Join Date: Feb 2004
I hope you don't mind me throwing in my own 2 cents, since it does pertain to your topic of discussion.
I have just recently purchased, and begun using (Suse 9) Linux on my computer - I've been a Windows user all my life - and I'm thoroughly enjoying using Linux, because it is quite obvious to me that it is vastly superior to Windows in a variety of ways. But, I've run into a few speed bumps. For one thing, I'm using a modem with a Conexant chipset - I won't get into the details of that. The other is my video card, which is the reason I am here, of course.
I'm using a GeForce 2 MX video card, a little old, but the card is still working quite well. I was somewhat disappointed when I attempted to play tux racer on my computer that it said I needed 3D acceleration. I thought it was a joke. I mean it says right on the package that Linux supports all NVidia graphics cards, or something like that. Then I find out that NVidia doesn't release their drivers freely, or something. Apparently I need to download their Linux driver in order to activate 3D acceleration. No problem, right?
With my Conexant modem, my download speed is limited to 14.4 kbs. It took me an hour and a half to download NVidia's driver (5.5 MB). Being completely new to Linux, I messed around for a while trying to figure out how to install the NVidia driver, because the instructions say I have to install it from the console, so I needed to quickly learn some basic console commands, and learn how to install a driver in text mode.
I tried using xfree86 to configure my video card, and I must've done something wrong, because it messed up my system. My computer refused to go into a graphical window system. I was only able to access the console. I didn't know what to do to fix it, so I re-installed Linux. That's the last time I'm ever going to use xfree86.
I lost the copy of the NVidia driver that was installed on my machine, so I had to download it again. Another hour and a half wasted, on top of the time I spent reinstalling. So, then I figured out how to access the console while booting up - Suse makes it really easy - just choose failsafe mode when booting. I then managed to install the NVidia driver successfully - or so I thought.
I went back into KDE, but I was still unable to activate 3D acceleration for some unknown reason. I tried removing, and reinstalling my video card from Yast several times, but 3D acceleration still wouldn't come on. Then, I don't know what the heck happened, but when I tried turning on my machine the next day, my login screen had been all messed up. It wasn't the standard login screen I normally see in Suse. It also seemed odd that it didn't auto-login my default account like it normally does.
This new login screen didn't give me the usual options for restarting, or shutting down the machine, so I had to resort to using the power button, because KDE suddenly doesn't provide me with the option for shutting down or resetting like it normally does. The login screen also didn't give me options for which GUI interface I wanted to use - I normally use KDE. This login always went into X Windows, which I strongly dislike. I was able to access KDE through x windows by using a console command, but I hated having the x window border around everything, and found several nuances of x windows to be rather annoying.
Eventually, I got fed up with the way things were acting, and I didn't like hitting the power button to turn the machine off - I know how it can damage your system - so I reinstalled one more time. That's where I'm at currently.
I don't think I want to install NVidia's driver again, seeing how it's caused a lot of problems for me already. There's probably a very simple way to fix the problems I've had, but my knowledge of Linux is very limited, so I had to resort to fixing it the hard way. Honestly, I don't see how a video driver needs to alter my login in the slightest way.
Then I've come here, hoping to find a solution to my woes, and discovered that I'm far from being the only person to experience problems with NVidia's driver - particularly with Suse 9, like I'm using. I had always relied on NVidia to produce quality video drivers for their products under Windows, and feel shocked to find that their Linux driver is actually very buggy - judging from the number of people complaining about problems similar to my own.
I'm thinking of taking an alternate solution to this mess, and buying a new video card - preferably a (non-NVidia) card that has full support under Linux. Besides, I think it's about time I upgraded to a video card with more than 32 MB of RAM. I think I may take a similar solution to solve my problems with my modem, as well.
I apologize for writing such a long message, but I wanted to fully explain my situation. If you can give me a solution to my video problem, I'll be glad to hear it - and please explain it in a way that someone who has very limited experience with Linux can understand it. I'm very experienced in using Windows, but I'm very new to using Linux. It is possible that I may have accidentally changed a wrong setting in my login preferences, but I don't think that's what happened in this case.