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nVIDIA drivers installation for Spherical Cow

3 min read

This guide will help you in install nVIDIA drivers. The drivers are proprietary and officially supported ones. Installing these on Fedora 18 “Spherical Cow” disables the generic Nouveau driver. It works with nVIDIA GeForce 8/9/200/300/400/500 series graphic cards. It also supports nVIDIA GeForce 6/7. Newer drivers might appear in the future for GeForce 6/7 cards, which is when you’ll be able to upgrade them too.

Fedora 18’s installation for nVIDIA drivers is not much different from previous versions of Fedora. We have tested this guide with a couple computers. Do try it out and let us know, if you have any problems with this guide or the installation process on your system.

nVIDIA drivers


Spherical Cow

1. Pre-requisites for nVIDIA Drivers installation

Just for your peace of mind…

1.1. Before nVIDIA drivers installation

Enter the following command in a terminal window, to know about the current video card.

lspci |grep -i VGA

The following is an example output. Abort this entire process if you find out that your system doesn’t have an nVidia.

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation GT218 [GeForce G210] (rev a2)

1.2. nVIDIA Optimus Technology

If your output looks like following,

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 2n Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 09)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation GF106 [GeForce GT 555M SDDR3] (rev a1)```

You should know that your computer has nVidia Optimus Technology. If you can turn off the Intel graphics, do it by whatever method your system might support. If it is impossible to turn nVidia Optimus off in the BIOS, then pardon us, this guide won’t work for you.

## 2. Main process

#### 2.1. Change to your system’s root user

`su -`

`## OR ##`

sudo -i

#### 2.2. Run on your latest kernel

If you’re not currently running the latest kernel then use the following commands to upgrthen update kernel and reboot

yum update kernel* selinux-policy*

2.3. Add RPM Fusion Repositories (Free and Non-Free)

Works for both 32-bit and 64-bit.

You should run only one of them, not all. The commands below are those you can choose from

yum localinstall --nogpgcheck


yum localinstall --nogpgcheck

2.4. Install nVIDIA proprietary drivers for GeForce 8/9/200/300/400/500 (and currently GeForce 6/7) series cards

Select akmodkmod or kmod-PAE from following.


yum install akmod-nvidia xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs

For the extra package for kernel-PAE users

yum install kernel-PAE-devel



yum install kmod-nvidia xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs


kmod-nvidia-PAE and kernel-PAE-devel

yum install kernel-PAE-devel kmod-nvidia-PAE

2.4.1. akmod recommendation

We recommend akmod as it is very easy and avoids problems that might occur on kernel updates. It is the best option if you ever use any of the following in any combination:

  • Self-compiled kernel
  • Older Fedora kernel
  • Quickly changing kernels from updates-testing/rawhide

For the full specifications and difference between kmod and akmod, check this out.

2.5. Have a system reboot

Do it either the old fashioned way or our way – provided you haven’t closed the terminal window already.


2.6. VDPAU/VAAPI support

This is the ability to use video acceleration for OS tasks. To enable video acceleration support for your player (Note: you need Geforce 8 or later).

yum install vdpauinfo libva-vdpau-driver libva-utils

Congratulations, you now have nVIDIA Drivers installed on your system.

Uninstall proprietary nVIDIA drivers

We’re sure you’d be delighted to use the native nVIDIA drivers for Spherical Cow but would totally understand if you decide to revert to the Nouveau drivers. You can do that too. We assume that you’ve installed nVIDIA drivers using our guide above. Uninstallation happens as follows.

3.1 Change root user

su -


sudo -i

3.2 Uninstall nVidia Driver Packages

yum remove xorg-x11-drv-nvidia\* nvidia-settings nvidia-xconfig

3.4 Then Reboot System


And that is all. Do leave us feedback – always appreciated.