Erik Auerswald

Email: <auerswal AT SPAMFREE unix-ag DOT uni-kl DOT de>

Skolelinux.de Wiki: http://wiki.skolelinux.de/ErikAuerswald

Ubuntu Launchpad: https://launchpad.net/~auerswal

My homepage at the Unix-AG Kaiserslautern: http://www.unix-ag.uni-kl.de/~auerswal/

Sourceforge: http://sourceforge.net/users/auerswald

Alioth: http://alioth.debian.org/users/auerswald-guest

NVIDIA Graphics Card

Back when I bought my current PC, one intended use was playing Doom 3. At that time, an NVIDIA graphics card was the only sensible choice for gaming under GNU/Linux, and I bought a GeForce 6600 GT. The proprietary driver was the only choice with Open GL support. I used to install it manually from the NVIDIA installer to use the latest version.

Later on I did not play that often and changed from using Fedora to Debian/Sid. The non-free NVIDIA driver quite often broke with the many kernel and X updates, so I changed to the free nv driver, which worked fine for 2D graphics. Later the nouveau project appeared, I am currently (October 2012) using this driver. It provides basic Open GL support, but is still not usable for gaming.

With the upcoming Steam for Linux I'll try the proprietary NVIDIA drivers again. Hopefully, DKMS will take care of recompiling the kernel module automatically. Let's see how well NVIDIA keeps up with X server development nowadays...

Anyway, my next PC will have Intel graphics, because Intel provides free drivers with good quality, performance, and features. IMHO, the AMD GPU driver's quality is not up to par (neither free nor non-free) and NVIDIA does not provide free drivers or even documentation.

Installed the current proprietary drivers today (2012-10-26):

sudo aptitude install linux-headers-686-pae

sudo aptitude install nvidia-kernel-dkms

cat > xorg.conf <<EOF
Section "Module"
    Load        "glx"
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier  "Video Card"
    Driver      "nvidia"
    Option      "UseEDIDDPI" "false"
    Option      "DPI" "96 x 96"
EndSection
EOF
sudo mv -i xorg.conf /etc/X11/

Rebooting now changes from nouveau to nvidia X driver.

The non-free NVIDIA driver still works and provides better performance than the free driver. It is more work to use the non-free driver than just keeping nouveau. The nice framebuffer console provided by nouveau is gone. :\


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