy update button on LinuxLite to upgrade from 5.4 to 5.8 be warned the upgrade breaks NVidia support. It’s not a hard break, just a stupid one. Kids need to learn the mantra

CI/CD == Continuous Tragedy

It’s true. Automated testing tests less than nothing. It certainly doesn’t test anything meaningful.

The Untested Path

I did a fresh install of LinuxLite 5.4 yesterday because I was putting a machine back into BOINC service. After finding out that Elive didn’t have a prayer of getting the 470 NVidia driver to build. Neither did Ubuntu 22.04. Not wanting to piss away the rest of my Saturday I quick pulled out a LinuxLite DVD and installed that. I’ve written about my BOINC machines before on this blog. When I’m not using machines for a project I spin a, hopefully different, Linux distro up and let them run BOINC to cure cancer and other diseases.

Really thought I had this beat.

  • Booted Live disk for 5.4
  • Clicked the Install icon on the desktop
  • When filling out information checked the box to install 3rd party drivers
  • Applied updates after reboot. Installed languages. Checked video driver from command line.

Things were pretty and life looked good. I was about to install BOINC when I scrolled down and saw the “upgrade to 5.8” and thought “Why not?” Yes, I’ve been warned about thinking before.

Ba-da-bing ba-da-boom! After reboot my screen resolution is locked at 640×480. There are no NVidia utilities to change screen settings and the Display Settings screen only has one resolution as an option.

When you try to use the “Drivers” GUI tool there is a radio button for “manually installed driver” that is permanently on, blocking selection of anything else. Adding insult to injury the LinuxLite screens aren’t 640×480 friendly.

The Fix

You have to remember that <ALT><F4> will usually close the current window. This gets you out of the “Welcome” screen. Fight your way to getting a terminal open. Verify NVidia driver is still in use.

lsmod | grep -i nvidia

That doesn’t really do anything for you other than confirm you don’t have to deal with the Nouveau driver that conflicts horribly with NVidia. I then chose the nuclear option.

sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall

You could choose to use the “list” command of ubuntu-drivers then attempt to install a specific driver to avoid getting hosed by a third party driver you didn’t want for some other device. Just remember that the output of list is rather verbose. It wraps and scrolls quite a bit on a 640×480 screen.

Roland Hughes started his IT career in the early 1980s. He quickly became a consultant and president of Logikal Solutions, a software consulting firm specializing in OpenVMS application and C++/Qt touchscreen/embedded Linux development. Early in his career he became involved in what is now called cross platform development. Given the dearth of useful books on the subject he ventured into the world of professional author in 1995 writing the first of the "Zinc It!" book series for John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc. A decade later he released a massive (nearly 800 pages) tome "The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer" which tried to encapsulate the essential skills gained over what was nearly a 20 year career at that point. From there "The Minimum You Need to Know" book series was born. Three years later he wrote his first novel "Infinite Exposure" which got much notice from people involved in the banking and financial security worlds. Some of the attacks predicted in that book have since come to pass. While it was not originally intended to be a trilogy, it became the first book of "The Earth That Was" trilogy: Infinite Exposure Lesedi - The Greatest Lie Ever Told John Smith - Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars When he is not consulting Roland Hughes posts about technology and sometimes politics on his blog. He also has regularly scheduled Sunday posts appearing on the Interesting Authors blog.

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