Chapter 2. Minimum Software Requirements

Software Element Min Requirement Check With...
Linux kernel 2.4.7 cat /proc/version
XFree86* 4.0.1 XFree86 -version
X.Org* any Xorg -version
Kernel modutils 2.1.121 insmod --version

* It is only required that you have one of XFree86 or X.Org, not both. Sometimes very recent versions are not supported immediately following release, but we aim to support all new versions as soon as possible.

If you need to build the NVIDIA kernel module:

Software Element Min Requirement Check With...
binutils 2.9.5 size --version
GNU make 3.77 make --version
gcc 2.91.66 gcc --version
glibc 2.0 ls /lib/* > 6

All official stable kernel releases from 2.4.7 and up are supported; "prerelease" versions such as "2.6.23-rc1" are not supported, nor are development series kernels such as 2.3.x or 2.5.x. The Linux kernel can be downloaded from or one of its mirrors.

binutils and gcc can be retrieved from or one of its mirrors.

If you are using XFree86, but do not have a file /var/log/XFree86.0.log, then you probably have a 3.x version of XFree86 and must upgrade.

If you are setting up the X Window System for the first time, it is often easier to begin with one of the open source drivers that ships with XFree86 and X.Org (either "nv", "vga" or "vesa"). Once your system is operating properly with the open source driver, you may then switch to the NVIDIA driver.

Note that newer NVIDIA GPUs may not work with older versions of the "nv" driver shipped with X.Org and XFree86. For example, the "nv" driver that shipped with X.Org's X11R7.2 release did not recognize the GeForce 8 family and the Quadro 4600/5600 GPUs. This was fixed in the X11R7.3 release. X.Org releases (and individual packages) can be retrieved from

These software packages may also be available through your Linux distributor.