nv question...

Colin Guthrie gmane at colin.guthr.ie
Wed Feb 28 00:35:53 PST 2007

Gene Heskett wrote:
> Thanks.  I knew it was 2d, or was when I last had an nvidia card, but 
> since I build my own kernels, ISTR I was building the nv driver as part 
> of the kernel tree, back at about the time RH switched from XFree86 to 
> the Xorg version over licensing squabbles.

I personally don't recall this, but perhaps you are referring to a
framebuffer driver? This is different to an X11 driver, unless you use
directfb or similar.

> Now, someone mentioned that the dkms utility would build the nvidia driver 
> fresh, for the kernel that was being booted if it hadn't already been 
> built for the current kernel.  Is this true?  I have it installed but no 
> idea if its properly configured to do that.

The proprietory nividia driver contains a kernel module along with
updated GL libraries and an X11 driver too (they are all needed to make
it work) and some distros (e.g. Mandriva) have packaged this up as a
dkms package to allow for easy installation and upgrade. It's actually a
lot more reliable to use the DKMS package than nvidia's installer which
tends to rename certain core files that you may actually need under some

> In the instant case, this would be 2.6.20-ck1, but could be 2.6.21-rc2 by 
> the time I stuff this card into the slot the ati is occupying now, later 
> tomorrow I think.  I've just rebuilt this kernel with everything nvidia I 
> could spot as modules, so hopefully the transition will be relatively 
> painless.  Hopefully as simple as replacing the card, booting to runlevel 
> 3 which I do anyway, and running system-config-display.  But, I'm a 
> personal friend (or enemy depending on ones point of view) of that Murphy 
> that wrote all those laws, so who knows.

I think the only specific things would be agpgart related stuff? Someone
could confirm this for me tho.

FYI there is a new 3D open source driver called nouveau, which is
currently under heavy development. It will hopefully be able to replace
the blob in time.


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