Tuesday, January 8, 2013

NVIDIA @ CentOS 6.3 / Red Hat 6.3

Q: What is the proper procedure to identify, locate, & install the correct nvidia drivers for Centos 6 on a Lenovo W510?
A: Here's a quick sequence, to help the next person, of what I'd recommend, based on what I learned from this thread:

0. Test if you 'need' to install the nvidia driver:
$ locate libvdpau_nvidia.so ==> mine reported nothing found
$ cat ~/.xsession-errors ==> mine reported errors as shown below:
Failed to open VDPAU backend libvdpau_nvidia.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
Note: There should be a better test of 'need'; but this was my only indication that "I" needed the nvidia driver!

1. Identify your kernel version:
$ uname -r
Note: I'm not sure how this is relevant, but somehow it is (I ask others to clarify for us).

2. Identify your graphics card
$ /sbin/lspci -nn | grep VGA
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: NVIDIA Corporation GT216 [Quadro FX 880M] [10de:0a3c] (rev a2)
Note: I'm not sure how relevant the [10de:0a3c] information is - but some sites indicate it's important.

3. Identify the latest version of the graphics drivers for that kernel version:
a) Go to Nvidia support http://www.nvidia.com/page/support.html
b) Go to download drivers
c) Enter the product type (Quadro), series (Quadro FX Series), and product (not found).
Note: The Quadro FX 880M didn't appear on this list, so I 'chatted' with Nvidia support.
Eventually Nvidia support pointed me to the latest available driver version here:
Note: You'll compare this latest version & support information with the latest available at El Repo in the next step.

4. Compare the Nvidia version with the latest available El Repo version:
Note: Search for "nvidia" and you'll find the latest version to be "nvidia 295.40".

5. Enable the El Repo repository (if not already installed):
$ sudo rpm --import http://elrepo.org/RPM-GPG-KEY-elrepo.org
$ sudo rpm -Uvh http://elrepo.org/elrepo-release-6-4.el6.elrepo.noarch.rpm
Note: Skip this step if El Repo is already enabled.

6. Install that latest version from the El Repo repository:
$ sudo yum --enablerepo elrepo install kmod-nvidia
$ sudo yum --disablerepo=\* --enablerepo=elrepo install nvidia-x11-drv-32bit
Note: Do not install from the ATrpms repository!

Or, if you want the absolute latest in the El Repo testing repository:
$ sudo yum --enablerepo elrepo-testing info kmod-nvidia
$ sudo yum --enablerepo elrepo-testing install kmod-nvidia
$ sudo yum --disablerepo=\* --enablerepo=elrepo-testing install nvidia-x11-drv-32bit

7. Reboot

8. Test if you have installed the correct driver:
$ locate libvdpau_nvidia.so

$ cat ~/.xsession-errors
No longer reports VDPAU errors.

Is there a better way to test for the lack of the right driver & for the correct installation of the right driver?

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