[nSLUG] interesting Ubuntu Server 11.04 error

Jack Warkentin jwark at bellaliant.net
Thu Oct 6 17:49:29 ADT 2011

Hi Michael

Michael Gillie wrote:
> Hey folks,
> I had this interesting error occur while I was running Ubuntu Server
> 11.04 amd64. See below...
> [drm] nouveau 0000:01:00.0: Pointer to BIT loadval table invalid

In the above message, drm stands for Direct Rendering Management.
(Not what GNU/Linux types usually think about when DRM is mentioned.)
DRM is started during bootup at the point when the video framebuffer 
device is set up. It sounds like a bug in the video driver.

Note that if you have a kernel boot parameter of the form "vga=...", 
then the vesa framebuffer device is started very early during boot. It 
is not until the xserver-xorg-video-<your video card's driver name> 
framebuffer driver gets initialized that drm gets started.

If you installed the package xserver-xorg-video-vga and temporarily 
disabled your regular video driver, and the above error did not occur, 
that would pretty well nail down the source of the error.

> I find it somewhat "interesting". Could someone give me an idea as  to
> what was happening. I have since resolved the issue by downloading and
> installing Debian i386.

Why didn't you install an AMD64 version of Debian?

> This is my main Samba Server, so when it started giving me the error, I
> tried a number of things, like reseating the RAM, etc. Nothing worked.
> If the error returns, I will let you know. The error would come up
> immediately after boot completed, and the login prompt appeared.
> After about a half an hour, even during usage, the screen would go
> blank, and the server would become unresponsive.
> Any ideas what it was???
> Mike G
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Jack Warkentin, phone 902-404-0457, email jwark at bellaliant.net
39 Inverness Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3P 1X6

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