SLED10: Installing nVidia or ATI Proprietary Drivers

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Warning: The optimal way to install nVidia's or ATI's proprietary drivers is to register your SLED10 system, then run a System Update. Doing this has the benefit of not having your X Server fail to function after a Kernel upgrade. Unfortunately not all hardware is supported in this way. If you have a newer video card (within the last 6 months) you will have to follow this guide.


Getting the Prerequisites

In order to install the proprietary video drivers you must first install all the software these packages expect, run:

yast -i gcc kernel-source

Also, you must obtain the drivers separately from:

Finally, be sure you have removed any RPM based installed driver you may have on your machine. For some reason if an RPM version of the driver exists, the downloaded drivers will not work properly.

One last thing, be sure you restart you computer before proceeding if you just installed an updated kernel on your machine.

ATI Driver Install

Will update once I work on another SLED10 machine with an ATI video card, although:

The ATI Driver installation program does not require you to shut down the X Server, so running:

sh ./ati*.run

Will start the driver installation program. Once finished be sure to run SaX2 to enable 3D and to restart the computer to ensure the correct kernel modules are loaded at startup.

nVidia Driver Install

To install the nVidia driver you must first shut down the X Server. Do this by "switching" to a different console with "CTL-ALT-F2", log in as the root user, then run the command "/etc/init.d/xdm stop". This will shut down the X server (you may have to go back to where you were with "ALT-F2").

Once the X server is down, to install the drivers run "sh ./NVIDIA-Linux*.run" to start the installer.

When the installer is finished it will as you if you want to run a command to adjust your X Server settings, you can say "yes" here. Alternatively, once the installer is finished you can launch SaX2 to adjust the X Server settings to your liking. Run the following command as root:

sax2 -r -m 0=nvidia

(That's a zero, not the letter "O")

After the driver is installed, be sure to restart your computer (using CTL-ALT-DEL or "/sbin/shutdown -r now") to ensure all the required kernel modules are loaded at startup.

Notes about using XGL

If you decide to enable the XGL Desktop Effects, there are a few things you should be aware of.

  • The included Video Card Utilities that come with these drivers will not be fully functional
  • Running the glxinfo command will return "direct render: No" instead of "Yes" - even though direct render is in fact working
  • Some Full Screen apps (especially games) will instead run in a window (usually with an unattached border)
  • You may need to play around with Totem get it to use the correct Video Out Filter (usually opengl works best when using XGL)