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Old 04-30-2006, 01:58 AM   #1
Garavix
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Questions about installing drivers.


Hi,

im completely new to running a linux system, made the switch because Windows Vista is looking a little gestapo-like to me. Anyway, im fairly experienced with windows, i have no problems managing hardware/software. On linux however, i seem to be trapped in the wrong mindset and cant really figure out how drivers work. If some one could tell me how to install a driver/manage hardware, i would be most grateful. Specifically, i need to install a upgraded vid driver (6800 GT). Oh yeah, im running Fedora Core 5.
 
Old 04-30-2006, 02:07 AM   #2
jens
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http://stanton-finley.net/fedora_cor...es.html#nVidia

You could also just update your system or just the kernel(the default one doesn't support commercial drivers) and use the official nVidia driver:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html


PS: do post back if you have any problem with it.

Last edited by jens; 04-30-2006 at 02:25 AM.
 
Old 04-30-2006, 02:44 AM   #3
Simon Bridge
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The GeForce 6800 GT card is an Nvidia card.
You need the nvidia drivers (properly called "modules" in linux).
While nvidia have drivers and installers on their website - it is not good to use these in fedora.

For fedora - you use the Yellowdog Update Manager (YUM).
You can run YUM directly from a terminal (rt click on the desktop and select "open terminal", gets you a DOS-like interface which is better thought of a "Power Tools for Linux".) or from a GUI like PUP (supplied with FC5) or YUM Extender (which you use YUM to get).

OK - that's the idea - now the practical.
Go to www.fedorafaq.org
if the FC5 faq is up, use the yum.conf they supply (read the whole faq too, it ain't long or hard). If it is still the FC4 faq, you can use it after a slight edit.

FC4 yum.conf edit: using a text editor, you need to open the /etc/yum.conf file. Where is says releasever=4, you make it releasever=5. That should do.

from there you should be able to find the nvidia driver

open a terminal
become root
enter the following:

yum install nvidia-glx kernel-module-nvidia-$(uname -r)

note: uname -r is a command that returns you kernel version.

this is pretty much the same for all software under fedora. It will be very unusual that there won't be what you need available via yum.

A gui is nicer - try

yum install yumex

More essential reading:
www.mjmwired.net > resources

... there is a very good set of FC5 post-install notes and other linux associated notes. Read the entire FC5 install notes.
 
Old 04-30-2006, 02:46 AM   #4
Simon Bridge
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jens have you read the sticky at the top of the fedora subforum?
It is not a good idea to use the nvidia drivers with fedora.
I don't like the stanton-finley website either
- it is badly coded and refers to mjm's website anyway.

And: no kernel supports proprietary drivers.

Last edited by Simon Bridge; 04-30-2006 at 02:47 AM.
 
Old 04-30-2006, 10:32 AM   #5
jens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge
jens have you read the sticky at the top of the fedora subforum?
It is not a good idea to use the nvidia drivers with fedora.
I don't like the stanton-finley website either
- it is badly coded and refers to mjm's website anyway.

And: no kernel supports proprietary drivers.
You mean their's still no FC kernel that works with nVidia?! (or is it the x.org package?)
Is Fedora going nuts..., this should have been fixed within a week.
Apart from that, what do you mean by "It is not a good idea to use the nvidia drivers with fedora" ? What's the difference with any other distro? Before that buggy FC5 kernel, I've always used them (the DRI thingy counts for any distro).

Finley's site is bigger than the one from mjm(good as well). I like it for newbies (unlike that horrible fedora.faq).

PS: ...and that sticky looks like a very bad excuse from the Fedora team to explain why they're shipping a buggy kernel (again)...

Last edited by jens; 04-30-2006 at 04:01 PM.
 
