HOWTO: Install official NVIDIA drivers in Fedora 15

Installing the proprietary NVIDIA video drivers in the latest Fedora Linux is easy. Getting them working, however, can be a hair-ripping affair - I've documented the process to save my hair in the future.

Step 1: Update your kernel

As root, run "yum update kernel" and reboot. [ben@clamps ~]$ su
[root@clamps ~]$ yum update kernel
[root@clamps ~]$ reboot

Step 2: Install the drivers

In this example, I'm using packaged drivers from the ATrpms repository. If you'd prefer to use the packages from RPM Fusion, try this HOWTO instead.

Again we'll need root access to create a .repo file for ATrpms. [ben@clamps ~]$ su
[root@clamps ~]$ vi /etc/yum.repos.d/atrpms.repo

Add the text below (press i, then paste/type) and save (press Esc then :wq). [atrpms]
name=Fedora Core $releasever - $basearch - ATrpms
baseurl=http://dl.atrpms.net/f$releasever-$basearch/atrpms/stable
gpgkey=http://ATrpms.net/RPM-GPG-KEY.atrpms
gpgcheck=1

Finally, install the drivers [root@clamps ~]$ yum install nvidia-graphics275.09.07 nvidia-graphics275.09.07-libs nvidia-graphics275.09.07-kmdl-`uname -r` Please note: the latest driver version at the time of writing was 275.09.07 - you may need to go to ATrpms to find the latest version.

Step 3: Disable the nouveau drivers

Blacklisting the nouveau kernel module in modprobe should be taken care of by the previous step, but that isn't enough to stop it from loading (iknowright!). We'll also need to add the parameters rdblacklist=nouveau nouveau.modeset=0 to the kernel in /boot/grub/grub.conf. [root@clamps ~]$ vi /boot/grub/grub.conf

Modify the kernel row so that the new parameters are added near the end: title Fedora (2.6.xx.x-xx.fc15.i686)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.xx.x-xx.fc15.i686 [...snip...] rdblacklist=nouveau nouveau.modeset=0 quiet
initrd /initramfs-2.6.xx.x-xx.fc15.i686.img

Step 4: Reboot and enjoy

You should now be able to reboot into a working desktop, albiet without the fancy graphical boot screen. If you are using a laptop, it's quite likely you will see a substantial increase in battery life - my netbook now gets 4 hours on a full charge, compared to less than 3 hours using the nouveau drivers.

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