Nvidia 8800 drivers

Q In December 2007 I built a new PC, the best machine I could afford. My thinking was that it would fly with Linux with 2GB of RAM at 1066, 3.4GHz dual core, 4TB of storage and a BFG Nvidia 8800GT graphics card. I then tried Ubuntu, Mandriva and SUSE. None of these could install or work as a live disc. I tried various other installations and basically it all came down to Linux not having a suitable driver for the graphics card. Now, having had to use Vista rather than Linux for the past year, I'd really like to come back to the fold. Has this driver issue been fixed? If so, which distros now include it?

A Nvidia was a little slower than usual in getting out a Linux driver for the 8800 GT. It's a different GPU from the 8800 GTS and GTX. But a driver was released quite soon after the card came out. With the six-month release cycle of most distros, plus the package freeze for testing before release, it could be up to nine months before your favourite distro supports new hardware. Support for this card was added in release 169.07 of the Nvidia drivers, although that version had a bug that ran the fan at full speed all the time. The current release is 180.29 which lists the 8800 GT as supported. Any recent distro should have a suitable version of this driver. Mandriva and Ubuntu certainly do. Even if your favourite distro isn't supported, you can always download the drivers from www.nvidia.com and install manually.

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