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How-to: Demystifying the Nvidia Driver

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 

One of the most mysterious things people coming into Linux find is that Linux graphics card drivers can be a chore to properly install. Up until recently this process has been almost a circus act with how many hoops one had to jump through in order to properly utilize a modern GPU. Installing GPU drivers has become a process so simple it's merely procedural. The following guide documents this process.

The process below is described for Ubuntu and other Debian-like Linux Distributions
  • Go to the Nvidia driver download web page and fill in all the appropriate fields with your relevant setup. [Link]

  • Download the .run file (In my case NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-180.51-pkg2.run) to your home folder

This next part you will want to print out or write down as proceeding from here will kill your desktop and browser. (But thats what we want)
  • Press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [F5] to drop to a TTY command prompt(This sometimes takes pressing the key sequence 2-3 times before it switches)
  • Login with your user name and pass
  • Type the following:

Code:
sudo killall gdm
sudo sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-180.51-pkg2.run
  • Hit enter on all the [OK] prompts
  • Say [Yes] to the 32-bit compatibility drivers
  • Say [Yes] to Updating your X configuration
  • When it finishes it will return you to the command prompt, type:

Code:
sudo gdm
  • Done!
  • You'll notice your Nvidia X Configuration App in System > Preferences > NVIDIA X Server Settings
  • If you want to Overclock, see my post on Nvidia Overclocking



Edited by Caedis - 5/14/09 at 8:44am
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post #2 of 50
Definitely need to sub this. Thanks
    
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post #3 of 50
I failed, epically. I followed all of the instructions, and when I did the sudo gdm part, the screen got all crazy, and it said it needed to run in low graphics mode, something had gone wrong with the driver.

I'll try it again, and see.
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post #4 of 50
Do not install nvidia drivers from nvidias web page on any Fedora system. Install from fedora's non-free repository which doesn't mean it costs money it simply means it's the proprietary repository.
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post #5 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hephasteus View Post
Do not install nvidia drivers from nvidias web page on any Fedora system. Install from fedora's non-free repository which doesn't mean it costs money it simply means it's the proprietary repository.
I second that for Fedora.

Also, if you have Ubuntu and this wont work, try going to System > Administration > Hardware Drivers and using the drivers there IF and only IF the method above is no good for you at this time.
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post #6 of 50
Fedora installation guide I found helpful. In addition to above advice I had to specify BusID in the Device section of the xorg.conf file.
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post #7 of 50
I have the most up to date drivers, according to the installer. Just the ones Ubuntu gave me.
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post #8 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by pow3rtr1p View Post
I have the most up to date drivers, according to the installer. Just the ones Ubuntu gave me.

I just installed Ubuntu (latest version) and let it install the driver it downloaded.
It was 180.
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post #9 of 50
true.

failing that one can use envyNG. very useful tool
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post #10 of 50
If you get the low-graphics mode error, try running "nvidia-xconfig" in a terminal as root.
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