How-to Install Nvidia Driver on 2.6.25-2 Debian Kernel (with Xen)

Another big surprise rolled out from the Debian Unstable repository when today I updated my kernel from 2.6.25-1 to 2.6.25-2 – the maintainers have enabled Xen in the non-Xen kernel (linux-image-2.6.25-2-686). The result from this is that Nvidia drivers don’t compile throwing error about Xen enabled kernel.

The solution (if you don’t want to recompile your own kernel) :

As usual backup before executing any of these :)

  1. cd /lib/modules/2.6.25-2-686 (or wherever are your modules)
  2. grep CONFIG_XEN . -Rl | xargs -i sed -i -e ‘s/CONFIG_XEN/CONFIG_LUPO/g’ {}
  4. sh (or you can use patched 169.12 – )

Source: linux-image-2.6.25-2-686: nVidia driver fails to compile due to active Xen support

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21 Responses to “How-to Install Nvidia Driver on 2.6.25-2 Debian Kernel (with Xen)”

  1. David Martínez Says:

    Worked for me with AMD-K7, 686 kernel and Beta driver. Many thanks !!

  2. ____Jul____ Says:

    Thank you, Peter You are my frickin’ hero :) Although it’s really a dirty hack at least it does what it should do :)

    Oh shall I say worked on Debian Sid with 2.6.25-2-686

  3. Ariel Says:

    You don’t need to do this anymore, as of update 169.12-2 released May 12, 2008.

  4. Peter Says:

    Not installable at this time. Also I prefer latest beta

  5. Gary Says:

    Worked for me using linux-image-2.6.25-2-686-bigmem on a core duo. Card is a 9600GT and I used

    Thanks for the info.

  6. sgfxi Says:

    I implemented this in our debian sid/testing nvidia/fglrx installer script, sgfxi, for the lazy among you.

    Must be run from /usr/local/bin
    cd /usr/local/bin;wget -Nc; chmod +x sgfxi

    sgfxi installs all current nvidia drivers, patches them, detects your card version to install correct driver version, or lets you override it to install some other driver, applies patches if needed, see: sgfxi -h for currently supported drivers.

    It also updates itself automatically every time you run it after you install it.

    sgfxi home page:

    To install latest current, just do: sgfxi -c

    Currently the patch is in testing mode, that’s what the -T is for, normally it would all be automatic.

    This is the graphics installer for sidux/smxi

  7. sgfxi Says:

    oh, and it undoes the patch right after the nvidia driver install is done, so your /lib/modules stuff is set back to normal after the nvidia driver is installed.

  8. sgfxi Says:

    ah, sorry, needs: sgfxi -T -c
    to install current latest driver, with composite.

    The -T will probably be not required in a few days after I do some more testing on this.

  9. Cun Zhang Says:

    Thank you for your article!
    I have install nvidia driver.
    I use Nvidia Geforce MX 4000, install, patch a diff file from
    and set IGNORE_XEN_PRESENCE=1. Then it is installed successful.

  10. sgfxi Says:

    Everything is debugged now and working fine, no further need for -T option in sgfxi for this issue, just start it with regular arguments now. Thanks for this fix, the method was nicely done, I hadn’t seen that use of grep -Rl before, very useful.

    sgfxi is currently now supporting all current kernels and drivers again, including ati stuff, which won’t be of interest to people in this thread.

  11. Peter Says:


    Thanks mate. Why don’t you start a thread on to popularize a bit.

    I will comment there too.

  12. promolic1 Says:

    Hi!!! Where can I find the diff file that you are talking Cun Zhang???
    I have the same problem, and a MX 4000

    Sorry if my English is bad

  13. Peter Says:

    I presume it is the patch from this page

    @Cun Zhang mate :)

  14. Miguelo Says:

    Thank you!!. Worked for me using debian lenny (testing), linux image 2.6.25-2-686, nvidia 8600GT with, pentium D CPU and intel d945 motherboard.

  15. dan Says:

    thanks sgfxi,
    script works great!

  16. Kiyo Says:

    Ahh sweet accelerated graphics, How I briefly missed you. Thanks a lot:

    Lenny 2.6.25-2-686, nvidia 8600GT, Dell Inspiron 1720

  17. ultr Says:

    This patch for 173.14.05 works great for me:

    It’s based on a similar idea to your solution, but does not require to rubbish your system.
    You just have to generate a patched version of nVidia installer, and then run it as usual :)

    All bug reports are very welcome – please replay in the above topic (in English or Polish).

  18. Peter Says:

    Well “require to rubbish your system” are strong words after all
    apt-get install –reinstall linux-headers-2.6.25-2-686 fixes reverts back
    and since I have not reviewed your patch I’m sticking with this fix.

    However I suggest posting this patch in and hope it will be merged.

  19. warcry Says:

    This patch is working just fine
    cool mate
    u did it

  20. luovel Says:

    Bad luck! I still failed after I tried both methods including the diff patch

    And every time the installation failed messages are the same as before.
    so, what should i do now? Degrade the kernenl to 2.6.24?

    T2080, nVidia 8400M G, etch + 2.6.25-2.686, nv driver 169.12 and 173.14.12

  21. Peter Says:

    I have just used this technique with kernel 2.6.26-1-686-bigmem and nvidia driver and did not have any problems.

    Please try again and post more information about the error