SDB:NVIDIA the hard way
tagline: From openSUSE
 Install dependencies for the NVIDIA driver
Note: For unsupported versions of openSUSE is required kernel-source.
 Download the NVIDIA binary driver
Go to the NVIDIA Driver Downloads homepage and download the driver for your NVIDIA graphics card. Remember to choose the right operating system Linux 32 or 64 bit. If your are unsure which card you have in your machine you can check this (in KDE) by opening "My Computer" on the desktop. Under "Display info" you will see "Model".
Note: This kind of installation requires to repeat driver compilation each time kernel is updated, so keep NVIDIA script (NVIDIA-Linux-******.run) in the same directory that is easy to reach with command line tools, as that is all you will have after computer is started with a new kernel.
 Install the NVIDIA driver
Note: Once switched in console mode, if you have nouveau driver installed, the NVIDIA*.run installer will complain that nouveau module is running, or, if you removed it, the installation will fail for the reason that nouveau driver is still started from initrd. If you should encounter one of such issues, please follow instructions to blacklist and prevent nouveau from starting at boot inside initrd, reboot and then follow instructions in this section.
To install the driver you need to log out and under the shutdown options choose "console login".
If this logout option is not supported in your desktop environment (DE), please log out from your GUI session and select "Console login" from drop down menu of the Display Manager screen. Anyway, after logging out from your GUI session, you can log in at any time to a real console using the key-combination
Then you can log in as root by typing:
Enter your root password (You wont see any reaction from the console at this point) And press the "Enter"-key on your keyboard
If you saved your NVIDIA driver in your users home directory just type:
Replace "user" with your username. Then hit the "
Tab"-key and the console will auto complete the rest. Then you press the "
When the installer is done, type:
This starts the X server.
 Disable Kernel Mode Setting (KMS)
Kernel Mode Setting (KMS) works in supported versions, currently 11.4 and 12.1, and you can skip this section.
 openSUSE 11.3
It used KMS by default, which was not supported by the proprietary Nvidia driver, therefore it was necessary to disable it.
Add "nomodeset" to the boot options in /boot/grub/menu.lst
Also remove it from the initrd. Edit /etc/sysconfig/kernel and set "NO-KMS-IN-INITRD = yes". Then run:
 Blacklist nouveau
To prevent the proprietary NVIDIA driver from conflicting with the default nouveau driver, prevent the nouveau module from getting loaded at boot by blacklisting it:
This change might need to be undone if you want to use the nouveau driver again, e.g. after upgrading to openSUSE 12.1 when nouveau should have become more mature and useable (this doesn't apply for new installations of openSUSE 11.4).
Also you have to prevent from starting nouveau that starts from initrd. For this you have to add:
to boot command line. To do that edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and add "modeset.nouveau=0" to the end of line starting with kernel, right after "vga= " bit. Re-run
# mkinitrd, then reboot.
In 11.3 Sax2 has been dropped. To setup your graphics card use nvidia-settings. Some report they have to use "twinview" to get compositing to work on dual screen setups (nvidia replacement for xinerama).
That's it, enjoy.
 Tumbleweed Repository Notes
If you have the Tumbleweed repository enabled expect to go through this procedure relatively frequently. It would be worth keeping a copy of the NVidia driver package (the .run file you download from NVidia) in /usr/local/src so that when the GUI doesn't load after an upgrade of the kernel you can recompile the drivers by..
To install driver with linux kernel version 3.3.0 (for 3.4 and higher not needed), you should need to run the following commands:
cd /lib/modules/`uname -r`/source/arch/x86/include/
cp -v generated/asm/unistd*.h ./asm/
If you use a kernel version newer than 3.7.5 it is necessary to copy the version.h too. Please, add the following lines according to the above command:
cp -v generated/uapi/linux/version.h ./linux/
- login as root
- walk through the wizard (compiles and installs the driver for you)
- restart the GUI by running
 Further readings
- For experienced users
- S.A.N.D.I. - SuSE Automated NVIDIA Driver Installer, bash script written to work with DKMS - Dynamic Kernel Module Support to allow the automatic installation of the nVIDIA proprietary Video Driver each time you upgrade your Kernel version.