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Configuring an nVidia Card and Kernel Modules

by scott_glaser last modified Nov 29, 2012 06:14 PM
Contributors: Robert 'Bob' Jensen, daMaestro, Mark Watts, Jazbo, Khaytsus, Southern_Gentleman
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There are kernel modules provided by RPMFusion that are specifically designed for Fedora. If you're using yum, and you're using our suggested yum configuration, you should be able to install the drivers easily. If you need support for the nVidia drivers, check out the nV News "Linux and nVidia Graphics" forum.

Applicable to Fedora Versions

 

  • Fedora 16+

Requirements

  1. Remove the nVidia Binary driver if installed.
  2. Update your System.
  3. Configure yum to use the rpmfusion repositories.

Checklist - These are the steps that must be taken

It is very important to follow this guide step-by-step.
  1. Remove any previously installed nVidia driver. If you installed the drivers that were provided from the nVidia site (e.g. the .run file), you will first need to remove those drivers, failure to do so will cause issues when attempting to utilize the packages provided by RPMFusion. Remove the nVidia binary driver by performing this HOWTO.
  2. Your yum configuration must be configured per this HOWTO.
  3. Fully update your system.
    1. Open a Terminal.
    2. In a terminal run the command:
      su -c 'yum update'
      At the password prompt, enter the password for root, then press return.
  4. Determine graphics card type.
    1. Open a Terminal.
    2. In a terminal run the command
      /sbin/lspci | grep VGA
      Then press return. It should look similar to this:
      01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation GeForce 8600M GS (rev a1)
    3. View the output generated to determine which card you have, then check the nVidia Drivers to see which driver supports the card you have installed.  
    4. The follow the steps for installing the kmod-nvidia version that supports your card in the Doing the Work section of this procedure.
    5. If your card is not listed or the driver is not present in that list for you have installed, you are out of luck and must use the default "nv" driver provided with your base install.
  5. Next, Determine the kernel type which you are using.
    1. Open a Terminal.
    2. In the terminal enter the following:

      uname -r
    3. A display similar to the following will be shown:

      2.6.29.3-155.fc11.i686
    4. If the output does not end in PAE you will need the standard kernel module. If it does end in PAE you will need the PAE kernel module.
  6. Install the kmod for your kernel type:
    1. Standard Kernel Module Installation (for nVidia cards GeForce 6 and higher (260.0+))

    2. Open a Terminal.

    3. For Standard kernel type:

      su -c 'yum install kmod-nvidia'

      For PAE kernel type:

      su -c 'yum install kmod-nvidia-PAE'
    4. For installations other than the Standard Kernel Module (i.e. cards other than the GeoForce 6 or higher) see the section labeled Alternate nVidia Card Installations. NOTE: Just because you installed the kernel module you are not yet done, continue with the following steps for your installation!!

  7. Now if you have completed all the steps applicable to your installation you will need to reboot.
  8. If you would like to have a fancy bootup menu still, append the following to your kernel line:
    1. vga=ask
  9. Then reboot the machine, on booting a screen will display the modes your video card is capable of utilizing. Select the mode that is most optimal for your viewing pleasure.
  10. Upon completion of of the boot, edit your grub.conf file and append the mode that you found optimal to your kernel line as shown in the example below:
    vga=0x318

Alternate nVidia Card Installations

173xx Kernel Module Installation (for nVidia cards GeForce 5 (FX series))

 

RPMfusion no longer has these following packages if you have one of these cards you must use the Nvidia 173 Binary 

 

The 173xx Kernel Modules are for cards that are no longer supported in the STANDARD (Unified) nVidia Driver. If you are using one of these cards, you can install the Module by performing these steps:
  1. Open a Terminal.

  2. For Standard kernel type:

    su -c 'yum install kmod-nvidia-173xx'

    For PAE kernel types:

    su -c 'yum install kmod-nvidia-173xx-PAE'
  3. Return to Checklist step 8 for F11 or step 9 for F12 to continue with the kmod installation.

