NVIDIA Linux Display Drivers
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Summary: NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver
- Install non-GLVND libGL for backwards compatibility
- Install the kernel driver module
- Install the X.org driver, OpenGL libraries, XvMC libraries, and VDPAU libraries
- Install nvidia-settings with support for GTK+ 2
- Install nvidia-settings with support for GTK+ 3
- Enable support for kernel mode setting (KMS)
- PaX patches from the PaX project
- Install additional tools such as nvidia-settings
- Install the Unified Memory kernel module (nvidia-uvm) for sharing memory between CPU and GPU in CUDA programs
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NVIDIA Linux Display Drivers
NVIDIA have proprietary graphics drivers for Linux under binary blob. The alternative open source driver is Package:Nouveau Video Drivers (Open Source).
If you installed debian-sources with the binary USE flag you will need to blacklist the nouveau module
blacklist nouveau options nouveau modeset=0 alias nouveau off
Preparing to Install
Hardware compatibility and driver versions
Currently, there are five versions of meta NVIDIA Linux drivers, each of which supports a specific group of GPUs. To check the type of driver that is related to your video card, check out the official page of the NVIDIA complete list of supported GPUs.
The required kernel options
[*] Enable loadable module support
[*] MTRR (Memory Type Range Register) support
Device Drivers ---> Graphics support ---> <*> Support for frame buffer devices ---> <> NVIDIA Framebuffer Support <> NVIDIA Riva support
An alternative is to uvesafb framebuffer, or vesa framebuffer which can be installed in parallel with nvidia-drivers
Upgrade and/or configure
VIDEO_CARDS variable to
/etc/portage/make.conf. This will serve to while you are installing the Server X, the correct version of nvidia-drivers to be provided for you.
# nano /etc/portage/make.conf VIDEO_CARDS="nvidia"
Installing to the driver with the option in gtk use flags will make it installed the
media-video/nvidia-settings which is a graphical tool for monitoring and various settings for your video card
Emerging the package
# emerge x11-drivers/nvidia-drivers
When the installation is complete run modprobe nvidia module to read kernel memory.
# lsmod | grep nvidia
If an update before remove the old module
# rmmod nvidia # modprobe nvidia
The Importance of the Video Group
While many video drivers (those that are part of xorg-x11) do not require users to be part of the
video group for hardware acceleration, the NVIDIA drivers definitely do require this. Please make sure that any non-root user is part of the
video group. This can be done by using
vigr or via the command-line as follows:
# usermod -a -G video myusername
Testing your Video Card
To test your video card run the glxinfo program, which is part of the mesa-progs package. This will check if direct rendering is enabled.
$ glxinfo | grep direct direct rendering: yes
Loading at boot
To automate the loading of the module when you boot your system, add nvidia in modules variable.
# nano /etc/conf.d/modules modules="nvidia"
Integration with X Server
When your X server is installed find, and there's
/etc/X11/xorg.conf you can run the nvidia-xconfig which will set in xorg.conf to identify the video card among other possible configurations.
Section "Device" Identifier "nvidia" Driver "nvidia" VendorName "NVIDIA Corporation" BoardName "[Name] [Model]" Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1" EndSection
The "EnableBrightnessControl=1" option above will allow laptop backlight brightness to be controlled via hotkey or via GNOME slider. Without this option, it is likely that brightness will not be able to be controlled.
Enabling NVIDIA Support
Include the use flag in nvidia in
/etc/portage/make.conf so due to applications that make use of this advantage may withdraw.
# nano /etc/portage/make.conf USE="nvidia"
As a requirement, make sure that the Xorg server is not in use during this change. To enable OpenGL and OpenCL.
# eselect opengl set nvidia # eselect opencl set nvidia