This blog details the work I'm doing to turn the old computer I used in college into a Freevo system that uses Slackware Linux. I'll post the steps I take (hopefully something resembling a tutorial) and links to drivers or helpful websites. No promises on quality writing, but I still hope it can help! My system is detailed below. If you have any questions about how I got my stuff working, please contact me through my website. The link is on the left. Happy Linuxing!

My System:

Friday, October 24, 2003

Diamond Viper V770 with nVidia Riva TNT2 chipset and 32MB RAM 

This entry will detail configuring the XFree86 settings and installing the Nvidia driver.

Originally (before I found a driver) I just ran xf86config, which was located in /usr/X11R6/bin/. It generates the XF86Config file that is found in /etc/X11/.

I didn't need any website or documentation. I just followed the prompts. Problem is, you need very specific information about your video card and your monitor. Make sure you know the card you have, the chipset, how much video RAM is on the card, the model of your monitor, and the vertical and horizontal refresh rates of the monitor. If you know the model number of the monitor you can probably Google it and find the refresh rate information that way. That's what I did. Also, you may not think about it much as you boot, but often the first thing that comes on the screen at boot time is information on the video card. That's how I easily determined the amount of memory on my card.

The card database is pretty big. You should be able to find your exact card or chipset on there. I don't know what else to say. It's a pretty self-explanatory configuration program.

When you're done, type startx to get the GUI up. If you didn't know, hitting Control, Alt, and the plus (+) key on the number pad (NOT the top row of the keyboard) will increase the resolution. Likewise, Control, Alt, and minus (-) reduce the resolution.

The driver for this chipset can be found at Nvidia's website, specifically on their Linux portal page. If you have a normal Intel Pentium processor (I have a Pentium III) you want the Linux IA32 driver, which as of this writing is at version 1.0-5336. Download the .run file and execute the following command to start the installer:


Follow the prompts. The installer attempted to download a kernel interface for my specific Linux kernel but couldn't connect, so it just compiled a version on the spot. After the installer finished, all I had to do was modify a couple lines in XF86Config file:

In Section "Device" changed
Driver "nv" to
Driver "nvidia"

In Section "Module" uncommented Load "glx"

See the very detailed README file for details.

Everything seems great with the card so far. I've been wanting to try an OpenGL application but I haven't had a chance yet.


I've added the ability to comment on each post so you can correct any errors, add your thoughts, or ask a question.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003


I've done nothing with my Freevo system since getting XMLTV to work. I'm hoping to have some free time this weekend. Freevo still needs to be configured so that the proper command line arguments are sent to mplayer.

I also need a video card that has an S-video out. There was one on eBay that I wanted, but I forgot about the auction and lost. I can get that part last, though, so I have plenty of time.

The only other things I need are a larger hard drive and possibly an IR receiver. My TV card comes with an IR receiver, but if getting it to work is too much of a pain I'll just get a separate one. They're inexpensive.

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