Kasperian Moving Parts

kinda like Batman, but with a wife and 3 kids

OpenSUSE 11.1 and nVidia?


So, first off, OpenSUSE 11.1 has to be the sweetest, best put together distro, like ever. Really amazing, quality stuff.  The new installer has some excellent improvements, and package management has never felt zippier (zyppier??) However, there are a few problems that I’ve hit that I’m still trying to figure out after 2 days of fun and frolic.

First off, I have a laptop (meaning I cant change the video card) with an nVidia chipset (meaning I’d like to change the video card). So while OpenSUSE 11.1 works really nicely with the open source “nv” video driver, it can’t do any compositing, 3d, OpenGL, etc., etc. (meaning no wobbley windows or cube goodness or translucency or… you get the idea…).  So I followed these nice little 1-click instructions and installed the latest stable nVidia drivers, rebooted, and up came X with nVidia’s drivers quite nicely. So far so good. And then I clicked “logout”. And that’s where things started to fall apart. It looks like what’s happening is that nVidia’s X driver gets killed when logging out and trying to log back in again. I poked around a bit and saw in a log somewhere that kdm was timing out waiting for X and ended up giving up. So I bumped up some values in /usr/share/kde4/config/kdm/kdmrc in the “X-:*-Core” section (Core config for local displays). I changed ServerAttempts to 5 and ServerTimeout to 45, and it seems to help. Mind you, the underlying problem is still there, and X takes a LOOOOONG time to restart with the nVidia drivers, but at least this keeps kdm from failing altogether and me from getting stuck without an X session and an unusable console display (when this happens, and I’ve booted with the default vga= line, the console is totally unusable).

Secondly, one of the main reasons for my sticking with OpenSUSE is its exceptional support for KDE 4.2/trunk packages. So I installed a bunch of stuff from the KDE:KDE4:UNSTABLE:Desktop repository and discovered that X crashes far too randomly and regularly. This, combined with the above problem of X being unable to restart, using the nVidia drivers, made for a lot of ugliness. I reinstalled once already and am a little leery of bringing in the unstable 4.2/trunk packages. And yes, I’m aware that I’m trying to use something labelled quite clearly as “UNSTABLE”, but I’ve been using OpenSUSE’s excellent “UNSTABLE” KDE 4.2/trunk packages for 6+ months now without any problems whatsoever. And it’s been with the same version of the nVidia driver as I am now using. So… it must be something in the new versions of the kernel or xorg packages that’s causing problems? Is anyone else seeing this other than this guy (who never got his questions answered)?

Anyway, I’m going to spend another few days trying to iron things out. If anyone “out there” has any helpful hints or suggestions, I’d really appreciate them via comment. And, yeah, once I figure out what’s going wrong, I’ll look into filing bugs for this stuff…

Author: Jason 'vanRijn' Kasper

My name is Jason 'vanRijn' Kasper. I am the ring leader of the amazing Kasper family. I am unashamedly a Christian Nerd. These are our stories....


  1. Pingback: OpenSUSE 11.1 and nVidia == AWESOME!! - Kasperian Moving Parts

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