Nvidia proprietary drivers on Linux F.A.Q

Q: What nvidia driver should I use?
A: It depends on what nvidia gfx card you have. Please refer to the nvidia website http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html and the corresponding supported products list for each driver release.
We currently provide 3 'stable' nvidia driver releases via our repositories. Both the nvidia_71xx and the nvidia_96xx drivers are now considered "legacy drivers' by nvidia. For an explanation of these legacy drivers, please refer to the following: http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_32667.html
As a general guide, the current drivers support the following cards:
nvidia_71xx
Use this NVIDIA driver for these products:
- RIVA TNT cards
- RIVA/Aladdin TNT2 series cards
- Vanta series cards
- GeForce 256/DDR cards
- GeForce2 GTS/Pro/Ti/Ultra cards
- original Quadro cards
- Quadro2 Pro cards

nvidia_96xx
Use this NVIDIA driver for these products:
- GeForce2 Go/MX series cards
- GeForce3 series cards
- GeForce4 series cards
- Quadro NVS/DCC cards
- Quadro NVS 280 SD cards
- Quadro NVS 50 PCI cards
- Quadro2 MXR/EX/Go cards
- Quadro4 series cards

nvidia_97xx
Use this NVIDIA driver for these products:
- GeForce FX series cards
- GeForce 6xxx series cards
- GeForce 7xxx series cards
- GeForce 88xx series cards
- Quadro FX series cards
- Quadro NVS 280 PCI-E cards
- Quadro NVS 110M/120M/285/440 cards
- Quadro NVS 55/280 PCI cards

Q: I have installed the nvidia_71xx driver installed and when I start 3D apps, X crashes!
A: The nvidia_71xx drivers do not support the xorg composite extension. Make sure it is disabled for these drivers.

Q: My GeForce 8600 GTS, GeForce 8600 GT, GeForce 8500 GT, GeForce 8400 GS, or GeForce 8300 GS won't work with any of these 'stable' drivers!! :-(
A: Support for these cards have been added in the latest nvidia_100.14.xx (BETA) driver (which is available in our repositories). However, please be aware that this is a BETA quality driver from nvidia, so there might be bugs!

 

 

Linux nvidia drivers config example
I am posting here an example of a /etc/X11/xorg.conf file setup for use with nvidia drivers installed from our repositories. Please pay particular attention to Section "Module" and Section "Device". The Section "Screen" will vary according to your monitor setup and capabilities.

# File generated by XFdrake (rev 57713)

# **********************************************************************
# Refer to the xorg.conf man page for details about the format of
# this file.
# **********************************************************************

Section "Files"
# font server independent of the X server to render fonts.
FontPath "unix/:-1"

# minimal fonts to allow X to run without xfs
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/misc:unscaled"
EndSection

Section "Extensions"
Option "Composite"
EndSection

Section "ServerFlags"
#DontZap # disable <Crtl><Alt><BS> (server abort)
#DontZoom # disable <Crtl><Alt><KP_+>/<KP_-> (resolution switching)
AllowMouseOpenFail # allows the server to start up even if the mouse does not work
EndSection

Section "Module"
Load "dbe" # Double-Buffering Extension
Load "v4l" # Video for Linux
Load "extmod"
Load "type1"
Load "freetype"
Load "/usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions/nvidia/libglx.so"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Keyboard1"
Driver "kbd"
Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
Option "XkbLayout" "us"
Option "XkbOptions" "compose:rwin"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Mouse1"
Driver "mouse"
Option "Protocol" "ExplorerPS/2"
Option "Device" "/dev/mouse"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Mouse2"
Driver "evdev"
Option "product" "0x0006"
Option "vendor" "0x0002"
Option "HWheelRelativeAxisButtons" "7 6"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "monitor1"
VendorName "Generic"
ModelName "1280x1024 @ 60 Hz"
HorizSync 31.5-64.3
VertRefresh 50-70

# TV fullscreen mode or DVD fullscreen output.
# 768x576 @ 79 Hz, 50 kHz hsync
ModeLine "768x576"     50.00  768  832  846 1000   576  590  595  630

# 768x576 @ 100 Hz, 61.6 kHz hsync
ModeLine "768x576"     63.07  768  800  960 1024   576  578  590  616
EndSection

Section "Device"
Identifier "device1"
VendorName "nVidia Corp."
BoardName "NVIDIA GeForce FX (generic)"
Driver "nvidia"
Option "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
Identifier "screen1"
Device "device1"
Monitor "monitor1"
DefaultColorDepth 24

Subsection "Display"
Depth 8
Modes "1280x1024" "1152x864" "1024x768" "832x624" "800x600" "640x480" "480x360" "320x240"
EndSubsection

Subsection "Display"
Depth 15
Modes "1280x1024" "1152x864" "1024x768" "832x624" "800x600" "640x480" "480x360" "320x240"
EndSubsection

Subsection "Display"
Depth 16
Modes "1280x1024" "1152x864" "1024x768" "832x624" "800x600" "640x480" "480x360" "320x240"
EndSubsection

Subsection "Display"
Depth 24
Modes "1280x1024" "1152x864" "1024x768" "832x624" "800x600" "640x480" "480x360" "320x240"
EndSubsection
EndSection

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "layout1"
InputDevice "Keyboard1" "CoreKeyboard"
InputDevice "Mouse1" "CorePointer"
InputDevice "Mouse2" "SendCoreEvents"
Screen "screen1"
EndSection