Are there other nVidia driver options?

I was using Kubuntu 9.10 with KDE 4.4 and decided to give openSUSE a try. I have it all installed and pretty much customized to my liking, but desktop effects and overall visual performance seems really laggy and slow. When I minimize a window it slowly crawls towards the task bar, it takes like 15 seconds to minimize and it’s really choppy.

I am running openSUSE 11.2 with KDE 4.4. I have nothing but Firefox 3.6 running right now. I installed the recommended drivers for nVidia and the corresponding xorg configuration. I switched to xRender for compositing as OpenGL wouldn’t work at all.

When I enable desktop effects and try to select additional options it doesn’t allow it, and disables the selected options again. It says the following effect could not be enabled:and list the effect.

I am due for a new computer as this one is getting a little outdated, but it was doing fine on Kubuntu and since I like everything else better than Kubuntu, I would like to stick with SUSE. I need to improve the graphics performance though. Wobbly windows, transparency, cube effect on two desktops max, etc. all those worked fine in Kubuntu.

So is there another option for my video card driver than the one provided? Any ideas on how to get this system to perform on par with Kubuntu?

Here are my basic specs:

CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2800+ at 2ghz
1.25GB ddr RAM
GeForce4 MX Integrated GPU
120GB Harddrive

The driver I installed is: nvidia-gfx-kmp-default

This is shown as the driver at nvidia


You didn’t tell us exactly what you have installed. Presumeably you installed via the repo rather than manually.

openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users - openSUSE Forums

Okay, I manually installed that driver (NVIDIA 96.43.16) and I still can’t enable the same effects that work in Kubuntu. Is there something more I need to do?

post result of

/usr/sbin/hwinfo --gfxcard

Can you confirm your PC is also actually running the driver?

Please take a look inside the /var/log/Xorg.0.log file. Look for occurrences of

(==)NV (0) or
(++)NV (0)
which indicate using the open source nvidia driver
(==)NVIDIA(0) or
which indicate using the proprietary nvidia driver.

Which do you see ?

@desktop:~> /usr/sbin/hwinfo --gfxcard
27: PCI 200.0: 0300 VGA compatible controller (VGA)
[Created at pci.318]
UDI: /org/freedesktop/Hal/devices/pci_10de_1f0
Unique ID: B35A.aLEK+qtKj72
Parent ID: 6NW+.j5eDVgS7Ow6
SysFS ID: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1e.0/0000:02:00.0
SysFS BusID: 0000:02:00.0
Hardware Class: graphics card
Model: “nVidia GeForce4 MX Integrated GPU”
Vendor: pci 0x10de “nVidia Corporation”
Device: pci 0x01f0 “GeForce4 MX Integrated GPU”
SubVendor: pci 0x1043 “ASUSTeK Computer Inc.”
SubDevice: pci 0x80c0
Revision: 0xa3
Driver: “nvidia”
Driver Modules: “nvidia”
Memory Range: 0xfc000000-0xfcffffff (rw,non-prefetchable)
Memory Range: 0xec000000-0xefffffff (rw,prefetchable)
Memory Range: 0xf3500000-0xf357ffff (rw,prefetchable)
Memory Range: 0xfda00000-0xfda1ffff (ro,prefetchable,disabled)
IRQ: 16 (445569 events)
I/O Ports: 0x3c0-0x3df (rw)
Module Alias: “pci:v000010DEd000001F0sv00001043sd000080C0bc03sc00i00”
Driver Info #0:
XFree86 v4 Server Module: nv
Driver Info #1:
XFree86 v4 Server Module: nvidia
3D Support: yes
Color Depths: 16
Config Status: cfg=no, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown
Attached to: #25 (PCI bridge)

Primary display adapter: #27

Xorg.0.log file is here: - Xorg.0.log file pasted to that site

thanks, … but imagine you are a person reading this thread trying to learn, and you see massive posts with massive copy and pastes ? That makes it hard to scroll the thread and it will be a BIG turn off. I am going to edit your thread to make this a “bit” better.

Please, in future, do NOT make such massive posts. There are paste bin sites that can be used if you really feel the need to share the ENTIRE content of the log (when that was NOT asked for). For example: where one posts on that site, it gives one a URL, and one posts the URL and does not disrupt the entire thread with a massive post.

Anyway, clearly the proprietary “NVIDIA” driver is being loaded. :\

What are you using for an /etc/X11/xorg.conf ? (and do NOT post it here! ).

