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Installing latest proprietary driver for NVidia


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After having some experience on ATI-proprietary drivers, and spending many hours getting things right, i am now wondering whether doing it or not.


Since a couple of weeks i am the proud owner of a brand new laptop, Acer Aspire 7720G.

This machine is provided with a NVidia GeForce 8400M GS videocard.

And an Intel Core2Duo Processor.


I just installed Mandriva 2009, 64-bit, and it's working like a charm.


Now i know there is a repository driver, but NVidia als provides their own proprietary one.

And as far as i know, the closed source one, should be a better choice for performance reasons and probable functionality.

Maybe i am wrong on that one, but if so, i would be very much interested in any replies on that.


On the other hand, i don't want to encounter a situation in which i loose my, now working, graphical environment, due to failures during installation, of which kind whatsoever.

I read a lot of things this afternoon, but am still not sure of starting to install.


Is there anyone out there, that can tell his or her experiences.



Additional kernel information:


rpm -qa | grep kernel







Edited by isadora
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First of all, why are you using a server kernel? Do you have a specific need or reason for using it?


I would suggest that you add all the official Mandriva repos including non-free to your sources, then install the desktop kernel. Then reboot into the new desktop kernel and open mcc aka 'configure your computer'. Go to hardware > set up the graphical server. Select your video card from the list, when it asked you if you want to use proprietary drivers, answer 'yes'. It will install everything you need and set it up for you.

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Thanks Greg for your reply.


As far as it concerns the choice for the server-kernel.

It really wasn't that much of a choice, it was installed during initial setup.

Probably this is related to the amount of internal memory, 4 GB.

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Simply try the desktop kernel flavour.

But doesn't this bring me into trouble due to the amount of memory in this machine, 4GB?

Why else, did the setup choose for this particular server-kernel? I didn't have a choice at that time.

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It really wasn't that much of a choice, it was installed during initial setup.

Probably this is related to the amount of internal memory, 4 GB.

OK, I've read that has happened to some users during install. The kernel-desktop flavor now supports up to 4GB of RAM. Please see the Errata: High_memory_support


I would still suggest trying what I've posted above.

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Allright Greg, thanks again. I will take a look at the errata.

Does the use of the desktop-kernel also mean reinstalling Flashplayer 10 for instance?

And how about my wireless, i had many issues bringing that up, through my Intel-wireless adapter 3945.


Beside that, isn't this kernel breaking up my complete 64-bits architecture?

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Answer to first question is NO.


Second question. As scarecrow said, you do NOT require any packages related to server. 64 bit is not specific to just the server packages. You require the kernel-desktop-devel that EXACTLY matches the kernel-desktop version number.


Kernel-desktop handles memory recognition of up to 4Gbs so you need it and kernel-desktop-devel. You don't need kernel-source either.


I have the following stuff installed:-...








You can use this as a guide if you want to install the proprietary driver NVIDIA driver. If you want to install the Mandriva driver then you only need ....kernel-desktop- ....and follow the routine suggested by others.



Cheers. John.

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Thank you very much for your answers John.

Was a very long time since we met here.


One last question that is still not clear to me: why to choose for the proprietary driver instead of the Mandriva driver.

I would preferrably choose for the Mandriva-choice, if it was only for the much easier way of installation.


Oh yes and another last question: what action is needed to be sure the desktop-kernel is going to be active, do i need to uninstall the server-kernel?

Edited by isadora
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Hello Isadora. Yes too long. :D Hope you have been AOK in the meantime.


Either method is OK. I just find it easier, and have done for many years, installing the Proprietary driver.


When you install the new kernel, go into BOOT in MCC and select the new kernel as the preferred kernel.

Make sure to go into the advanced and make sure it is selected in there as well or you will have problems.


Keep in mind also that when ever you use a new kernel, you will have to reinstall the video driver again and also that you need to install the devel package that matches that kernel as well.


Once you have things set up and working nicely then you can go into MCC and uninstall the kernel packages that are no longer needed, but be careful.



Cheers. John.

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Thanks again John.


Very good explained, i surely know by now how to handle.


But still two issues towards your answer.

Isn't it easier installing the driver through the Mandriva-packagemanager, instead of installing the driver manual?

And what is the reason for using the Advanced-button in the BOOT-section in MCC?

The only choices i can find there are issues about APIC and cleaning /tmp.


Thanks in advance.

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The NVIDIA proprietary driver is provided in the official Mandriva repositories. If you install from One, it will be installed automatically. If you install from Free, you should follow these instructions to install it:




177.80 is available in /non-free/backports , but I wouldn't recommend bothering with that unless you have problems with 177.70 (the version you'll get by following the above instructions).


If you got kernel-server on install, as discussed above, you will run into a problem where the NVIDIA driver will not work with it. You can either switch to kernel-desktop, or update to the latest kernel-server and kernel-server-devel available in the /main/testing repository, which resolve this problem. The fix will be issued as an official update soon.


On an i586 install, kernel-server is the correct kernel if you wish to take advantage of your whole 4GB of RAM: due to issues with how the PC architecture handles memory, a kernel which supports '4GB' of RAM will in practice usually lose around 200-500MB on a 4GB system (so it will only see 3.5GB-3.8GB or so). This is basically because there are 'holes' in the PC memory mapping system, so the very end of your 4GB of RAM is actually mapped to address space beyond the 4GB mark. The kernel-server kernel supports up to 64GB of RAM via PAE, so it does not suffer from this limitation; it will support all of your memory. On an x86-64 kernel, this issue is irrelevant; the fact that the installer installs the kernel-server kernel on systems with 4GB of RAM and more in the x86-64 edition is a bug. It's probably best to switch to kernel-desktop in this case.

Edited by adamw
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