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Repository for nVidia or ATI graphics driver not added on SLED 11

This document (7003475) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11


SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 system has been registered (or activated) using the correct code.  The update repository was correctly added and updates are available but the repository for the proprietary ATI or nVidia graphics card drivers were not added and the driver is not available for installation.


One method of attempting to recover the ATI and nVidia repositories is to simply register (or activate) the system again using the "SUSE Customer Center Configuration" in the Other category in YaST.  This does not hurt your current registration.  It will recognize that the system is already registered and just attempt to add the repositories.

If this fails for any reason you can add the repositories manually.

1.  Open YaST and select "Software Repositories" from the Software catagory.

2.  In the resulting screen select "Repositories" on the left then click on the "Add" button.

3.  In the following "Media Type" screen leave the default selections checked which are "Specify URL..." and "Download repository description files" and click on Next.

4.  For the Repository Name you can enter anything but here are the defaults used when the system adds them automatically:

For nVidia:     nVidia-Driver-SLE11
For ATI:           ATI-Driver-SLE11

For the URL enter one that is appropriate for nVidia or ATI.

Click Next to accept and setup the new addition.  When complete you should find the nVidia driver packages (search for "nvidia) or the ATI driver packages (search for "fglrx) in the Software Management tool in YaST.

Note:  Remember to install the driver package that matches your kernel type (default or pae).  You will notice that the system will help you select the correct driver by giving it a different icon. This choice is also based on a probe of the graphics card that is installed in the system and should be your best selection.

Additional Information

The proprietary graphics drivers can provide enhanced graphics quality and may even be required for newer hardware. 

If the system has not been configured to use the driver previously then you will need to go through the following steps:

1.  First the system must be in runlevel 3.  Do this by logging out of your desktop and then when the login screen comes up press Ctrl-Alt-F1 to switch to VT1 (Virtual Terminal 1) which is a text based terminal.  You should be at a Login: prompt.  Enter "root" to login as the root user and enter the correct password when prompted.  After logging in run the command "init 3".  This will shut down all graphics based programs.  Press Enter again after it runs to return to the command prompt.

2.  For the following command you must know the name of the driver to be used for your card.  In this case it will be "nvidia" or "fglrx" (for ATI).  For this example I will use the ATI driver "fglrx".

sax2 -r -m 0=fglrx

Note: the 0=fglrx is using the numeral zero and not the letter O.

This will load the card and monitor configuration program (sax2) and will attempt to probe for the correct settings. A graphics screen should be displayed with 3 options. Select "Change Configuration".

3.  Verify that the Monitor is selected correctly. If not, change it.

4.  Verify that the Resolution and Color Depth settings are correct.

5.  When you select OK you will be given a chance to test the settings. Test it. If it looks good then save the changes and exit.

6.  After saving the configuration and exiting you will be back at the command line.  Enter the command "init 5" to return to the graphic login screen.

For additional information see TID 000016303 Having Trouble Configuring the Correct Resolution for Monitor


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7003475
  • Creation Date: 08-Jun-2009
  • Modified Date:05-Mar-2021
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop

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