When I set up this new system I bought a bargain ATI graphics card, the 4770. Then found I couldn't get a driver for the combination of that card and the kernel. Drat. I looked around and (regretfully) bought an Nvidia GT 9500. Both modern cards, twin digital outputs.
I use the commercial Nvidia driver since it provides a far better resoluion which matches my screen. But there is a downside.
Fedora update the kernel quite frequently. I mean every couple of weeks or so it seems. Installing the graphics card driver, I had to build it to match the kernel in use. No problem, this happened quite sweetly once I'd made available the kernel sources and headers, gcc etc. Re-boot and I have X windows working well with twinview driving the screens. However...
The next kernel update must have been a good few weeks later, since I'd forgotten about the need to match the driver to the kernel. My system hung showing starting atd. That had me puzzled. I'm not an 'at' user, not at all. What I'd failed to realise is that the next screen change would be X launching! I guess atd had started happily, just that Fedora are outputting messages v.slightly out of sync with what's happening. A series of messages to the Fedora forum produced no help whatsoever. Then, couple of weeks later, having received another two kernel updates (by now I'm selecing an older kernel on boot, a nuisance but workable), I recall the Nvidia message about matching the kernel to the driver. Download the latest driver from Nvidia, rebuild to the latest kernel (having booted into runlevel 3, which took me a while to figure out) and bingo, I was back in business.... for a couple of weeks.
Yesterday, I updated my system, which showed:
$ uname -a Linux kernel-PAE-220.127.116.11-43.fc11.i686
I've finally updated to 2.6.30! Except. Oops, on booting I'm left with the old symptoms of a flashing screen and 'starting atd' message. Drat, I'd forgotten again. Back to runlevel 3, rebuild the driver, reboot... and it fails. So far, I'm tending to believe there are sufficient kernel changes in FC11 to warrant a new driver from Nvidia. None showing as yet. It could be configuration, but I doubt it. So I'm back to selecting 18.104.22.168.fc11.i686.PAE when I boot.
sigh. I guess Fedora isn't quite the hardware independent beasty some would have us believe. Choose your kit carefully folks.
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