Friday, May 20, 2011

3D Acceleration in Linux Mint 11

**Note this works for both ATI and NVIDIA cards, possibly Intel too. ATI cards will only have one option.

One of the first things you are probably going to want to do in your new operating system is set up graphics acceleration for your video card. Luckily for you, this has become very easy over the past few years and only requires a couple of steps. Allons-y!

Select the menu and go to all applications in the top right corner. Under "All" in applications click on "Additional Drivers" and you will see a screen similar to the one below:

Depending on the type of video card, you will most likely want to choose the video card drivers by NVIDIA. If you are like me though, I have a Samsung QX410-J01 laptop that has a hybrid video card that is not compatible with the NVIDIA drivers. So the only way I can get graphics acceleration on my laptop is to use the experimental drivers.

Once you select Activate, the drivers will download and all you have to do is restart for the drivers for to take effect.

** HELP I BOOT INTO A SCREEN WITH TEXT ASKING ME TO LOGIN, WHAT SHOULD I DO? This is pretty easy to fix, you don't have to panic and take your computer to Best Buy, reinstall Linux Mint, or throw your computer away luckily. I want to tell you about this, because before the experimental drivers came out, my xserver wouldn't start properly either and I wasn't sure how to fix it. You know how you start the computer and select the top kernel that looks like: Linux Mint 11 64-bit, 2.6.38-8-generic (/dev/sda6)? If you navigate with your keyboard just below it there will say something close to: Linux Mint 11 64-bit, 2.6.38-8-generic (/dev/sda6) --recovery mode. Let's click on that one and let your system boot up. Go down to failsafeX and hit enter. Select "Reconfigure graphics" and then select "Use default (generic) configuration." Once that is done, cancel out of everything and reboot your computer. If you feel like trying again with the other NVIDIA drivers, you may have better luck.

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