Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Kernel 2.6.12-1.1372_FC3smp and Nvidia

When upgrading my FC3 system to the 2.6.12-1.1372-FC3 kernel, I found that I could no longer build the Nvidia video drivers.

Of course, you have to install the kernel devel subsystem to make this work. For me, it was

kernel-smp-devel-2.6.12-1.1372_FC3.i686.rpm

Downloading this, and installing it, allowed the 7667 NVidia Linux driver to build and install fine. The 7667 driver seems to be a sweet spot in the NVidia driver evolution -- it seems to fix a number of problems in previous driver sets, at least on the mix of graphics cards we have at Hammerhead.

While on the subject of new kernels, I'm going to be (finally) installing new kernels on our renderfarm to take advantage of the ACPI capabilities. It turns out that the amount of power (and hence, cooling) used by render farms is a Really Big Deal. The new ACPI stuff in kernels 2.6.11 and up allow you to throttle the CPU when it isn't busy -- and our renderfarm typically sits idle at least 3/4 of the time. People at other facilities have noted a 50% power reduction on average once they began using this feature. This is great from any number of points of view.

Until I see something better, I'm going to go with the template provided by Alexander Beloin, available here:

http://www.wsu.edu/~ice124/throttle2.3b

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