Monday, September 23, 2013

Sound and Vision: Drivers (NVidia Edition)

title: Sound and Vision: Drivers

date: 2013-09-23, 12:47:44

in_menu: false

tl;dr: I set up my HP Pavilion dv9000 computer running SalixOS to use the proprietary Nvidia Drivers using this guide, and documented the process.

The Nvidia Logo

So, because my system doesn’t have enough problems as it is, I decided to install the proprietary Nvidia drivers for GNU/Linux.

The guide I followed was for SalixOS, and can be found here. There were a few steps, however, I want to elaborate on, that I am sure will help me when I wipe the slate clean and start over again.

First thing is first: Updating my system to the latest version of everything. For me, this meant finally switching over to a kernel, and updating a few silly packages. You don’t know what will react badly with the new driver, so You might as well have everything at the highest version possible.

This was no problem for me. I usually keep my computer completely up to date. I have been toying with updating the kernel and fixing my LILO setup for a while, just haven’t had a really good reason to do so and break my workflow. Now, I do.

Reboot for Sanity of the System.

Next, I had to track down the latest version of the Nvidia driver. I am definitely the kind of person to install the latest updates, but I do prefer the choice, and it seems they do give it to You. I chose the “Latest Short Lived Branch Version,” which at the time of this writing was 325.15.

Blacklisting the nouveau driver, which is the one I have been using up til now, is a bit more difficult: I was able to downgrade to the blacklist file using gslapt. Just search for “xf68-video” and You’ll see, there are about 10 of them in the repo as I write this. Downgrade that, and Your blacklist file is installed.

After that, the guide says to install the kernel source. Well, I already installed it along with the new kernel, so I am done here. Moving on.

Reboot one more time, and don’t bother logging into the GUI. Instead, hit C-M-<F1> (Ctrl-Alt-F1) and log in there.

Finally, installing the driver itself. This was fairly simple, just following the prompts and waiting. Then, reboot, and voila!

The Nvidia Installer

Or, it would have been voila, if I had remembered to reinstall LILO. Don’t worry though, if You forget to as well, there is an easy way to fix that.

Simply boot into some kind of live version of GNU/Linux (I chose the install disc for Slackware) and mount all of Your drives. Change Directories to the partition which is usually Your root partition, and then type “chroot .”. Do this as root. Then, install LILO as normal, from the command line.

Time for me to get back to work. Comments are always appreciated!

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