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Old 02-08-04, 05:46 AM   #1
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Default Installing Linux Drivers - Impossible!


I'm hoping someone can help me out here with the driver installation.

I've just installed Suse 9.0 and my graphics card is a RivaTNT Graphics Blaster. Linux reports that 3D acceleration is not enabled and to get the driver from nvidias web site.

Fine. No problem so far.

Got the readme's from the web site. Got the .run from the web site for IA32 - I assume this is the correct file for this card ?


And this is where the fun starts. I'm a long time Windows user, with a very, very basic understanding of Unix. Commands like ls, pwd, cp are ok, but kernals, super user, directory structures etc are all new to me.

So, a good example here is from the readme, and i quote :

Before beginning the driver installation, you should exit the X server.
In addition you should set your default run level so you will boot to a
vga console and not boot directly into X (please consult the documentation
that came with your Linux distribution if you are unsure how to do this;
this is normally done by modifying your /etc/inittab file). This will
make it easier to recover if there is a problem during the installation.
After installing the driver you must edit your XF86Config file before
the newly installed driver will be used. See the section below entitled

This is where the Windows user goes *Huh?*

and from another read me :

NOTE: The nvidia installer does not work as long as a Xserver is still
running and the nvidia kernel module is still loaded. Therefore
please boot into runlevel 3 by specifying "3" as kernel boot
option or switch to runlevel 3 ("init 3") and unload the kernel
module ("rmmod nvidia") before running the nvidia installer.

OK. How do i specify a Kernal Boot Option? Why do i have to edit the x86config file? For that matter *Where* is the x86config file ?

For Mr Average Windows User these are impossible instructions to follow.

I've contacted Suse as well, but the only response i get is 'Give us your registration code'. Well, I got the CD's from a friend so i don't have a registration code, therefore no help. Thanks.

I really, really hoping that someone can point me at a really, really, really basic key stroke by key stroke example of what to do. Assume I know *Nothing* about Unix (Which isn't far from the truth!)

I hope someone can help here. I really want to get Linux working. I like the look and feel of KDE 3.1, and want to get away from Microsoft, but so far it's proving to be so much trouble.

All the best,

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Old 02-08-04, 06:46 AM   #2
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It's really easy when you know how, epecially in SuSE.

1. Make sure you have the kernel-source installed, you can type rpm -q kernel-source in the console to see if you have. If not you can see what kernel version you have by looking in the control center or YaST and typing kernel in the search.

If you have not got the kernel source you cannot install the nvidia driver, tell me what kernel version you have and I will provide the link to download it. SuSE 9 Pro comes with the kernel-source and all packages you need, it's rather easy and no need to reboot.
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Old 02-08-04, 01:00 PM   #3
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Here's a brief description of what you should do.

You need to open a terminal window (or a console window). Since you can do commands like cp and pwd I suppose you know how to start a console window. (It's somewhere in the kde menus, I don't remember where).

When you have a console you type the command


It will prompt you for a password, this is the "root"-password which you chose when you installed linux. Without the root-password you won't get any further.
Now, once you've provided the right password you have a super-user console session. This means that you can make any changes you like to your system. (Like administrator in Windows). Now it's time to stop the X-server. The X-server is a program which enables graphics on your computer One way to stop the X-server is to change the run-level. When you do this you will be promptly logged out and all your applications will terminate without any warning. You change runlevel with the command

init 3

Your display will go black, with white letters on it. After a while you are prompted for a username (if not, try to press return). Your computer is now at runlevel 3, it's fully functional with network and all, but no graphics. It's now time to log in as root, i.e. type root in response to the username prompt and press return. When prompted for a password you use the root-password. You are now logged in as root.

Now you need to find the .run file you downloaded. If you did that as your ordinary login-user it's likely that the file is in your home-directory. Say your ordinary login name is john, you type the command

cd ~john

(note the tilde immediately in front of the username). Now type the command

ls *.run

to get a list of all files there ending in .run. You should see the downloaded file. Say it's called NVIDIA.run, now type the command

sh NVIDIA.run

This will feed the .run-file to the command-interpreter, you will get a couple of questions (accept license, and the like) and the driver will be installed. If all goes well it's now time to edit your XF86Config file. That is, you need to tell the X-server to use nvidia's driver instead of the one included with the X-server. Your XF86Config file is located in /etc/X11, that is, you may start an editor and tell it to edit the file /etc/X11/XF86Config. If you're not familiar with any non-graphical editor you first need to start X again, try the command


you'll get back your graphics and may choose a suitable editor from a menu. Before you do this you should make a backup-copy of XF86Config, in case you messes it up. Now, in XF86Config there's a line saying "driver nv", you should change the driver name from "nv" to "nvidia". There might be a couple of more changes to do, but it's in the README file. Once you're satisfied with the XF86Config file, you save it and stop the X-server, you may do this by pushing the three buttons Ctrl-Alt-Backspace (not Delete, but Backspace). When you now again issue the command


your X-server should start with the nvidia driver. If it works, stop the X-server and issue the command

init 5

to get back to runlevel 5, i.e. graphics. You're now done.

If it does not work, there might be a problem with the XF86Config-file, but I can't tell you what until you've tried.
Simen Gaure
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Old 02-08-04, 03:12 PM   #4
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That could have been explain much easier and since he can cut past all that with sax2 and the sax2 -m nvidia=0 command
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Old 02-10-04, 11:32 AM   #5
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sgaure, thanks for the information
I've been using windows based crap
for ever and know it inside and out,
I want to get to know Linux but some-
times it is like learning another

thanks again for the help
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