Loki GL driver support pages/nVidia

Step by Step installation guide for nVidia (pre-DRI)

Please note that, at the current point, the nVidia drivers are unsupported for some of our games, like Quake3, for performance reasons. If you want to try despite the lack of performance, we hope that the following instructions will offer some help.

Step 1: Obtain X/GLX/GL

Firstly, the drivers we are currently recommended are not the most current ones. nVidia has recently released un updated version, available from their website at http://www.nvidia.com/Products.nsf/htmlmedia/software_drivers.html, in particular http://www.nvidia.com/Marketing/Developer/OpenDrvDwn.nsf/linux. These drivers are meant to be used with XFree86 3.3.5, and (as their precessor) are based on Mesa 3.0. Some of our customers have reported success, however, in our tests the drivers were not completely stable with Quake3, and offered no performance gain. There are some bug fixes, and support for 32bpp rendering.

If you are playing Linux HereticII (or Quake1, Quake2), the new drivers will break the game. The upcoming HereticII patch will address this (Linux Quake1 and Quake2 are handled by id Software). We hope that nVidia will update their drivers and support the ARB multitexture extension, which should improve Quake3 performance and fix the problems with the other games. in the meantime, we recommend using the statically linked version of the earlier release.

You will have to download the RIVA-X-GLX-1.0-glibc-i386.tar.gz file (1.7M). The original nVidia FAQ is provided for your reference.

Step 2: Prepare your system

You have to be root to execute this. Please exit X, and do

/bin/su root
cd /usr/X11R6/bin
cp XF86_SVGA XF86_SVGA.no_glx
Please proceed to /etc/X11/ and/or /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/ and make backup copies of the XF86Config files. Make sure that you have proper 640x480 and 800x600 modelines in this file. If you try to use 532x384 or below, you also need those lines. If you get a message like
Couldn't get a visual
...WARNING: could not set the given mode (3)
then your 640x480 (default mode for e.g. Quake3) could be missing or broken. Below a sample. Do not copy this line, as the values depend on your monitor.
# 640x400 @ 70 Hz, 31.5 kHz hsync
Modeline "640x400"     25.175 640  664  760  800   400  409  411  450

It is also possible that you have a modeline, but have not listed it in the SubSection "Display":

# The Colour SVGA server
Section "Screen"
    Driver      "svga"
    Device      "nVidia"
    Monitor     "SomeMonitor"
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth       16
        Modes       "640x480" "800x600" "1024x768"
        ViewPort    0 0

Step 3: Install X/GLX/GL

Once the preparations are done, unpack the RIVA-X-GLX-1.0-glibc-i386.tar.gz tarball. In the X-GLX-glibc-i386 directory, you will find a riva_install script. Please execute this as root. It will perform the installation. If there are any errors reported, the installation will have failed even if the script continues. The installation will install an new XF86_SVGA binary that has the GLX module statically linked, and a /usr/X11R6/libGL.so.1.0.

Finally, you should copy libGL.so.1.0 from the install driectory to your game directoy. For some games (HereticII) the libary was offered for installation from the CD.

cp libGL.so.1.0 /usr/local/games/HereticII/gl_drivers/libMesa30tnt.so
cp libGL.so.1.0 /usr/local/games/quake3/libMesaNVidia.so.3.0

Step 4: Checking X/GLX/GL

Important: if you have installed an nVidia driver release before, especially if you have used the dynamic linked version, there might be a section

Section "Module"
  Load "glx.so"
in your XF86Config. You have to remove this, or you will experience texturing artifacts and significant slowdowns using the statically linked version.

You should also make sure that there is no other libGL.so in your system. Please do

/sbin/ldconfig -v | grep GL
/sbin/ldconfig -v | more
and check for libGL.so and Mesa libraries in /usr/lib, /usr/local/lib, and other locations listed in /etc/ld.so.conf. Quake3 might fall back to one of these depeding on the order in which they are found.

Next, please start your X server. This early release of the nVidia drivers did not support 32bpp modes, so you have to start X in 16bpp mode, e.g. by startx -bpp 16. Once X is running, please do the following in an xterm:

xdpyinfo | grep -i glx
xdpyinfo |more
If there is no GLX mentioned, then something went wrong and you are running the wrong X server (or you are running the dynamically linked server but it can't find glx.so). If you try a game with this configuration, you will get (with Quake3)
Couldn't get a visual
...WARNING: could not set the given mode (3)

Step 5: Testing Games

Once you have complete the installation and have copied the GL library accordingly, you can try the games:

cd /usr/local/games/quake3/
./quake3 +set r_gldriver libMesaNvidia.so.3.0 +set in_dgamouse 1

cd /usr/local/games/HereticII/
./heretic2 +set vid_ref glx +set gl_driver libMesa30tnt.so
If you are running timedemo 1 in Quake3 (commandline or console) and the demo0001 recording with "Normal" settings and r_mode 3 (640x480), you should get about 17fps with a TNT2 and a PIII/300 CPU.

Step 6: Alternatives

We have also used the dynamically linked X server which requires the glx.so module to be loaded at startup. However, this versions seems to cause problems in some configurations, and does not seem to offer performance advantages. The RIVA-X-GLX-1.0-glibc-i386-dyn.tar.gz file (1.6M) is available.

There is also some preliminary support for nVidia chipsets in the Utah GLX located at http://glx.on.openprojects.net/ but it is incomplete. Please see the mailing list archives at the GLX site for updates on this.

Step 7: Troubleshooting

If by any means possible, please check the game output to the console. Please look for the output of GL_VERSION, GL_RENDERER and GL_VENDOR on the console. You could also try the news://news.lokigames.com/loki.games.* newsgroups for advice.