Which nVidea driver to install

Michael Powell nightrecon at verizon.net
Mon Jun 8 00:11:59 UTC 2009

Carmel wrote:

> I have an nVidia Geforce 6150LE chip on the motherboard. Should I
> install the x11/nvidia-driver or the NV driver in
> x11-drivers/xorg-drivers? Would it cause a conflict if I tried to
> install both and do I even need both of them?

Install the nvidia driver if your install is i386 and not 64 bit. The nvidia 
driver doesn't work yet for 64 bit installs. The main reason to really want 
the nvidia driver is for desktop software such as KDE or Gnome. My 
experience with KDE is I wouldn't want to run it without the nvidia driver.

You can install the nv driver as well. The two don't really interact with 
one another. You may install the nv first if you wish, then work on getting 
Xorg going, as this sometimes entails manually editing xorg.conf the hard 
way. I know Xorg is supposedly "automagic" these days, but for some reason 
or another I always seem to end up editing xorg.conf myself to get it to do 
what I want.

The nv can easily be installed along with Xorg. The nvidia driver is more 
complex as it relies on the linuxolator to function, so there is a larger 
number of dependencies. But when it comes time to change from nv to nvidia 
it is just a line or two in the xorg.conf.

Sometimes with laptop built-in chips it can be difficult to get things going 
because of a non-standard resolution requiring a non-standard modeline. In 
such situations the nv xorg driver will probably be easier to get going. The 
ultimate fallback is VESA mode, but nobody wants that if it can be avoided.

As to which of the ports you need - the regular nvidia-driver and not either 
of the 'legacy' versions should probably be used as per:


Bottom line is you can start with the nv first and change up to the nvidia-
driver later. The two are not mutually exclusive, meaning even though you 
only utilize one, or the other, they can both coexist on the same system 
without difficulty.


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