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Old 11-14-02, 12:12 AM   #1
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Default Mandrake 9.0 HOWTO (with compiled RPMs)

I just happened to come upon these forums, and it seems that people have been having trouble getting the NVidia drivers to work on their Mandrake 9.0 system. I didn't have any problems whatsoever, so I thought I'd write a quick HOWTO on what I did.

After installing a stock Mandrake 9.0 system, including all the security updates, I made sure X was configured properly, using the drak tools. After I made sure everything was working. I downloaded the two source rpm's from the website.


I made sure the kernel-sources rpm was installed. Then I did

rpm --rebuild NVIDIA_GLX-1.0-3123.src.rpm
rpm --rebuild NVIDIA_kernel-1.0-3123.src.rpm

which produced in /usr/src/RPM/RPMS/i586


(It will be in a different directory if your system is different.) Then i just installed them using

rpm -ivh NVIDIA_GLX-1.0-3123.i586.rpm NVIDIA_kernel-1.0-3123.i586.rpm

(one command). Note it will complain that some files are already on the system that may conflict, and will be renamed. Don't worry. It's just making sure the default GL drivers that come with XFree86 don't conflict with the NV ones. If you uninstall the NV rpms, it restores the XFree86 ones perfectly.

Finally, i made sure that my modules.conf was modified correctly. (The following line should be added)

alias /dev/nvidia* NVdriver

I forget whether I did the last step manually or it was done for me. Inside the /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file, I changed one line as follows:

#Driver "nv"
Driver "nvidia"

Then I restarted X by logging out, logging into a virtual terminal as root, and doing

init 3; init 5

(If you aren't in runlevel 5, then no need to do the above. Just startx).

It works great! The NVidia logo flashes before your desktop system loads.

Final Note: If you are having trouble compiling the source rpm's, you can download mine as follows:


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Old 11-14-02, 03:59 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Lancashire
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Send a message via AIM to Entwisi

If I may be so bold as to offer a slight addition,

I was having big problems getting X to start after installing the drivers. We checked everything from the kernel source to removing modules and adding them again to installing more NVidia devices in /dev etc.......

The error in the XFree log was 'Failed to load NVidia kernel module, No screens found.'

After much frustration a check in /var/log/messages led me to a message that my BIOS was set incorrectly. I needed to alter

Plug and Play OS to NO &

Once this was done I had no further problems.

I hope this helps someone who has been as frustrated as me.

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Old 11-14-02, 06:01 AM   #3
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Default Good Point

Good point, Entwisi.

However, I've found that only the latter was necessary, (ie you _definitely_ need to assign an irq to VGA, but you can leave the PNP OS as YES).

Personally, I've always wondered which was the better choice for PNP OS. Back in the day, BIOS's were very minimal, and I prefered to have my OS do as much as possible without it. So I'd set it to YES. Now I dunno - I just keep it YES out of habit. Anyone have any facts that might be useful?
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Old 11-14-02, 08:58 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,262

All that the PnP OS setting determines is whether or not your BIOS allocates IRQ's, I/O ports, and memory to your PCI cards or not. If it's set to no, then the BIOS initializes all your devices and assigns resources. If it's set to yes, then your BIOS doesn't initialize anything that isn't needed for booting (ex: sound cards, network cards in some cases), it lets your OS do that.

Personally, I think it's a huge waste of time to let the OS try to probe stuff like that. It's so much cleaner if you just let the BIOS initialize and assign resources -- plus, on any decent BIOS (read: any one that doesn't have a manufacturer-patched setup), you can control which IRQs get allocated to PCI and which get reserved for e.g. ISA cards or whatever, from within the BIOS.

I just think it's cleaner to do all allocation in one place.
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