Installing your Graphics Card Drivers

Installing Nvidia & ATI Graphics Drivers

Tutorial Level: Beginner

One of the first things that a new user must do when installing OpenSUSE on their computer is installing and configuring graphics card drivers. Most users use either Nvidia or ATI products, and fortunately for OpenSUSE users, there are 1-click installers available for both of these graphics cards. Although there are packaged drivers that are available directly from Nvidia or ATI, the 1-click install is much easier and easily updated by your machine. So now that you got the rundown on graphic drivers, let’s find which one is for you.

Finding your Driver

Before you can install your drivers, you first need to find which driver you need for your machine. If you do not already know which graphic card you are using, open a terminal, issue the command su and enter your root password when prompted to gain root permissions, and enter the following command…

hwinfo –gfxcard

Look for Model and Vendor to find the version of your graphic card and the creator respectively. Now that you know which vendor to use, refer to the following pages for your graphic card driver…

Nvidia Drivers

ATI Drivers

For Nvidia drivers, be sure to check if you are to use normal drivers or latency driver. The list of latency drivers can be found here. For ATI drivers, check which version you want to install and which you think would run better for you. If you are unsure, simply choose the lastest driver. Now that you know which driver to install, we need to install and configure the driver.

Installation and Configuration

Installing the driver very simple. Click the button for the 1-click install of the driver you choose, and follow the step-by-step walkthrough of installing the packages. This should only take a few minutes and simply involve clicking accept buttons. Once you have the drivers installed, reboot. Next, we need to configure the drivers to work with your machine. To do this, open a terminal window and run the command sax2 -r. This will bring up a window that has your graphics card and monitor information. If all the settings match what you want, click accept. If your screen is positioned incorrectly, hit the Test button and use the arrow buttons on the screen to move your screen to the proper location. Once all the settings check out for you, click the accept button.

The changes you have made will not take effect until you reload your graphics settings. You can either restart your computer, or reload your X-Server. To reload the X-Server, open a terminal window and login as a root user with su. Once you enter the root password and become a SuperUser, type init 3. This will send you to the command line terminal. If you are not already logged in, enter your username and password. Then type startx to reload the graphic interface. Now the settings you entered in Sax2 and the driver settings will take effect.

Text-only Installation

Installing your graphics card driver through the text-only command line interface (CLI) is very similar to the graphic interface method. First, you need to get into the CLI if you are not already there. You can simply hit Ctrl+Alt+Backspace or use the terminal method. Open a terminal window and type su to become a SuperUser. Enter your root password and then enter init 3 to view the CLI. In the command line, enter your username and password. Once you login, enter su and the root password again. Next, enter yast2 to load YaST (Yet another System Tool). Next, use the arrow keys to hover over Software Management (right, down) and then hit enter. Once the repositories load, hit F2 to search. Enter the following into the field depending on your driver…

Nvidia: x11-video-nvidiaG01

Nvidia Latency: x11-video-nvidia

ATI (newest and latency): x11-video-fglrxG01

Once you have found your driver, hit enter to slate it for installation and then hit F10. Confirm the installation if prompted, and then wait for the package to download and install. Once the installation is complete, hit F9 to exit YaST. Reboot your system, and then boot back into the CLI. After closing YaST, enter sax2 -r and configure your graphic settings, including screen position and resolution (see Installation and Configuration above for further details). Lastly, enter exit to logout of the root permissions, and then enter startx to load the graphic user interface.


~ by unseenghost on 15 Jun 2008.

2 Responses to “Installing your Graphics Card Drivers”

  1. […] Installing your Graphics Card Drivers for a more simple and reliable […]

  2. […] you login for the first time, be sure to configure your graphics card settings. See Installing your Graphics Card Drivers for a walkthrough of […]

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