96xx Kernel Module Installation (for nVidia cards GeForce 2 through GeForce 4)

The new 1.0-97xx series from nVidia drops support for any card with a chipset below NV30, such as all GeForce2 and GeForce4 cards. However don't worry! RPMFusion has forked the original xorg-x11-drv-nvidia and kmod-nvidia packages to create ones named xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-96xx and kmod-nvidia-96xx. These will be kept at the 96xx series of drivers and the original driver will be updated to the 97xx series. If you are using one of the cards named above, you can install 96xx by performing these steps:

  1. Open a Terminal.

  2. For Standard kernel type:

    su -c 'yum install kmod-nvidia-96xx'

    For PAE kernel types:

    su -c 'yum install kmod-nvidia-96xx-PAE'
  3. Return to Checklist step 8 for F11 or step 9 for F12 to continue with the kmod installation.

Beta Kernel Module Installation

This installs the Beta Kernel Module as packaged by RPMFusion. Beta drivers are provided by NVIDIA as preview releases for quick bug fixes and access to new features. Beta drivers are under qualification testing, and may include significant issues. It is the end user's responsibility to protect system and data when using Beta drivers with NVIDIA products. It is strongly recommended that end users back up all the data prior to using Beta drivers from this site.

  1. Open a Terminal.

  2. For Standard kernel type:

    su -c 'yum install kmod-nvidia-beta'

    For PAE kernel types:

    su -c 'yum install kmod-nvidia-beta-PAE'
  3. Return to Checklist step 8 for F11 or step 9 for F12 to continue with the kmod installation.

Troubleshooting

All Versions: No 3d after using nvidia-xconfig or nvidia-settings

If you're experiencing problems with the drivers (in particular, lack of 3D after using nvidia-xconfig or nvidia-settings), try executing these commands:

In a terminal perform:

nvidia-config-display disable
nvidia-config-display enable
This will re-configure xorg.conf for use with the RPM Fusion drivers.

All Versions: X does not Start

In some instances X may not start due to issues with the xorg.conf to fix that issue do the following:

 In a terminal perform:

su -c 'nvidia-xconfig'

  How to test

Log back in and verify that the kernel module is functioning properly by opening a terminal window and running the following command.
glxinfo | grep direct 
Then press enter, if it is functioning properly you should see the following output: direct rendering: Yes.

All Versions: Multiple video cards, in SLI configuration

If you have two video cards (in SLI mode, for example) you might find that you get presented with a flashing cursor and no X when you reboot.
This seems to be because X is getting itself in a twist due to the presence of more than one card.
Running "system-config-display" won't help - it'll try and start an X server on both displays, and fail each time.
The solution is to explicitly specify the BusID of the primary card in xorg.conf.

First, backup any existing xorg.conf and then use "nvidia-xconfig" to create a fresh one:

su -c "mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.SLI-Backup; nvidia-xconfig"

Now, add the BusID of your primary card to the Device section:

For example, lspci may list the following:

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation GeForce 8800 GT (rev a2)
02:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation GeForce 8800 GT (rev a2)

In this case, make your Device section in xorg.conf look like this:

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BusID          "PCI:1:0:0"
EndSection

You can change the VendorName to match your video card, it you like.
You should now be able to run "startx" to get into X, or reboot into the graphical login.

Common Bugs

 

 

Special Notes

akmod-nvidia

To install the akmod-nvidia package read the following Using akmods. The akmod package can be installed alongside the kmod package, the difference being that if there is not a kmod package for the kernel you are running akmod will attempt to build one for you.

x86_64 (64bit) users

If you wish to have 3D acceleration in 32bit packages such as Wine, be sure to install the xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs.i386 package for your driver variant. For example, if you installed kmod-nvidia then you will require xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs.i386, but if you install kmod-nvidia-96xx, you will need xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-96xx-libs.i386.

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