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== graphics cards and drivers (Linux) ==
 
== graphics cards and drivers (Linux) ==
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For 3D applications like COOT and O, only recently (2007) cheap hardware has become fast enough to ''not'' require proprietary drivers. Proprietary drivers are not open-source and are usually not distributed with the [[Linux distros]]. Some distros make it easy to install them through their usual installation tools, for other distros you have to install and maintain them yourself.
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For 3D applications like COOT and O, only recently (2007) cheap hardware has become fast enough to ''not'' require proprietary drivers for decent performance. Proprietary drivers (for NVidia, ATI and Intel chips) are usually not open-source and are thus not distributed with the [[Operating_systems_and_Linux_distributions#Linux_Distributions|Linux distros]].  
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Some distros make it easy to install them through their installation tools; for other distros you have to install and maintain them yourself.
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Some graphics cards (NVidia: starting with GeForce x600) are fast enough for useful 3D work with the drivers (in case of NVidia, the nv driver) that are part of Xorg.
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If the open-source Xorg driver (i.e. no proprietary driver) is installed, the output of "glxinfo|head" is something like:
 
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If the Xorg driver is installed, the output of "glxinfo|head" is something like:
   
  name of display: :0.0
 
  name of display: :0.0
 
  display: :0  screen: 0
 
  display: :0  screen: 0
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     GLX_EXT_import_context, GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap, GLX_OML_swap_method,
 
     GLX_EXT_import_context, GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap, GLX_OML_swap_method,
 
     GLX_SGI_make_current_read, GLX_SGIS_multisample, GLX_SGIX_hyperpipe,
 
     GLX_SGI_make_current_read, GLX_SGIS_multisample, GLX_SGIX_hyperpipe,
    GLX_SGIX_swap_barrier, GLX_SGIX_fbconfig, GLX_MESA_copy_sub_buffer
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    GLX_SGIX_swap_barrier, GLX_SGIX_fbconfig, GLX_MESA_copy_sub_buffer
 
  client glx vendor string: SGI
 
  client glx vendor string: SGI
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=== NVidia ===
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== NVidia ==
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NVidia cards are most popular for visualization. The proprietary driver is stable, and even the cheapest cards are suitable for crystallographic work.
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NVidia cards are most popular for visualization in protein crystallography. The proprietary driver (called "nvidia" driver in xorg.conf) is stable, and even the cheapest cards are suitable for crystallographic work when it is used.
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Some mid-range graphics cards (NVidia: starting with GeForce x600) are fast enough for useful 3D work even with the drivers that are part of Xorg (called "nv" driver in xorg.conf).
    
* [http://www.nvidia.com NVidia] - proprietary driver download for Linux at [http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html]
 
* [http://www.nvidia.com NVidia] - proprietary driver download for Linux at [http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html]
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* RedHat/Fedora/Debian/[K]Ubuntu installation information can be found at [http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=72490]. In particular, for RedHat/Fedora one needs to install the kernel-devel RPM package. Other than this, the information in that posting seems a bit overkill - the NVidia driver usually works very well without any SElinux jiggling.
 
* RedHat/Fedora/Debian/[K]Ubuntu installation information can be found at [http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=72490]. In particular, for RedHat/Fedora one needs to install the kernel-devel RPM package. Other than this, the information in that posting seems a bit overkill - the NVidia driver usually works very well without any SElinux jiggling.
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==== checking the integrity of the NVidia driver ====
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=== checking the integrity of the NVidia driver ===
    
If everything is ok with the driver, you get the following output from "glxinfo|head":
 
If everything is ok with the driver, you get the following output from "glxinfo|head":
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</code>
 
</code>
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==== maintaining the NVidia driver ====
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=== maintaining the NVidia driver ===
    
The proprietary driver works well but it needs a bit of care. More to the point: parts of it need to be re-installed after kernel updates and updates of xorg-x11-* (both of which happen regularly).  
 
The proprietary driver works well but it needs a bit of care. More to the point: parts of it need to be re-installed after kernel updates and updates of xorg-x11-* (both of which happen regularly).  
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This requires that you first "chmod +x" the driver package (e.g. NVIDIA-Linux-x86-169.04-pkg1.run) downloaded from the NVidia site, and then establish a symbolic link from it, to /root/NVIDIA.run .
 
This requires that you first "chmod +x" the driver package (e.g. NVIDIA-Linux-x86-169.04-pkg1.run) downloaded from the NVidia site, and then establish a symbolic link from it, to /root/NVIDIA.run .
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=== ATI ===
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== ATI ==
    
ATI now belongs to AMD. Download the proprietary driver from http://ati.amd.com .
 
ATI now belongs to AMD. Download the proprietary driver from http://ati.amd.com .
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== Intel ==
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The X3100 graphics accelerator is known to be quite fast. FIXME: does it require special drivers?
    
== See also ==
 
== See also ==
 
* [[Stereo]]
 
* [[Stereo]]
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