NVIDIA Drivers

TarHeel Linux 6 assigns the Nouveau X11 driver to NVIDIA graphics card.  Nouveau is a fine driver, open source, good performance.  However, if you want 3D performance, you may need to install NVIDIA closed source drivers.

To install NVIDIA drivers, one way to do this is to download drivers from NVIDIA site.  The download is a shell script.  Running the shell script in “init 3” mode will get the driver installed.  Another way to do this is to get kmod-nvidia RPM packages from EL-Repo repository.

First of all, we need to add EL-Repo repository into YUM setup as root.

yum install elrepo-release

Then, you install the driver and YUM will pull nvidia-x11-drv as a dependency.

yum install kmod-nvidia

The installation of kmod-nvidia will also disable Nouveau driver.

After installing NVIDIA closed source drivers, the TarHeel Linux graphical boot (plymouth) will no longer be available.  In other words, the pretty TarHeel Linux logo on a black background will be replaced by a bottom horizontal progress bar.  To restore the TarHeel Linux Linux graphical boot, append “vga=865” to the end of the kernel boot line in /boot/grub/grub.conf file.

After installing the kmod-nvidia package, reboot the system to take the change into effect.