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Old 12-27-2005, 01:07 AM   #1
MrKrrtft
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HOWTO: Installing nVidia Graphics Drivers on Debian Etch


One of my pet peeves with Linux is not having the 3D Accelleration available while in Linux. Since my Windows hard drive completely failed, working in Linux hasn't been so bad, but a couple of the games I like to play are a bit slower due to software rendering. Below I outline the steps I took to get the nVidia drivers (1.0-8178 at the time of this writing) working with a default netinst of Debian Testing.

Get into pure console mode (runlevel 3)

* Reboot into Recovery Mode or switch down to runlevel 3 or the equivalent
* apt-get update
* apt-get install binutils

Install Kernel Source

* apt-get install linux-source-2.6.12
* replace 2.6.12 with your kernel version ('uname -a' or 'uname -r')
* cd /usr/src
* tar -jxvf linux-source-2.6.12
* ln -s linux-source-2.6.12 linux

Install Kernel Headers

* apt-get install linux-headers-2.6.12-1 linux-headers-2.6.12-1-386

Install nVidia Drivers

* sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-8178-pkg1.run

Finally, Reboot to get back into X.

These are the steps that I found to work for me. I started to do it the "Deban Way" with Debian packages, but I couldn't find nvidia-kernel-source in Debian Etch. After experimenting with a botched Debian Testing netinst, I reinstalled with the default packages (base system, Graphical Desktop, base system config after a reboot). X came up just fine using the 'nv' X server.

From all the reading I did on the Internet there is a drawback to this method. If you build your own kernel, or update your system and this update changes X config files you will have to do this again. However, the only step you have to do is the last one: sh NVIDIA-Linux-X86...

Please leave any suggestions in the comments for this article and I will make changes as I can.
 
Old 12-27-2005, 03:04 AM   #2
Xian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKrrtft
Please leave any suggestions in the comments for this article and I will make changes as I can.
The only significant thing I notice is that using your method, the kernel source package is not required. Those steps could be omitted since the linux headers are sufficient to install the nVidia driver. Obviously there is no harm in downloading the kernel source, but there is no need for it in this instance.

The following command would suffice:

# apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r`

You also might mention the need to edit the X config (Xorg or XFree86) before restarting X in order to take advantage of the hardware acceleration.
 
  


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