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I am literally at the limit of what I can think of to solve this problem so I am hoping to find some help here.

I have a Macbook air 3,1 and I installed the latest Debian stable (squeeze) 2 days ago. I was loosely following a very well written guide found here

It took some time to get the wifi and the multitouch working with the experimental drivers but it is okay now. Nouveau does not work at all, since it's simply producing garbled screen output. So my main problem right now is that I can't get the proprietary NVidia drivers to work. I need them because I am forced to a very low level resolution with the default drivers (Vesa?).

In the guide I linked above it is supposed to be simple. Simply get the nvidia-glx package from the experimental repository:

apt-get install -t experimental nvidia-glx

This seems to install the drivers for me but the problem is in the next step. There is no /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. If I manually create one and add what was suggested from the guide:

Section "Device"
        Identifier      "Device0"
        Driver          "nvidia"
        Option          "NoLogo"         "True"
        VendorName      "NVIDIA Corporation"
        BoardName       "GeForce 320M"
EndSection

I am greeted by a black sreen with a blinking cursor at reboot. So to recover I go in recovery mode and delete the /etc/X11/xorg.conf and start gnome again.

On the other hand if I attempt to do Xorg -configure then it says that it failed to load the Nvidia kernel module.

At this point I am at a loss as to what the next step should be. I thought that I should read a guide more specific to installing the NVidia drivers so I attempted to follow the Wiki on NVidia Graphics Drivers.

In there, there is a script which you can run to help determine the version of the drivers you should download. I ran it and it got me even more confused. The output was: "Uh oh. Your card is not supported by any driver version."

Any help or pointers towards the right direction would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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The nVidia drivers are (in)famous for instability and general flakiness. –  vonbrand Feb 18 '13 at 14:12
    
That may be so but they are certainly better than an unreadable garbled screen output that nouveau gave me –  Lefteris Feb 18 '13 at 14:20
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1 Answer

up vote 0 down vote accepted

I have actually found the answer to my problem. It was quite simpler than I originally thought. In short the guide I was following is outdated as far as the graphics driver is concerned.

In there it was advising to apt-get install nvidia-glx from the experimental repository which is what I was doing.

After a lot of trial and error (and uninstalling the NVidia drivers countless times) I pulled the drivers from the latest stable repository and generally followed the official Debian NVidia drivers guide instead of going in between the two guides. After configuring x.org and rebooting I was finally able to see the native 1366x768 resolution instead of the 640x480 provided by Vesa.

If anyone else comes across the same problem I hope this solution helps them. Remember that as of 2013 you can safely use the drivers from the stable repository and it should work.

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