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Re: Video card

On Mon, Oct 6, 2008 at 4:04 PM, Dan <dan steele d gmail com> wrote:
> Could you give me some names of Video cards that are most compatible with
> Fedora 9 and that have drivers for Fedora 9??
>                             Thank you dan
> --
People ask this all the time, and never get a very helpful answer, I'm
afraid.  This might sound mean, but you might learn from my
experience.  I think you are barking up the wrong tree if you think
the Fedora core users are going to help you very much with the choice
of video hardware or the development of software.

I stopped using Fedora as my main desktop OS because releases
repeatedly broke the Nvidia or ATI drivers and there was an inevitable
period of searching and re-compiling and yelling about the fact that
the video card did not work right.  In F9, the new xorg beta was used
and Nvidia did not have a driver ready. The "nv" driver was simply
full of trouble.  It did not render lots of things properly for me and
I thought F9 was a total bust.  As it has always been with RedHat &
Fedora, you have to find the "Nvidia" commercial driver from some
other source. Usually I've found the most help from livna.rpm.  If the
Nvidia can work, they usually know how to make it. (When F9 was
released, I'd guess it was 2 or 3 weeks before there was an Nvidia
RPM.  And if you let F9 upgrade to the latest kernel, you'll usually
have some excitement trying to rebuild the Nvidia video module to
match the kernel.)  You'll note they currently have no offerings for
ATI on the livna site, and they do have a list of video cards that
they recommend you should not get.

As far as I can tell now, the test version of Nvidia does work pretty
well on a Dell Latitude D820 with the Nvidia Quadro.  I also have some
dell workstations with older ATI Radeon X300 and getting  a video
config that works on them with F9 has been trouble.  The radeon driver
can display well enough in 2D, except for some random lines popping
out now and then.  No 3D, as far as I can tell.  If you google enough,
you'll find yourself to a "howto" that says you should uninstall the
xorg drivers from F9 and reinstall the ones from F8.  I found that
unsatisfying, to say the least, but if you are a ATI owner, there may
be no choice.

If I were buying something now, I'd look at Intel video cards and/or
motherboards with built-in video from Intel.  Several people have
pointed out that  Intel is actually engaged in open source research
and some people say the 3D drivers for them are better. But I don't
have any Intel devices to test.

This page encourages me:


They give a list of cards, and I'd stay within that list if I were you.

If you already have a video card and can't get it working in F9, you
might try a different Linux distribution.  I've tried two options,
neither one quite perfect.  One is to stay in the RPM framework, but
switch to Centos, which is more conservative and does not push ahead
of the software support.  Centos is a free version of RedHat, and I'd
say it lags behind Fedora's kernel & video by at least a year.  The
downside there is that the release maintainers still contend that they
have no responsibility for making sure that the proprietary drivers
will work.  So you go off hunting for RPMs from some place on the
internet.  You are likely to find them, however.

The only other alternative I've tried is to switch to the Ubuntu
distribution.  The team there tries to co-ordinate with video
software, so when they have a release, they try to make sure they can
point you to a place where you can get video drivers. This site
http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS7895189911.html says they actually
include some proprietary drivers, but I have a recollection that they
did not install by default.  I think I had to ask for a proprietary
repository during the install.  There is a "linux-restricted-modules"

Paul E. Johnson
Professor, Political Science
1541 Lilac Lane, Room 504
University of Kansas

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