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I have installed Debian without any additional packages or software. I would now like to install a X windowing system. I've tried out Gnome before but the resolution is really low and I can't set it higher, apparently because there's no Graphics card drivers...

Now I'm not completely sure it's the windowing system's fault, and I may need to tinker with Debian itself to get the resolution - but I remember installing Ubuntu a while ago and it had support for high resolutions straight away (I'm not completely sure if this was just because of Virtual box guest additions) so is there a windowing system that will also take care of this for me?

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closed as not a real question by Oliver Salzburg, Diogo, 8088, KronoS, Nifle Jul 24 '12 at 13:50

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Which graphics card? Do you want the proprietary drivers or the open source ones? Which Debian version? -1 for lack of relevant detail. – Daniel Andersson May 16 '12 at 5:33
I did a large edit of the question, but what's left is the actual question. The window manager has nothing to do with installing the drivers. – Daniel Andersson May 16 '12 at 5:34
The main reason for not getting the higher resolution was me using an older Kernel - I upgraded to 3.2 and my core i3's integrated graphics is now supported - so I have the higher resolutions available! – Aditya M P Jul 16 '12 at 19:09
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The preferred way to get the non-free nvidia drivers on Debian is via DKMS packages these days. All you need to do is:

aptitude install linux-headers-`uname -r` nvidia-kernel-dkms nvidia-glx

(Assuming you have and a desktop of your choice already installed).

This has the following advantages:

  • Kernel module gets rebuilt for kernel upgrades (compared to the non-Debian way which will likely leave you without a working X when you reboot into a newer kernel).
  • Debian specific patches are applied if required (occasionally Debian has jumped further forward in terms of kernels/compilers than the official drivers supported)
  • If it doesn't work it's a bug against Debian
  • Plays nicely with other versions of the GLX extension and
  • Plays nicely with package dependencies (both things it needs to run and things that need specific drivers)
  • Cryptographically signed
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You need to install your graphics card drivers. This is not usually done by default.

you need to install kernel sources and trees.

apt-get install linux-source;

then you need to download the .run driver package from nvidia.

shutdown X and set run level to 3

/etc/init.d/gdm stop;
init 3;

then run the installer and restart. should be good to go

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That's terrible advice for Debian. It's far better to use the pre-packages Debian drivers which build using DKMS. – Flexo May 15 '12 at 21:23
ive noticed those horribly out of date many times. how it is bad advice to install official drivers is beyond me – steve May 15 '12 at 21:24
@steve Using DKMS still installs the official drivers, but using the manual nVidia method is clunky and prone to breaking during system upgrades, whereas using the officially supported debian packages means the user gets better support, and upgrades/changes run smoother. – Darth Android May 15 '12 at 22:36
+1 for a solid reasoning for the downvote. – steve May 15 '12 at 22:39

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