Support for nVidia GeForce graphics card - Debian - Testing

Updated: Jan 30, 2010

As you can see in my previous article, this is about getting my nVidia card to work with Debian.

By default Xorg provides nv driver. Its unfortunate that nVidia not even working with Xguys for basic compatibility for nv driver. As a result, the default nv driver is not usable in my machine.

I’m not left alone here. Debian have a package called nvidia-glx which will install full support for nvidia cards with proprietary nvidia driver.

$ su -c'aptitude install nvidia-glx'

But currently, this is not working in Debian Testing. I got a bug, last x11 update breaks things with nvidia-glx.

Now also I’m not left alone, using module-assistant I can still get the nvidia driver.

$ su -c'aptitude install module-assistant'
$ su -c'module-assistant prepare'
$ su -c'module-assistant'

After the above steps I will get ncurses interface for module-assistant, choose nvidia kernel in the wizard and compile the nvidia-kernel package. If everything goes right, I will get nvidia driver in lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/drivers/video/nvidia.ko. Also my /etc/x11/xorg.conf file will be modified to use nvidia driver. Thats all, I can now start X session.

Unfortunately, this method is also not working currently, while compiling I’m getting this error.

So there is no other way for me then to go for nvidia’s own builder. You can download the driver+installer from this location.. Now we need to make our system capable for compilation.

$ su -c'aptitude install module-assistant'
$ su -c'module-assistant prepare'

Then, the next step is just run the nvidia’s installer

$ su -c'chmod 755 NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-190.53-pkg2.run'
$ su -c'./NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-190.53-pkg2.run'
$ su -c'aptitude install nvidia-kernel-common'
$ su -c'depmod -aeF /boot/System.map-$(uname -r)'
$ su -c'update-initramfs -u'

The above step will automatically compile and install the nvidia.ko driver in /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/drivers/video/nvidia.ko. Also my /etc/x11/xorg.conf file will be modified to use nvidia driver. Thats all, I can now start X session.