October 22, 2010

Installing the NVIDIA driver on FreeBSD 8.1

Filed under: FreeBSD,PC-BSD — J. Abram barneck @ 4:00 am

Ok, so it is one thing to have Xorg just autodetect settings, it is another to install and take advantage of a powerful NVIDIA driver and all its features.

To install the NVIDIA driver on FreeBSD 8.1, do the following.

  1. This needs to be done as root, so su to root.
  2. Install the NVIDIA driver. (Obviously only do this if your video card is NVIDIA)
    cd /usr/ports/x11/nvidia-driver
    make install

    Note: You will be prompted for the build configuration. Check the ACPI box because I suspect ACPI is needed if you want to sleep and resume. If you have Linux compatibility enabled or plan to use it later, leave that checked, otherwise uncheck it and hit ok.

  3. Edit the /boot/loader.conf file.
    # ee /boot/loader.conf
  4. Add the following line to configure the NVIDIA module to load at startup.
  5. Install the NVIDIA configuration tool.
    cd /usr/ports/x11/nvidia-xconfig
    make install
  6. Use Xorg to create an xorg.conf. The following command creates and xorg.conf.new in /root.  This might detect the NVIDIA driver, or not. Whether it detects it or not if may not make all the desired settings.  The nvidia-xconfig tool will make the xorg.conf file settings work more accurately for the NVIDIA driver.
    # Xorg -configure
  7. Copy the file to the appropriate location
    # cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf
  8. Run nvidia-xconfig
    # nvidia-xconfig
  9. Edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf.
    # ee /etc/X11/xorg.conf
  10. Add this line in the driver section or “Section Device” to enable transparancy.
    Option Overlay

Ok, you should have your NVIDIA card working. There are probably many more tweaks you could make. If you know of any other options that your would recommend, please comment and let my readers and I know.



  1. Thanks a lot man! This did the trick!

    Comment by Will Smith — December 5, 2010 @ 1:45 am | Reply

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