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Nvidia and ATI Proprietary Graphics Drivers support in OpenSuSe 11.2 Linux

The problem of the proprietary (closed source) drivers is a very important subject in those 2006 days. The openSUSE decided to follow the kernels developers recommendations and not to include proprietary drivers with the kernel.

Please look at the linux-kernel mailing list to better understand the situation.

The reasons why a certain drivers is not included in the main openSUSE are the following:

    * The software is proprietary software, it does not conform to the Open Source definition.
    * The software is providing functionality which is patented and the patent holder is preventing distribution of the software.
    * The software violates laws concerning software distribution in jurisdictions where Novell conducts business.

Users who want to use this functionality despite this can follow this instruction to get the complete driver support in their OpenSuSe 11.2 Linux system.

NVIDIA Graphics Drivers:

The NVIDIA drivers cannot be integrated directly into openSUSE because of their license. Fortunately for new users, NVIDIA and openSUSE provide a very easy way to install NVIDIA drivers: NVIDIA makes RPMs for openSUSE and provides them in a repository.

Three classes of drivers support NVIDIA cards:

   1. The open source “nv” driver which has severe limitations (does not even support some new cards like the Quadro 570FX, does not have proper dual head support and has no 3D support) It is included in Xorg and is used by default.
   2. The closed source, proprietary “nvidia” driver which requires the “nvidia” kernel module which many kernel developers regard as being in violation of the GPL.
    3. There is the reverse engineered nouveau driver which is based on the nv driver. It aims to provide proper dual head support and 3D support.

So, in order to get the driver support, download the following file depending upon your card and execute them to let YAST install and configure the driver for you.

NVIDIA Current (GeForce 6xxx and newer) - Here
NVIDIA Legacy I (FX 5xxx) - Here
NVIDIA Legacy II (GeForce 4 and older) - Here

ATI Graphics Drivers:
Three classes of drivers support ATI cards:

   1. X.org includes F/LOSS drivers for many (older) ATI graphics adapters. These are used by default.
   2. The ATI graphics drivers are proprietary and many kernel developers consider this driver to violate the GPL license of the kernel.
   3. ATI has released some register specifications of their recent chipsets but has not released any documentation about the 3D functionality of their newer cards. The new ativivo and radeonhd drivers support (alpha quality) newer ATI R500/R600 graphics adapters. See the corresponding openSUSE news item

Please, consider that many older ATI cards are supported very well by the standard free driver radeon, which is installed during installation.

Before using the drivers below, try running your 3D application using the default open source drivers: radeon (for older cards) and radeonhd (for newer cards)

Use "1-click" installer to allow YAST to install and configure the required driver on your system

ATI Current - Here
ATI Legacy - Here


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