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Old 05-25-13, 05:49 PM   #1
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Default Mint cinnamon and Nvidia drivers?

<This is the problem, see the first post for the work-around>
I have both Mint LMDE and Mint LTS installed. Both produced a normal desktop with cinnamon, however, thermal control was non-existant and the fans were noisy. Since I've run nvidia drivers many times before, I installed them on Mint LTS. After that, the bottom menu bar disappeared. Haven't found anyway to bring it back...yet. I had used the distro recommended driver which installed directly from hardware options. I also tried the latest driver which was downloaded from the nvidia site. Also no bottom menu bar.

Thinking this was just a Mint LTS issue (it's based on Ubuntu), I checked my Mint LMDE install, It had the "free" drivers installed and the cinnamon desktop environment was normal. However, it too had an overly loud fan. Since it is based on Debian, I thought the outcome might be different, so I installed the nvidia driver there, but once again the bottom menu bar disappeared. But, hey, my fans were now quiet and well behaved!

So this seems to be a bug or miscommunication between the nvidia driver and the cinnamon desktop. I've asked on the Mint forums but no solution yet. Also no real work-arounds either. Either this is a bug, or maybe there is a work-around that someone here knows about. Any ideas?

P.S. I know the nvidia drivers are "proprietary" and the linux folks can't cope with fixing things on their side, so they prefer users stick with the "free" nouveau drivers, but as I said they just don't work as well. On Nvidia's side of things they can't easily cope with every linux desktop environment out there as there are a lot of them, but Mint is a fairly major distro and cinnamon is desktop environment that most users prefer, sooo....

Last edited by feffer777; 05-27-13 at 05:22 PM. Reason: A solution was found
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Old 05-27-13, 05:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Mint cinnamon and Nvidia drivers?

Somehow these two posts got reversed: to see the problem see the following post. This one is the work-around.

OK, I've think I've gotten to the bottom of this. It is an Nvidia issue that appears in certain circumstances (not really a bug). It has nothing to do with Cinnamon or Mate. Here's the issue and the work-around. To see if the bottom menu bar was really gone or just out of sight, I openned nvidia-settings as root, and changed to a lower resolution. That showed that the bar was still there, so cinnamon was OK. Then I went back to nvidia-settings > X Server Display Configuration and saw that "Twin View" was selected and both screens were enabled even though I had only one screen. So I disabled the screen labeled CRT, and checked the prefered box for the other "real" DFP-1 screen. Then logout/login and now the bars were visible.

On LMDE, my other cinnamon OS, this did not immediately work. So while Twin Views were both enabled, I selected "DFP-1" and changed it's Absolute position from "+0+0" to "+0+40" then logout/login. This seemed to jog it. After that, I could disable the unused "CRT" screen.

I've never needed to do this with previous Nvidia drivers on any linux desktop, so I don't know why this happened. It might have something to do with my screen set up. I don't have dual screens, rather I have a single screen to handle two machines and use a KVM switch to toggle between them. However, this has never come up before. In any case, this was quite vexing, so I offer the steps to anyone else who has the issue.
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