Visualization: graphics cards and 3D

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graphics cards and drivers

  • NVidia (proprietary driver download for Linux at [1]; "Latest cards" list at [2], "Legacy cards" list at [3]). RedHat/Fedora/Debian/[K]Ubuntu installation information can be found at [4]. In particular, for RedHat/Fedora one needs to install the kernel-devel RPM package.

The proprietary driver works well but it needs a bit of care. On RedHat systems that are regularly booted, the following lines in /etc/rc.local result in the necessary parts of the driver being re-installed automatically after booting:

if [ ! -h /usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions/ ]; then
  echo "re-installing NVIDIA driver. This takes some time. Ignore any warnings."
  /root/ --no-network -s -n

if [ ! -e /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/video/nvidia.ko ]; then
  echo "installing NVIDIA kernel module. This takes some time. Ignore any warnings."
  /root/ --no-network -s -K -n

If everything is ok with the driver you get the following output from "glxinfo|head":

name of display: :0.0
display: :0  screen: 0
direct rendering: Yes
server glx vendor string: NVIDIA Corporation
server glx version string: 1.4
server glx extensions:
   GLX_EXT_visual_info, GLX_EXT_visual_rating, GLX_SGIX_fbconfig,
   GLX_SGIX_pbuffer, GLX_SGI_video_sync, GLX_SGI_swap_control,
   GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap, GLX_ARB_multisample, GLX_NV_float_buffer
client glx vendor string: NVIDIA Corporation