How to install NVIDIA proprietary graphics driver in Fedora 11 using yum

Why install this driver?

Your NVIDIA video card will work on your Fedora box without this driver, however if you want to enable the 3D acceleration (if you want to use Compiz Fsuion) you need to install it.

Which driver to use?

The latest nvidia driver: This is a proprietary driver that works with newer nvidia cards.
The legacy nvidia driver: This is also a proprietary driver, but it works with older nvidia cards.
Current list of Legacy NVIDIA drivers:

  • Legacy version (173.xx series)
  • Legacy version (96.xx series)
  • Legacy version (71.xx series) Note: This driver is not available in RPM Fusion repository.

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You need to identify which nvidia driver is ideal for your video card. Open up your terminal and type this command:

lspci -nn | grep VGA

This will print the video card vendor and codes as both numbers and names.

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: nVidia Corporation NV18 [GeForce4 MX 4000] [10de:0185] (rev c1)

You need to find out the PCI ID of your nvidia video card. In this example, I am using an old NVIDIA GeForce 4 video card and its PCI ID is 0185. According to this link the ideal driver for my video card is Legacy version (96.xx series) driver.

Installing the Driver

Enable RPM Fusion repository

rpm -Uvh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm
rpm -Uvh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm

List of available nvidia driver in the RPM Fusion repository.

kmod-nvidia - The latest nividia driver	
kmod-nvidia-173xx - Legacy version 173.xx
kmod-nvidia-96xx - Legacy version 96.xx

Then install the driver

yum install kmod-nvidia-96xx

or

yum install akmod-nvidia-96xx

Please note that we are installing the driver for the old GeForce 4 video card. If you have latest video cards just type this command:

yum install kmod-nvidia

or

yum install akmod-nvidia

What is the difference between kmod and akmod package?

If you installed the kmod-nvidia package and its dependencies, each time the kernel was updated you need to download a new kmod-nvidia package that corresponds to the new kernel.
The akmod-nvidia is different, each time you update your kernel and reboot the machine akmod-nvidia compiles its own version of the modules needed for the kernel.
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