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.