Installing NVidia drivers on Fedora

I wanted to use the nice graphics card in my linux box to play Second Life so I needed to install the right drivers to make it do all the 3D acceleration stuff.

To test whether it was installed I used a program called glxgears that you can run that does some 3D rendering and tells you what the frame rate is. Before I did the install the frame rate was between 300FPS and 400FPS and afterwards it was much higher.

> glxgears

1711 frames in 5.0 seconds = 342.200 FPS
1800 frames in 5.0 seconds = 360.000 FPS
1920 frames in 5.0 seconds = 384.000 FPS
1800 frames in 5.0 seconds = 360.000 FPS
1320 frames in 5.0 seconds = 264.000 FPS

In theory all you need to do to install the latest nvidia drivers for your kernal is put the following command into yum (which is a very nice Fedora package manager) but that didn’t work for me:

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

What I did instead is grab the official installer from the NVidia site and ran that to install the drivers.

The installer warned me that I couldn’t install the NVidia driver while X-server was running and I couldn’t figure out how to make it boot into the command line rather than into the graphical interface so I logged into the server from my windows machine and set the init level to three so X-server wouldn’t be running. I know this isn’t very elegant but I’m a linux newbie so I don’t always know the best ways to do things yet.. :)

> /sbin/init 3

My friend Vadim who was helping me through this also taught me a nice little keyboard shortcut to restart X-Server: ctrl+alt+backspace

Posted on 08 Jun 06 by Helen Emerson (last updated on 08 Jun 06).
Filed under Sysadmin