Old NVIDIA card, new FreeBSD = failure?

Valeri Galtsev galtsev at kicp.uchicago.edu
Fri Jun 25 18:03:01 UTC 2021

> On Jun 25, 2021, at 11:04 AM, Kristofer <gundoghusse at protonmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Valeri,
> thanks for the answer. I"m not aware of an open source driver for FreeBSD, I thought that Nouveau only worked on Linux these days? Is there another one, if so, where can I find it?

pkg name is: xf86-video-nv-2.1.21_4

and driver name is nv. Take a look what else you may need of xf86 and xorg packages.

And good luck!

Open source driver will not be able to drive two minors of different resolution in dual monitor configuration. It is because nvidia does not disclose chip internals (especially video memory layout), so it is impossible to write decent video driver. Open source nvidia driver only supports most basic features on nvidia cards. For comparison, ATI (and now owned by AMD still does it) always disclosed chip internals, that’s why open source drivers for ATI cards are great and are supporting a lot of their features. So, to the contrary to [misguided IMHO] large number of Linux folks who love NVIDIA, I for one always preferred ATI, they always were my life saver.

And I stared disliking NVIDIA even more once I faced their obsoleting their cards as very young age. Incidentally, Apple once used NVIDIA chips, but after they had one NVIDIA chip in their MacBook Pro that had bug in silicon, and was crashing next release of MacOS, Apple started program replacing faulty hardware. The program stopped rather quickly, _MY_ assessment is: they (Apple) asked NVIDIA to cover their share of losses, which was their fault in the first place, and NVIDIA refused. No nvidia chips in any Apple products since (but Apple had to close hardware replacement program, somewhat marring their excellent before that reputation).

Good luck!


> /Kristofer
> -------- Original Message --------
> On 25 Jun 2021, 15:09, Valeri Galtsev < galtsev at kicp.uchicago.edu> wrote:
> On June 25, 2021 4:37:27 AM CDT, Kristofer via freebsd-questions <freebsd-questions at freebsd.org> wrote:
> >Hi,
> >
> >I've been using FreeBSD for many years, but I very seldom update so my
> >knowledge is very much out of date. After some disk issues, I had to
> >reinstall my workstation and I'm currently fighting a losing battle. I
> >hope I'm missing something. I do feel a bit lost with all the changes
> >that have happened since I last actually did some under-the-hood stuff
> >in FreeBSD so I might well be going about this all backwards.
> >
> >I installed 13.0-RELEASE which went fine, but trying to get X to work
> >is failing.
> >I have an old NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 which worked fine on the old
> >version (I think I had FreeBSD 10.2), now I'm trying to follow the
> >handbook instructions and download the driver directly from NVIDIA's
> >site.
> >First I downloaded NVIDIA-FreeBSD-x86_64-460.84, which built ok, but
> >when starting X it says that my card is only supported by the legacy
> >driver -390, so I downloaded NVIDIA-FreeBSD-x86_64-390.143. This one
> >won't build as it say that the driver does not support FreeBSD 13.0
> >So catch-22 so far.
> >
> That is why any day I will give 3 old nvidia cards for a sngle old ati card. Did you try open source driver?
> Incidentally, it is not nvidia driver that you are compiling, but an interface between kernel and binary proproetary driver.
> Valeri
> >Is there some other way I should be getting the drivers or some way to
> >get either of these to work with me. I really don't have to buy a new
> >machine. I guess I could reinstall with an older FreeBSD version again,
> >but seems a bit wrong to do that.
> >
> >TIA,
> >Kristofer
> >_______________________________________________
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> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Valeri Galtsev
> Sr System Administrator
> Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
> Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
> University of Chicago
> Phone: 773-702-4247
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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