Computers 'n Stuff: Install Nvidia 6800GS Grafics cards in SLI mode for OpenSuse

I here share the resolutions for my Linux problems so they might safe somebody some time.

Sunday, May 13, 2007 parmanent link to this post

Install Nvidia 6800GS Grafics cards in SLI mode for OpenSuse

When I first installed OpenSuse on my System it didn't set up my graphics card properly. I use a Gigabyte K8N Ultra SLI with a Nforce4 Chipset with two 6800GS in SLI mode.
Here I wrie what I've done to get my Grafic cards running. This might be also helpful for others who want to use a NVIDIA driver.
To activate the SLI mode you first have to enable the SLI mode on your mainboard by putting the SLI selector card firmly into place. Some people complain that their SLI mode doesent work and the secoind GPU is not recognised although both are installed into the Mainboard. This happens because without the SLI selector module properly in place the mainboard falls back into normal mode and thus the second PCIe_16 slot with the second SLI device is not available. In addition the SLI cards should be connected using a SLI adaptor for optimal performance.

However the setup of the GPU by Yast/Sax was not succesful so a grafical login was not possible after installation. However, It was possible to fix the Xorg.conf written by Yast using the nvidia Confugration utitlity.

First you'll have to leave the XServer using CTRL + Alt + F2 since display is messy and you can't use it. The reason is probably that Yast/Sax is configuring an Xserver on each GPU with one display for each Xserver which doesent work for me. Switch to the text console. If this fails you have to boot in debug mode with GRUB or LILO in the boot menu. For the next steps you can use the text based yast utility to do the installations.

To enable SLI mode you have to install the Closed Source Nvidia driver for OpenSuse.

Download the 64Bit Nvidia Linux Driver for the 6800GS and follow the installation instructions for Suse.

In the README they tell you to use the Sax utility to configure the Xorg.conf but this doesen't work for SLI devices I guess.

Install the nvidia-xconfig utility using Yast. This can do the modification to the /etc/X11/xorg.conf for you. Type in a root console

# nvidia-xconfig --only-one-x-screen --no-twinview --logo --sli=auto

This configures the xorg.conf to use only one display and to turn on SLI whenever posiible.

If you followed the readme of Nvidia (shutting down Xserver with Init 3 and unloading grafic driver moduls with modprobe -r then adding the repository and instlling the rpm for Suse with yast) you should now be able to start the X server with

# X

or

# Init 5

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