Now that I downloaded some software updates, there was one thing missing: the official Nvidia graphics driver. BLAG set up the 2D-driver just fine, but my poor Geforce 4 could only muster about 220 FPS in “glxgears.” I searched the repository, but did not see the official Nvidia driver listed. So, I decided to download the official Nvidia driver and manually install it. (Note: I do not have any ATI hardware, so I could not try installing the ATI drivers).
This, however, proved far more troublesome than I expected. If you did a default installation of BLAG, you will need to install a few extra packages before you can install the official Nvidia drivers. Using YUM is probably the easiest method. As root, type:
# yum install binutils, make, gcc, kernel-devel
That should fetch a number of files required to build and install the new kernel module. Since my Geforce 4 MX 420 is so old, it is supported by the legacy Nvidia driver. I certainly hope a newer card can be installed more easily. Here is the process that I went through:
1) Download the official Nvidia driver. Remember where you save it.
2) Switch to runlevel 3. One way to do this is to press Control+Alt+Backspace. If the main login window comes up instead of dropping you to a black screen, then log into a “failsafe” terminal session. Become root, and type:
# init 3
3) Now that you are out of the GUI, become root, navigate to your Nvidia driver, and install it like this:
# sh NVIDIA-Linux-[name of file].run
Provided you installed the development tools mentioned above, you should be able to build and install the driver. Hopefully now you can “startx” as a regular user (or simply reboot). If all went well, you should see an “Nvidia” splash screen as your system starts.
In my case, I had more work to do. For starters, my screen resolution had been reduced to 800 x 600. This was easy to fix. Go to “Administration – Display,” switch to the “Hardware” tab, and make sure your monitor type is listed. I chose “LCD Panel 1280 x 1024, fixing my problem.
I also had to edit my X.org file by hand (/etc/X11/xorg.conf), something I have not had to do in quite a while. Here are the edits I had to make:
1) Add a “Module” section to the beginning of the file:
2) Under the section “Device,” make sure the driver is listed as “nvidia” and not “nv.”
3) Because my card is a “legacy” card, I had to disable the “Composite” option by adding this section to the end of the file:
Option “Composite” “Disable”
The end result is that my “glxgears” jumped up to roughly 1,030 FPS. I hope no one else has to go through all of effort. (Please see the BLAG forums if you need support.) Because my card is “legacy” supported, I hesitate to blame BLAG, but I DO wish they made it easier to install the Nvidia driver. I toyed with the idea of adding a Fedora repository (such as Livna) that contained access to the driver, but did not want to risk corrupting anything else on my system. If someone is daring enough to try it, let me know if it works.