How did you generate the /etc/X11/xorg.conf if you are using one? If you generated it by " sax2 -r -m 0=nvidia " have you instead tried removing it and booting ? or have you instead tried (with no /etc/X11/xorg.conf in place) creating it with the nvidia tool “nvida-xconfig” ?

Sorry for the long post.

When I installed the driver nvidia asked if I wanted the xconfig set-up automatically, so first I did it that way, then I tried in sax2, but that didn’t get things working either.

If you were to start from scratch what would you do to get things working?

Is there some underlying difference between Kubuntu and openSUSE when it comes to video cards and desktop effects?

I understand that my card is old and I don’t expect much from it, but I feel like it should be able to function equally as well in SUSE as in Kubuntu.

From what I see, the driver has been installed. Try removing /etc/X11/xorg.conf, do a reboot and see what the autodetection and -configuration do. If that doesn’t work, try the nvidia-xconfig feature to create an xorg.conf, leave sax2.

Kubuntu do have a slightly different implementation wrt the use of an /etc/X11/xorg.conf, and they also have different tools.

OpenSUSE used to use the tool “sax2” for configuring the /etc/X11/xorg.conf, but that tool has been depreciated. sax2 is still there, but it is not as reliable as in the past due to the depreciation. I wrote a bit here in post#2 on practical theory for nVidia graphics on openSUSE: openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users - openSUSE Forums

The entire graphic situation wrt drivers is currently very fluid in Linux for ATI, nVidia and Intel. For example, with nVidia there is a new driver known as the nouveau almost ready for use. And the company nVidia recently announced they will no longer provide as much support for the opensource “nv” driver. Plus the developers of Xorg are trying to set things up in Xorg such that no configuration file will be needed in the future.

I used to focus all my efforts on helping users with sound, but the improvement with alsa-1.0.21 wrt sound was so significant, there are far fewer help requests for basic sound functionality, so I’ve been instead trying to help out on the graphic driver side. As a volunteer with no contacts in the graphic driver developer/packager side of things, its proving to be a challenge. :slight_smile:

Good luck.

I really appreciate you taking the time to offer your advice time and again, thank you very much.

I am going to delete my xorg.conf and see where that gets me.

Update: I deleted xorg.conf and still the desktop effects aren’t working.

This isn’t my main computer, just my desktop, so I suppose I can live without these features for a few months until I can get a new desktop.

I don’t suppose there’s a way to import the Kubuntu tools and/or way of handling graphics and implement them in openSUSE is there?

If there are any other suggestions I’ll try them just to figure it out at this point, but I am content with what I have for now. Luckily everything else about openSUSE blows Kubuntu out of the water.

Thanks again to all those who have offered advice thus far.

Rather than delete you could always just do this when out of X and su -

mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.bak

I’m not clear as to what options you tried, so as a mild suggestion, don’t forget to boot to run level 3 (by pressing 3 at the grub/boot splash menu) and login as a regular user to the full screen text mode, and then type “su” (no quotes and enter root password) and with root permissions with no /etc/X11/xorg.conf in place try:


which will create an /etc/X11/xorg.conf. Then restart with:

shutdown -r now

and then after the start when in X see if that works.

If that fails, then do the same but this time try:

sax2 -r -m 0=nvidia

to see if the sax2 tool can create a better /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. Again, you can restart with

shutdown -r now

Tried both and still nothing. I just don’t think SUSE and my video card get along.

Often Unbutu/Kbuntu, will implement a change to an application or driver, and then they may (or may not) send that change to Debian, with the possible intent that the change be sent upstream. Once it is “upstream” then the fix is implemented and sent back “downstream” so that other Linux distributions can benefit. Of course the Ubuntu user base is 10x larger than Debian, so while that approach may have made sence once upon a time, its now the tail wagging the dog (IMHO) and the result being that Ubuntu fixes are notoriously slow in making their way upstream, or they simply never make it upstream… and hence other distributions may never benefit.

Hence its not uncommon for Ubuntu to have a fix for a while, where other distributions are slow to come by a fix. In contrast, Red Hat/Fedora and Novell/SuSE-GmbH are very good at quickly sending their fixes upstream so other Linux distributions can benefit. That Ubuntu slowness is one of the reasons I refuse to use Ubuntu, as I believe their policy out dated and it is not as helpful to the rest of the Linux community as it both could and should be.

Because I refuse to use Ubuntu, I do not know enough about the Ubuntu way of doing things to tell you how to take something from Ubuntu and apply it here. But you being a Ubuntu user can maybe figure that out?