Linux Mint 17 and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970

Last week, the magic smoke escaped from the 3D graphics card of my trusty desktop machine. Last night, the magic came back with a new card. Notes, I thought to myself. I need notes, so it’s dead easy to do again.

Because… let’s face it Linds…. you LIKE messing around with the software too much to let something as trivial as the threat of Operating System permadeath stop you.  And you like getting it up again fast, because OS reinstalls ain’t where the action is.

So the following is for you future Linds, and possibly you, reader with the google-fu fingers, and a good working knowledge of Linux systems…

First, recall how  a brand spanking new version of Linux Mint gets deeply confused about the NVidia GeForce GTX 970  it’s just found.  Mint defaults to software rendering mode, which is admittedly pretty, but sluggish in a way that does no justice to the amount of money you threw down for the card.

Mint 17 Software Mode Error

Mint 17 Software Mode Error

Second, remember those weird XCom: Enemy Unknown  crashes boiled down to having an out-of-date driver for your old card? Also, note that Mint 17 will only offer you that driver when you decide you’re happy to install a propitiatory solution.

Side note: Yes, gentle smearer of virtual-aliens, there’s a Linux native release. Humble Bundle occasionally gives big love to Linux games.

Third, DO go out to NVidia and check for an updated driver.  Just do it.  Updated drivers good. Out of date drivers bad.

Fourth, you can’t run this driver installer with Xorg blinging up your screen.  There are all sorts of ways get the pretty UI out of the way. Many of them don’t deliver joy, do they.  Remember what did?  No?  Boot via Grub2 into recovery mode. Forget how to show the bootloader menu once the BIOS is done?  Yeah… me too…. Press the SHIFT  key!

Fifth, from the Grub2 menus, navigate to root-user terminal session, mount the drives (mount -a), find the driver file and bash it.  Follow the prompts. Once done, log out, and resume the bootloading.

Second side note: You know, on proof-reading this, I could be talking about an exotic fetish. Unluckily for you, deliberately ambiguous recipient, I’m merely nerding out.

Sixth, profit (yes, Torchlight 2 now runs natively on Linux):

Erelinn The Ember Mage

Erelinn The Ember Mage

Bonus reminder, because you didn’t really read this closely enough, did you Future Linds:  If you’re really borked things up and Cinnamon is  just MMMMMing like the Crash Test Dummies and refusing to give you a cogent application menu, the default hot-key combination for a new terminal is CTRL-ALT-T. Wield this forgotten knowledge wisely!

Finally, future Linds, and possibly you, gentle fellow night-owl, here’s a subtle reminder to to put x.flux down on the box ASAP. Your good-night’s sleep is all the thanks I need.


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