NVidia driver stability?

Bruce Cran bruce at cran.org.uk
Thu Jul 10 18:19:46 PDT 2003

On Thu, Jul 10, 2003 at 04:41:40PM -0700, Evan Dower wrote:
> The new nvidia-driver was unstable for me as well. So much so that I 
> deinstalled it so I could get some actual work done. I never was able o get 
> any specifics about it, as I don't have a serial console set up, and when 
> it crashes it freezes the screen. I can tell you this much though. 
> Sometimes when it locked up, I was able to ssh in from another machine, see 
> that XFree86 was taking 98-99% of CPU time, kill XFree86, and continue on. 
> Other times, I couldn't even ssh in, as the connection hung, so I had to do 
> a hard restart. The timing of these crashes was entirely unpredictable.
> I have a GeForce 3 Ti 200 and FreeBSD 5.1-RELENG. I tried with both AGP's. 
> Loading nvidia-driver into a debug kernel (INVARIANTS and WITNESS) still 
> causes an immediate panic. I don't know how the Nvidia people can do QA on 
> this without a debugging kernel. Just poorly I guess. I hope someone finds 
> this helpful though I would be shocked if it did. I would be happy 
> (ecstatic, actually) to run any experiments someone might be interested in.

I've found the nvidia driver to be very stable, using a new -CURRENT 
build and the NVidia agp driver.  I've got a GeForce 4200 Go, and the only
thing the nvidia driver doesn't seem to like is changing resolutions - I've
had a few problems including a reboot from that.   Unloading the module
panics the kernel, with

malloc(9)/free(9) confusion
possibly freeing with wrong type, but maybe not here.

I can get a backtrace, if anybody's interested.

I also get a few LORs from the driver, which trace back to the sources in

Bruce Cran

> Many thanks,
> Evan Dower
> Undergraduate, Computer Science
> University of Washington
> >From: "Brian Kincaid" <bmk at geek.com>
> >To: current at freebsd.org
> >Subject: Re: NVidia driver stability?
> >Date: 10 Jul 2003 15:45:41 -0700
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> >
> >Hi,
> >
> >Yes, I can replicate the behavior you describe upon running glxinfo
> >repeatedly. I have not yet had any trouble with xvinfo. I have
> >also seen a couple of crashes (not repeatable) after running
> >some of the xscreensaver-demo examples and/or some of the GL
> >apps for xscreensaver directly.
> >
> >I am running a freshly built 4.8-STABLE system, plus a GeForce3
> >Ti 200 PCI card and a rebuilt version of the nvidia-driver port.
> >Before I rebuilt the entire system and kernel the nvidia-port
> >driver caused the system to page fault immediately upon starting
> >X.
> >
> >I reverted to the standard nv driver for a while, then read a
> >couple of messages on one of the freebsd mailing lists about
> >the necessity of rebuilding everything due to a change in proc.h.
> >
> >After the cvsup, rebuild process, the nvidia driver seems to
> >work, except for the problems mentioned above.
> >
> >Brian
> >
> >
> >
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