Graphics Drivers

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Graphics Drivers

Postby skywolfblue on Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:32 am

Complete linux newbie here:

I did a bunch of searches for "Linux Drivers", but I still don't have the exact answers I'm looking for.

I have a Nvidia Geforce GTX 660 TI, and Linux Mint 14 with KDE.

I downloaded the 310.32, Linux x86_64 driver from http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html.
Except when I click on the downloaded .run file, it just opens up Kate which is a text editor for KDE. Do I just copy and paste that into the terminal? Or how do I "run" the file?

Second approach I opened up the Additional Drivers application:
There are 4 drivers there, but they have no numbering or clear descriptions on how they're different from each other (see attached image). Which one is the right one?
How do I tell if I should use these or the one from the website if they don't have any version numbers?
Are the "experimental" drivers safe to use for average people?

Lastly:
I downloaded one of the seemingly identical non-experimental drivers. Restarted the computer, there's a green light that says it's activated, but not currently in use.
How do I get the driver to be "in use" then? I already have the KDE destop set to OpenGL mode, is there something else I need to do to "turn on" the driver, or is it already working?

Any help would be appriciated!
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Re: Graphics Drivers

Postby Otyugh on Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:05 pm

I had something like this though.
Working now but, not very sure of what I did finally to make it work.

One of my try was to do "re-check the driver i wanted" me being launched the Additional Drivers in super user.
I just noticied that he was only "trying to apply" the change driver (never completing the loading), but in root, the loading was gone to 100%.
However, I'm not sure it was the thing that made everything run, but it's very easy and fast to do, so ><

Also I prefered to use the last experimental "310 experimental". Never had any trouble, though.
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Re: Graphics Drivers

Postby AlbertP on Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:09 pm

About "not currently in use", you can usually ignore that. That's a bug in the drivers program.

Could you open Terminal from the menu, type this command in it and press Enter:
Code: Select all
inxi -Gx

That will return some graphics information. If the GLX Renderer is your NVIDIA card then it's alright.

About the drivers from the NVIDIA website: the .run files are much harder to install. You need to quit the graphical environment and install it using the command-line after making the .run file executable.
I would just stick to using one of the drivers provided by the Additional Drivers program. nvidia-current is OK I think.
From the two experimental drivers, one is version 304.48 and the other one is 310.14 (right now you use the 304.43 driver). It's usually fine to use those drivers, they just haven't received as much testing by the Linux Mint & Ubuntu developers as the nvidia-current one has. Keep in mind that 310.14 (I suppose that's the second experimental entry) is a beta driver, 304.48 (probably the top entry) is already released as stable by NVIDIA so should work anyway.
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Re: Graphics Drivers

Postby skywolfblue on Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:12 am

Ok, so I did a fresh install, did all the software updates.

Here's before I activate the Nvidia driver:

Code: Select all
~ $ inxi -Gx
Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA GK104 [GeForce GTX 660 Ti] bus-ID: 01:00.0
           X.Org: 1.13.0 drivers: (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) FAILED: nouveau Resolution: 1920x1200@60.0hz
           GLX Renderer: Gallium 0.4 on llvmpipe (LLVM 0x301) GLX Version: 2.1 Mesa 9.0 Direct Rendering: Yes


Here is after I activiate the Nvidia 310 experimental driver:

Code: Select all
~ $ inxi -Gx
Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA GK104 [GeForce GTX 660 Ti] bus-ID: 01:00.0
           X.Org: 1.13.0 drivers: (unloaded: fbdev,vesa,nouveau) FAILED: nvidia Resolution: 1920x1200@60.0hz
           GLX Renderer: GeForce GTX 660 Ti/PCIe/SSE2 GLX Version: 4.3.0 NVIDIA 310.14 Direct Rendering: Yes


I'm guessing the "FAILED" bit means that it's really not working? The additional drivers window is saying the same thing as before it's "Active, but not in use.".

Some parts of the system are behaving like it's working: (under the default nouveau driver, the startup screen is a pixelated mess, and the dolphin file manager crashes right and left, but now the startup screen is clear and the file manager is stable while the Nvidia driver is "active, but not in use".)

Otyugh wrote:I had something like this though.
Working now but, not very sure of what I did finally to make it work.

One of my try was to do "re-check the driver i wanted" me being launched the Additional Drivers in super user.
I just noticied that he was only "trying to apply" the change driver (never completing the loading), but in root, the loading was gone to 100%.
However, I'm not sure it was the thing that made everything run, but it's very easy and fast to do, so ><

Also I prefered to use the last experimental "310 experimental". Never had any trouble, though.


How do I log in as root? Googling gives me: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-distributions-5/root-login-on-linux-mint-live-599368/

Will simply typing
Code: Select all
sudo su -
give me root priviliges for the UI (and thus the additional drivers program)?

Or to I have to set up a whole root account? The responses get kinda divergent and confused at that point. And a few people are saying it's not a good idea.

[edit]It looks like it's working. I did a test in blender with GPU rendering and it rendered in about 2min35sec compared to (2min41sec under Ubuntu with drivers working, 2min56sec under windows, 7min for CPU.).

I'd like to thank you guys for the responses! I guess I just needed to ignore the "not in use" message, and use a more up-to-date driver like the experimental 310.
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Re: Graphics Drivers

Postby AlbertP on Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:14 am

Your NVIDIA driver was just working well in the 2nd inxi paste. The FAILED text is a bug in inxi and needs to be ignored.

And indeed using sudo you can get all the privileges you need. You don't need a separate root account.
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