Hardware Unix

Fedora21 and Video Configuration

Another Fedora upgrade, another few hours spent mucking about with xorg.conf and video settings!

So I have two workstations I was upgrading, one I chose to stick with nouveau and the other I used nvidia drivers.

The nouveau one, I had an older card, the GeForce GTX 275, and the nvidia drivers I downloaded did not work well, so it was easier to stick with nouveau. You can use lspci to see your card info:

/sbin/lspci | grep VGA

Fedora found my card and monitors, but one of them did not get the proper resolution. After a number of failed attempts at configuring xorg.conf, I ended up just using the following in my .xinitrc:

/bin/xrandr –addmode DVI-I-2 1920×1080
/bin/xrandr –output DVI-I-2 –mode 1920×1080

and that worked. You could also put that in a file like “/etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/99-xrandr” like this, and make sure you “chmod a+x” on the file:

/bin/xrandr –addmode DVI-I-2 1920×1080
/bin/xrandr –output DVI-I-2 –mode 1920×1080

For the nvidia install, I had to do the following steps

  • Download the driver from
  • Drop out of the GUI with “init 3” as root
  • Run the driver file, i.e. “sh ./”
  • When you run the file, it will ask if you want to blacklist the nouveau stuff, and the answer is yes! It will create “/etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-installer-disable-nouveau.conf” with the following:

# generated by nvidia-installer
blacklist nouveau
options nouveau modeset=0

Then you need to edit your grub file “/boot/grub2/grub.cfg” and find your recent vmlinuz line and add this to the end of it:


Then you can reboot. You’ll need to muck with the xorg.conf, you can see my version here.

Another thing to note, you should make note of your IP address, if you wreck your video output and can’t get the GUI to show anymore, you can still SSH into the machine and change things and reboot. I got into a case where my box had DHCP so I didn’t know the IP anymore, and I did the following to get in and fix my xorg.conf:

  • Boot up the live CD
  • You want to mount your drive now, but first you need to find it via “pvs”
  • Pvs will show you the name to use for “lvdisplay fedora” as an example, you may need to change “fedora” to your drive name
  • Lvdisplay will show you the LVM partitions, you want to mount the root partition to get into /etc/X11, I had to do “mount /dev/fedora/lv_root /mnt”

Once mounted, you can tweak the grub or the xorg.conf, whichever caused you to lose the video settings!

Hope this helps someone!

Hardware Unix

Fedora13 kernel update breaks video

I did my usual old “yum update” the other day and it hosed up my video upon reboot!

Never fear, it is a known problem, and has probably already been fixed by the time you read this.

But one thing I learned is that you should have akmod installed so the system will be smart and use a previous video driver if it fails. To do this, all I needed to do was:

yum install akmod-nvidia

then, on reboot, it was all working again.


One thing to note is that when you do a yum update, make sure if there is a new kernel that there is a corresponding nvidia update for it! If not, then DO NOT yum update, and try again in a day or so. Eventually there will be a matching nvidia update and you are safe to update. Example:


kernel x86_64 updates 22 M

kernel-devel x86_64 updates 6.4 M


kernel x86_64 @updates 102 M

kernel-devel x86_64 @updates 23 M

Installing for dependencies:

kmod-nvidia- x86_64 1:260.19.36-1.fc13.3 rpmfusion-nonfree-updates 2.8 M

Removing for dependencies:

kmod-nvidia- x86_64 1:260.19.29-1.fc13 @rpmfusion-nonfree-updates 12 M

Hardware Unix

Fedora 13 and Nvidia

Now that I got my new system running Fedora 13, I needed to configure my Nvidia card to support my two monitors.

It was pretty straightforward, and I found a post that does an excellent job of summarizing it at

I will comment on one thing though – when I did the install, I used the basic kernel for my i686 32-bit CPU. I found that my 4 GB of RAM only showed up in the system information page as 2.7 GB! I looked into this a bit, and it turns out that if you want greater than 3GB of memory supported, you need to have a 64-bit machine, OR you can handle this in software with the PAE kernel.

PAE stands for “Physical Address Extension” and all you have to do in install the PAE kernel, and then also the PAE Nvidia modules, and everything will work fine!

I know have my machine up with 8GB of RAM and working perfect! I read that the PAE kernel will cause a performance hit (sort of like doing RAID via software versus hardware I suppose), but I don’t see anything like that on my system.

Hardware Unix

Installing Fedora 13

I was readying my nice new home Linux server/desktop for Fedora 12 when I realized I only had to wait a few more days for Fedora 13. Sounded good!

My new server has a nice Coolermaster case that can hold 10 drives, and has a 1100 Watt power supply. I really like the case, it makes putting in drives a snap, plus the cable wiring went very well. Plus the thing is made of cool brushed aluminum. Who can argue with that?

I was re-commissioning this server after having used it as a gaming Windows machine for a bit. So it had dual NVidia SLI cards (GeForce 8800 Ultra) in it. When I first booted up the LiveCD, it got kernel errors that didn’t really track down to anything that was helpful. It would boot up but then freeze after a few minutes.

I tried the DVD install, and that got the same results. After much head scratching and googling, I tried removing one of the Nvidia cards. I was planning on only using 2 monitors anyway, and each card had 2 DVI outputs. This did the trick!

Next up, I had to run keyboard/mouse cables to my home office. I like to keep the actual computer down in my server room in the basement, it keeps my office nice and quiet. But I found that my 100 foot run for my PS/2 mouse didn’t work! My mouse is a Logitech MX310 that is really USB but I use a PS/2 converter on it so I can use a long cable run. This had been working fine on my previous Linux installations.

I found that the mouse would work fine if directly attached, so it was a distance issue! Which is odd, since on my old server it worked fine, and the cable was the same. I ended up using an USB extender device that I had bought years ago and never needed. It uses ethernet cable in between two adapters so you can have a long USB run. This did the trick! The brand is “coolgear” and I forget where I got it.

Next up: Getting Nvidia working on Fedora 13

Hardware Unix

Installing Fedora 11 with dual Video Cards

I’m configuring a new desktop setup for myself, using dual Nvidia 9600 GSO cards so I can hook up 3-4 monitors. I’ve been using Fedora more than other distros, so I wanted to stick with it for now (although I was tempted, after running into this issue, to jump to Ubuntu).

I had problems getting the DVD bootup to go into graphical mode, it kept showing an error that it couldn’t start X, and would continue with text mode. Of course, this is less than ideal since the text mode doesn’t have all the nice install options (not sure why) so I needed to figure it out.

The easy solution was to remove one of the cards and try again! This did the trick, and now I have Fed11 nicely running on the one card powering two monitors. Another thing to note is that I had to install Nvidia’s linux drivers. Also note, that if you run “yum update” after installing those drivers, you will need to re-install them one more time since yum will overwrite their functions.

My next step is to plug in the 2nd card and see if it is recognized properly and I can get 3 monitors going in independent configurations…

[Update] I added the second card after the fact, and now have 3 monitors hooked up nicely with no problems!