Old 04-30-2006, 09:34 PM   #6
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
You mean their's still no FC kernel that works with nVidia?! (or is it the x.org package?)
Is Fedora going nuts..., this should have been fixed within a week.
It's the xorg package - specifically: OpenGL. You read the sticky.
This is not something that is broken in fedora - the fedora project charter means that they cannot use the propietary glx package. However, there is a workaround which compemsates for the poor nvidia installer... the nvidia proprietary driver has been repackaged and is available in the livna repository.

What happens is that the nvidia installer thinks that only the nvidia driver will be using the glx libs and so just replaces them without regard for other applications. It is other applications which fail, lock up the computer, crash etc.

I've had all this happen in FC4 since installing the official nvidia driver.

My experience with other folk now has been that the livna driver is faster and cleaner than the official one anyway.

I imagine that all distros will have some trouble with this. A few, like Mepis, will have adjusted all the packages in the distro to allow for nvidia and ati - but other cards have problems then. (Mepis comes with the nvidia driver pre-installed, but it is their own version.)

Distros with package managers have their own versions ... you'll know that debian users are strongly encouraged to use the aptitude package. It's the same with ubuntu.

The scale of the troubles tend to depend on the exact hardware and package configuration. i.e. onboard nvdidea cards seem to have less trouble than (added) AGP or PCI-express cards. Older cards work better than the newer ones. ystems with nvidia installed pretty much from the beginning tend to have fewer troubles too.

You know already - generally good advice for newbies is to get a managed distro - and use only managed packages.

Quote:
Finley's site is bigger than the one from mjm(good as well). I like it for newbies (unlike that horrible fedora.faq).
The fedorafaq's biggest minus is that they are sooo slooowwwww at updating it. However, it provides an excellent crash course in the basic stuff folk want to know. From there, you can find out most anything you need.

As for finley vs mjm, we'll just agree t differ.
Finley offers more step-by-step instructions, but little by way of discussion or explanation. The site itself could be coded better - I find scrolling the pages to make my eyes cross with different parts of the page moving at different speeds (for eg.) and it seems slow to load - it has more extranious baggage. These things are mostly subjective though.

Neither site covers /etc/yum.conf or /etc/yum.repos.d and how to add repos permanently. Neither cover how to speed yum up (by doing the cache only once) or how to use yum GUI's like PUP, Smartrpm, or YUMex.

I think mjm is a nose ahead by being more useable and for fitting a greater breadth of information in a smaller space.
 
Old 05-01-2006, 03:55 PM   #7
jens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge


What happens is that the nvidia installer thinks that only the nvidia driver will be using the glx libs and so just replaces them without regard for other applications. It is other applications which fail, lock up the computer, crash etc.
Ah... Thanks for the clarification.

I still don't fully get it though.
What about all other proprietary drivers. I even had to patch my kernel for wifi drivers... ?

Last edited by jens; 05-01-2006 at 03:58 PM.
 
Old 05-01-2006, 09:14 PM   #8
Simon Bridge
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Technically, all proprietary drivers should be treated as dodgy. However, most of them are so small they don't really do any gross harm.

The wifi drivers are normally used with a wrapper which ensures things are reasonably seelmless. Modem drivers (intel i536/7 for eg) are very specialised. That sort of thing.

The trouble with the video is not the drivers themselves but the way they are installed. So many things use video (link to libGL for eg) that a small difference can be important.

If we are going to stress Open Source, and we don't want to be monolithic, then we are faced with these dependancy issues.

(I note that there are 100% open source drivers for some legacy cards...)

The main trouble with proprietary drivers in the kernel (and the reason for that "tainted" notice) is that the open source developers are unable to anticipate what they will do to your system. They are closed source: nobody knows everything they could do. So, if installing a proprietary driver breaks your system - you cannot expect help from the open source community.

The political angle (and we cannot get away from it) is that we want to encourage folk like nvidia and ATI to create open source drivers. This is best for everyone.

NVidia are already riding high on the little support they have given linux... it should be clear that the first company to poen source their drivers will reap the rewards. The trick is convincing the suits.
 
  


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