NVIDIA Maxwell series graphic card: X.Org doesn't start, or slow graphics operations
Firstly, the problem has started with Tails 2.0, before that between versions 1.3.2 and 1.8.2 I used Tails with the same hardware with no difficulties. I opened a bug here back then, but it was merged with [https://labs.riseup.net/code/issues/10298]. I was hoping that the new kernel would be the end of my problem and was happy to hear that you manage to update Tails to the 4.x kernel in version 2.6 instead of 3.0. Yet the problem is not solved in this version, so I decided to delve into the reason of the problem myself, to the point of my knowledge and intellect of course.
I have a NVidia GeForce GTX 970M video card in my laptop.It is the only VGA in the laptop, so there is no problem like detecting an Intel onboard one or such. All graphic operations are slow. OS works in about 0.5 fps. I can see the screen loading the next frame from top to bottom. Other then that everything works fine. It's like the OS works in the background just fine, but sends me only screenshots every now and then as a display option.
I saw that at the boot time, after I choose “Live” from the menu, the system prints the message below for a short time, and then goes to the login screen. The message disappears pretty quick, but I managed to take a photo of it, so I know what it says.
Loading, please wait... [ 2.086560] mmc0: Unknown controller version (3). You may experience problems. [ 2.151987] nouveau 0000:01:00.0: firmware: failed to load nvidia/gm204/gr/sw_nonctx.bin (-2) [ 2.152041] nouveau 0000:01:00.0: gr ctor failed, -2
After that I decided to check the logs to see if there is any failure
log exists. Boot log was clean, but I believe I found what I was looking
for in “Xorg.0.log”. I am attaching the log file here, so that you can
check it too.
If I followed the log correctly, the system uses VESA driver instead of the expected Nouveau one for NVidia hardware. Since VESA is the basic of the basic and the last resort to show something to user, I believe I am closing on on the problem.
At this point I decided to check the websites of Xorg and nouveau to see if there is any known problems with my video card. I saw that nouveau is the only open-source nvidia driver solution for linux, and nvidia does not make their jobs easy for them, so they are following the cards a little bit from behind. Yet I also see that they are claiming that with their latest stable release they are now supporting(at least for basic operations(?)) the Maxwell series devices (970M is one of them with GM204 Board). Nouveau’s latest stable version is 1.0.12, but if I interpreted the log right, we are using the version 1.0.11. If I’m not mistaken, there is more than one year’s work between these versions and the most of that work is on Maxwell devices.
Now, after defining my problem and giving all the info I’ve found about it, I have two questions(I would be very happy if you could find time to answer them):
1. Why are we using nouveau version 1.0.11 instead of 1.0.12? 2. If using 1.0.12 would not help, can't we use Nvidia's own driver instead of the opensource one? What would be the risks of using it, and how could we install it in our own Tails setups in a persistent way, if Tails team decides not to use them and we decide that we could take that risk?
Please ask any necessary information I may provide. I could happily do some tests if you point me in the right direction, and I could try testing any nightly build iso files. I have a pretty decent internet connection, so downloading and testing them would not be a problem for me.
Thank you for your time. I hope we could solve this.
PS: I kow that my bug report is a little bit different, but I do not mean to disrespect anyone. My aim was only to be as helpful as possible while conveying my ongoing problem. Please bear in mind that English is not my native language and i may have unintentionally sound somewhat rude. I can see that my wording of the issue is not exactly appropriate, but I was barely able to (I hope) convey my thoughts. So I again ask for your forgiveness.
PPS: [https://labs.riseup.net/code/issues/11180] looks related to my problem, but since they are not able to boot at all, I believe they may have some other problems as well.
Feature Branch: feature/12732-linux-4.12