NVIDIA drivers with Red Hat Linux/Fedora Core

There are two main methods of installing NVIDIA drivers with Red Hat Linux/Fedora Core:

1. Download and install the drivers directly from NVIDIA.
2. Install NVIDIA driver RPM packages maintained by Livna.org or ATrpms.

Of the two methods, I recommend the former. The NVIDIA installation tool is straightforward, and I personally do not use either of the package repositories listed above. However, you may wish to read Why switch to livna.org's Nvidia driver RPM? for benefits of installing NVIDIA drivers by package.

Instructions on installing the drivers directly from NVIDIA are covered below, along with an example of installing NVIDIA driver RPM packages from Livna.org for Fedora Core 1.

Installing drivers from NVIDIA

NVIDIA Linux drivers may be downloaded at http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html.

The drivers cannot be installed within an X Window System session, so exit out of KDE/GNOME or your preferred window manager before installing the drivers.

To install the drivers, execute the self-extracting package as the root user. Example:
# sh ./NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-7664-pkg1.run

After installing the drivers, modify /etc/X11/xorg.conf (Fedora Core 2 and later users) or /etc/X11/XF86Config (Red Hat Linux and Fedora Core 1 users) using the changes detailed in /usr/share/doc/NVIDIA_GLX-1.0/README:

If you already have an XF86Config file working with a different driver
(such as the 'nv' or 'vesa' driver), then all you need to do is find
the relevant Device section and replace the line:

        Driver "nv"
    (or Driver "vesa")


        Driver "nvidia"

In the Module section, make sure you have:

        Load   "glx"

You should also remove the following lines:

        Load  "dri"
        Load  "GLcore"

To see if you are running the latest NVIDIA driver, run the following command as root:
nvidia-installer --latest

To update your NVIDIA driver to the latest version, run the following command as root (an X server must not be running):
nvidia-installer --update

Determining NVIDIA driver version:
cat /proc/driver/nvidia/version

Determining NVIDIA card capabilities:
cat /proc/driver/nvidia/agp/host-bridge

Displaying NVIDIA card status:
cat /proc/driver/nvidia/agp/status

Upgrading NVIDIA drivers/installing NVIDIA drivers for an alternate kernel

If the NVIDIA drivers are already installed and you install a new version of the kernel, the NVIDIA kernel module has to be installed in the appropriate /lib/modules directory for use by the new kernel.

If you are already have the latest version of the NVIDIA drivers installed (confirm with nvidia-installer --latest) and want to install the NVIDIA kernel module for use by your current kernel, use the following instructions:

1. Run nvidia-installer --ui=none --latest to determine the URL of the latest NVIDIA driver package.
/usr/bin/nvidia-installer --ui=none --latest

Welcome to the NVIDIA Software Installer for Unix/Linux

Currently installed version: 1.0-7676; latest available version: 1.0-7676;
latest driver file:

2. Retrieve the NVIDIA driver package.
wget ftp://download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86/1.0-7676/NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-7676-pkg1.run

3. Install the NVIDIA kernel module for use by the currently running kernel.
# sh ./NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-7676-pkg1.run --accept-license --no-questions --kernel-name=`uname -r` --kernel-module-only --ui=none

If you would like to install the NVIDIA kernel module for use with an arbitrary kernel, substitute the kernel name instead of `uname -r` above. You may generate a list of valid kernels with rpm -q kernel | cut -c8-

If you do not have the latest version of the NVIDIA drivers installed (confirm with nvidia-installer --latest) and want to install the NVIDIA kernel module for use by your current kernel, run nvidia-installer --update

Fedora Core 2 instructions (deprecated)

Update: version 6106 of the NVIDIA drivers supports the "4kstacks" kernel provided with Fedora Core 2. There is no need to download the Linuxant custom kernel when using this version (or later) of the NVIDIA drivers.

The kernel supplied with Fedora Core 2 (2.6.5-1.358) does not work with version 1.0-5336 of the NVIDIA drivers. As a workaround, you may install a custom kernel from Linuxant that works with the NVIDIA drivers.

1. Download the custom kernel.

2. Uncompress the custom kernel archive.
unzip kernel-2.6.5-1.358.8kstacks.i686.rpm.zip

3. Install the custom kernel (the -i flag will not overwrite your current kernel).
rpm -ivh kernel-2.6.5-1.358.8kstacks.i686.rpm

Boot into your new "8kstacks" kernel, and install the NVIDIA drivers as detailed above.

Installing NVIDIA driver RPM packages

In this example, NVIDIA driver RPMs from Livna.org are installed for Fedora Core 1 via yum:

1. Add the following entries to /etc/yum.conf:

name=Livna.org Fedora Compatible Packages (stable)
baseurl= http://rpm.livna.org/fedora/$releasever/$basearch/yum/stable

2. Import the Livna.org GPG key in order to verify the digitally signed NVIDIA RPM packages.
rpm --import http://rpm.livna.org/RPM-LIVNA-GPG-KEY

3. Install the NVIDIA driver RPM and dependencies.
yum -y install kernel-module-nvidia-`uname -r`

4. Modify /etc/X11/XF86Config to use the NVIDIA driver.
/usr/sbin/nvidia-config-xfree86 enable

Restart the X Window System to use the NVIDIA driver.

For more information on NVIDIA packages from Livna.org, please visit http://rpm.livna.org/.

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Last modified: 09/28/2005