Installing nvidia in debian sarge

After a bunch of hacking and one duh moment (after you install nVidia you kinda have to tell your computer to use it) I now have a computer that recognizes my video card. Since I got confused I’ll write it down here in the hopes that it will help someone (aka me since I can never remember how to do this)

Step #1 apt-get install nvidia-kernel-source
Step #2 cd /usr/src then tar zxvf nvdia-kernel-source-tar.gz
Step #3 follow the instructions in /usr/share/doc/nvidia-kernel-source/README.debian (it’s there for a damned reason). Be advised you might need to get rid of rivafb using modconf. I did.
Step #4 modconf to add nvidia to the kernel
Step #4b Restart (you know, shutdown -r now). I have no idea if you can just keep going. Don’t ask me. If I have to do this again I’ll try it without restarting and update this step.
Step #5 dpkg-reconfigure xsettings-xfree86 set the video card to nv or nvidia (whichever shows up)
Step #6 google mb to kb to find the converter site if you can’t figure out how much 32 MB is in kb (32768 btw)
Step #7 Restart your xserver. I cheated and told it to start xchdm or whatever the hell the remote x login is called. Then I hit cancel. It restarted things nicely. If you know a better way to restart the xserver without killing it and typing startx (which won’t give you gdm or whatever it is you use) let me know. Please. Edit: Duh! Control-Alt-Backspace. I should have known this.

That’s it folks. That’s the summation of about 5 different google searches. Hopefully if you need to do this my site comes up sooner in the search results.

This post is officially useful. I screwed my original installation because I edited the partition tables wrong. I had to do a complete reinstall (it’s only a 10 Gb hard drive so I just threw it all in one section this time) and used this post to get my video card up and working. Thanks me.