Video drivers and trace in bootloader?

Hi everyone, I’m new here and also new to Linux… very new to Linux. In fact it makes me feel pretty stupid, because I know so little about Linux and I’ve been working on computers for so long!

Anyway, my problem is as follows: I installed OpenSuse 11.1 recently (need it for programming) and went about installing drivers for my video card (which is an nVidia Gefore 8800 GTS) … I found the drivers and installed them via yast. The instructions I read for this said I did not need to recompile the kernal (…not that I’d know how to do that anyway!) …This seemed to be OK, but now, when I load linux it doesn’t load the desktop (I installed gnome)… it just runs to the terminal. If I try type “gnome” into it, it says it couldn’t load the desktop. :\

Now I’m assuming those might’ve been the wrong drivers or something (shouldn’t have been though…) but the funny thing is that now my bootloader has a new option:

trace–openSUSE 11.1 - 26.27.19-3.2
…as opposed to the old:
openSUSE 11.1

If I run this trace version, my desktop loads fine. In addition, I can turn on desktop effects and they work nicely - I could not do this before I installed the desktop drivers.

Now I’m confused. First of all, what is this trace version? Why do my drivers seem to work in this, but not in the normal boot option? And how do I fix this? I’m afraid to install new updates in fear of this trace version being updated again or whatever and being unable to run any desktop!

Other than that I’m also curious about codecs… I’m using all sorts of formats I’d love to be able to play, but where can I find them?

Well, hope that’s not too much trouble to answer… or at least, pointing me in the right direction would be great.


I think you have 2 kernel versions on your machine. I don’t know how you ended up here (Could be through automatic update). Also, I don’t understand how you got that tag “trace” on the boot entry.

Anyway, you can verify the versions and then remove the old one. Do the following after booting through each of the options and see which one reports more recent version.

uname -r

If I type uname -r into either of them, I get the same descriptions that show up in my bootloader - for instance:

So it would appear that the “trace” version is newer. But what about the trace tag? And why won’t the older version display any video capabilities? Could it be that it’s trying to load an older version of the graphics drivers which have been overwritten?


I installed 11.1 yesterday and loaded the nvidia drivers and had the same experience. Everything works fine but I don’t understand the “Trace” tag on the new kernel. I was also surprised that the new kernel wasn’t set as the default. I’ve used Fedora a lot but I switched to openSuse because I needed 64 bit and Fedora was still too unstable. So far I’m impressed.