Debian Nvidia Drivers on the T530

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You can buy the Lenovo ThinkPad T530 with an optional NVidia NVS 5400 graphics card. This hardware is installed with an Intel graphics controller. The idea is that if you're running off a wall-wart, you can use the higher-performance NVidia card, but if you're on your battery you'll use the Intel card to conserve power. The X nv driver will supoport NVidia cards, but because NVidia won't release hardware specifications on its 3D acceleration it has no 3D support. To exploit the NVidia hardware to its fullest potential, you must install the proprietary NVidia X drivers on your system. With Debian Wheezy, this is relatively straightforward, so getting all this to work on a desktop is simple. This essay will cover a (slightly crude) method of getting the same results on your Lenovo T530 running Debian Wheezy.

First, Catch your Chicken

The NVidia hardware is an extra-cost option on your T530. To determine if you have the card, first make sure that your BIOS is set up to enable it. Enter BIOS settings by pressing F1 immediately after turning the machine on. Then use the arrow keys to navigate to Config on the top menu and Display} in the Config menu. Press Enter and look for the Graphics Device menu entry. It should currently be set to its default, NVIDIA Optimus.

If this is the case, from a terminal prompt on your Debian software you can type in $ lspci -nnn If you pipe this through grep(1), as

lspci -nnn . The best resource for installing this driver is the Debian Wiki page [1] You will want to follow these directions for modifying your /etc/apt/apt.sources file and installing the driver, but don't create your Xorg configuration file just yet. If you do this naively, X will fail to restart until you put that config file back the way it was shipped.

Enabling the NVidia driver on your T530