Long time reader, first time poster (just registered) here! I might say that I heard a lot of good things about this forum from podcasts, that is why I'm here
BACKGROUND: I've been using Linux for only 8 months and I started with Linux Mint. Everything was awesome in Mint because almost everything works. About a month ago, I decided to go deeper in my Linux knowledge. I've been reading a lot and found out that Arch linux would be my learning distro. As I was installing Arch, it was a pain at first but I really learned a lot which I would never ever learn with Mint. Now I decided to take a step further is which "compiling your own kernel". Moreover, I still consider myself a total noob and I beg for your patience and understanding.
*I already tried reading the Arch Wiki/other forums/irc chat - and unfortunately I failed to understand the terms (technical terms mostly). One of the factors would be my English comprehension. English is not my Native Language that made matters worse.
Everything was smooth in my Arch for a 2 weeks until I decided to compile my own kernel. I currently have a Nvidia GTX 460 1GB card.
BTW, the method I used to install nvidia with 2.6.37 was
pacman -S nvidia nvidia-utils
and that worked with all of the .37 kernels (-1 -2 -3 -4) which was download from kernel.org.
When I compiled the .38 (using the same .config of .37), it just boots up to the terminal (not loading gdm). However, I could still login by typing my username and password. So I've checked dmesg of both .37 and .38 and noticed that the Nvidia driver is not loaded in .38.
I tried reinstall it by running pacman and it doesn't do anything. It was thinking of uninstalling nvidia and nvidia-utils but there are so many dependencies conflicts (like screensaver, compiz, etc).
Since, I didn't want to mess up my .37 install, I just grabbed an old HDD and installed from scratch again. This time, I compiled the .38 kernel first (without gui) and then installed nvidia nvidia-utils. It was the same problem.
With this observation, I'm concluding that the nvidia and nvidia-utils from pacman is not compatible with .38.
I've read that I have to wait for nvidia to release a driver that will be compatible with the .38 kernel. Is that true? Does it mean I have to wait for nvidia/nvidia-utils to be updated from pacman? How would I know when it is updated?
I've also read about nouveau, but I guess that is not for me because it doesn't support 3D.
Is there a work around for me to use nvidia/nvidia-utils with .38?
Is nvidia and nvidia-utils proprietary drivers? What is the difference with these two and the one you download directly from nvidia?
First of all, I apologize for the bombardment of questions. As you can tell, I'm so clueless on how nvidia drivers work on linux in general (since it was spoon fed by mint) and I really would love to learn about this is a deeper level. Could someone please explain to me (LAYMANS terms) how nvidia works (and possibly a solution to my issue). I would never get offended if you explain it to me like a 10-year old boy
Thank you so much!
(Again, sorry for my poor English skills).
EDIT: Additional info - I have a netbook that also runs arch. It uses an Intel GMA integrated video chip which I used "xf86-video-intel" from pacman and I believe since it is open source, it works with .38 fine. So does that mean if you use an open source driver, it will work with all other kernels?