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Old 05-25-04, 12:32 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 27
Default Re: Complete Linux Newbie Question (long and boring, only the adventurous need apply)

Ok, I'll try to help as much as I can. Don't give up yet on Linux. It's harder to learn, but once you do, it's more powerfull than Windows and Mac OS (in my experience).

First of all, make sure that you are never logged in as root. Use the other account that you created (if you need help there, just ask). User "root" has all privileges to write and delete, so you will screw something up really easy.

Regarding your question. Download the drivers and place them somewhere you can find them (e.g. /home/your_user_name)

Than, start a terminal program. First, type in:
and then enter root password. This will give you privileges to modify system files, that you need to do.

Then, type the following:
vi /etc/inittab

This will get you into an editor, and it will opet inittab file. You need to modify this file so that the next time you restart your computer, you get a console, not X (graphical environment that you use). You need to do this in order to install the drivers.

So, go down to line that says something like:

Then, press "insert" on your keybord (or press key 'r' that will allow you to replace text), and change that line so it says:
(the point is to change 5 to 3)

Then, press Escape on your keyboard, so you can exit the insert mode. Then press ':', than type in: wq (that stands for write and quit), and press enter. Voila you edited the file.

You don't have to use vi, you can use some other editors, like "pico", but this is the one that I know how to use.

When you are done editing, type exit to exit root mode.

Anyhow, now comes the tricky part:

Restart your computer. Now, instead of logging into graphical interface, you will only see console. Log in there with your username and password.

Once again, do:
and enter root's password.

Change to directory where the drivers are:
cd /home/your_user_name

you will get a listing of all the files in the directory. Now, do:
chmod 755

Linux is case-sensitive!!

This will give the file the ability to be executed.
Now, to start the file (and this is what you didn't know), you need to enter:

This is the equivalent of running:

You need to specify the path of every executable in Linux, unless it's in a predetermined folder, like /usr/bin

So, go through installation.

Now, in the same manner that you changed /etc/inittab modify the following file:
/etc/X11/XF86Config This files takes care of most basic setup of your XFree86 (graphical environment.. I reffered to it as X.. it's a server.. complicated )

So, you type in:
vi /etc/X11/XF86Config

Oh yes, perhaps you will have to substitute it with

If you have that other file (with -4 at the end), make sure you use that one istead... Just ignore the first one.

than you press "insert" to edit the text, escape to exit the edit mode, and :wq to write and save. If you want to discard the changes, do :q!

You need to change line
Driver "nv"
Driver "nvidia"

also, you need to have Load "glx" and NOT have Load "dri" and Load "GLcore" .. Make sure you check all of that out in the readme file beforehand.

So, once you are done editing your file, you can exit root mode by typing in exit
Now, to test the new drivers:

If everything is OK, than exit X, and modify /etc/inittab to say:
(that it, change the runlevel back to 5, from 3)

Restart your computer, and have fun playing tux racer

If something goes wrong and X won't start properly, than go back to your
/etc/X11/XF86Config (-4) file and change Driver "nvidia" to Driver "nv". Then, do startx to check if everything works fine with the old drivers (just in case), and change inittab file to runlevel 5. Then come back and ask more questions.

Feel free to ask about details, we are here to help!
cabrilo is offline   Reply With Quote