Installing NVIDIA drivers on CentOS 5.5

After you have installed CentOS, you see that your Desktop is running quite a bit slower than you expected, resolution is 800×600 and a bit jerky. What is needed is to install the drivers for your graphics card.

CentOS does not have these drivers available in its default yum repository, so you will first need to add a repository to make the drivers available for installation.

First, you will need to update your CentOS distribution, to do this simply type the following into your console/terminal:
# su -c 'yum update'
Enter your root password and follow the prompts that follow to complete the update.
Next we need to install the RPMForge repository so that we can download and install the NVIDIA display drivers. The repository comes in two flavors, namely 64-bit and 32-bit. Make sure you select the correct repository to install. When in doubt, select 32-bit.

For 32-bit installations
# wget
# su -c 'rpm -Uvh rpmforge-release-0.5.1-1.el5.rf.i386.rpm'

For 64-bit installations
# wget
# su -c 'rpm -Uvh rpmforge-release-0.5.1-1.el5.rf.x86_64.rpm'

Once the repository has been installed, we can finally install the NVIDIA display driver. To do this simply enter the following into your terminal/console:
For 32-bit installations
# su -c 'yum install dkms-nvidia-x11-drv.i386'

For 64-bit installations
# su -c 'yum install dkms-nvidia-x11-drv.x86_64'

Once the drivers have been installed, you need to fix xorg configuration
# su -
# nvidia-xconfig

Now you can reboot your machine. If you would like to customize your settings after you have rebooted, you can do so by using the NVIDIA settings applications. To open the application you can simply type the following into a console/terminal:
# su -c 'nvidia-settings'

Enter your root password, a dialog will appear where you can customize your display settings. If you change anything, please remember to click the SAVE Configuration button.

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