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Hello all,
I'm quite new to Linux, but I installed Mandrake Linux 9 on my system. I have a 120GB HD, and created an 80GB partition for Windows, and a 40GB partition for Linux (formatted in journalised ext). However, though the system recognises my graphics card, everything runs really slowly. Tux Racer goes at a single figure framerate. This is not to be expected of on my Athlon 2100+, Geforce 3, 768MB RAM system. Can anyone offer anything to help me?
Also, when I was installing I didnt create a 'swap partition', having no idea what one is anyway. Is that what is causing the slowdown?
All help appreciated.
The TuxRacer ... and probably any other graphics framerate issues are due to the graphics driver. Since you have an Nvidia card, you need to install the latest Linux drivers for Nvidia cards, which includes open glx and accelerated xv drivers.

In order to do the install, you will need the Kernel Source for your kernel (kernel-source-2.x.x-xmdk.i586.rpm, substitute your kernel version ... so if you have kernel 2.4.20-6 then you would install kernel-source-2.4.20-6mdk.i586.rpm). First see if you already have the kernel source installed ... do the command:

rpm -qa | grep kernel

if you don't have the proper kernel source installed, install it using urpmi, drakerpm, or whatever you normally use to install packages....

list the directories in /usr/src by using the following command:

ls -al /usr/src/

there should be a directory that says either kernel-source-xxxxx or linux-xxxxx where xxxxx matches the version you just installed. If there is a link (normally light blue colored) named linux, see if it is pointing to the proper kernel source (it will say linux -> kernel-source-xxxxxx). If it isn't pointing to the correct directory then remove it (rm /usr/src/linux) .... if you removed the linux link, or if it didn't exist, now create the proper link to the new source like this:

cd /usr/src
ln -s kernel-source-xxxxxx linux

where xxxxxxxx is the version of your kernel ... it is possible that the name might br linux-xxxxx instead of kernel-source-xxxxxxx ... use the path that exists in your /usr/src directory. After you have the kernel source installed and going to /usr/src/linux gets you into the kernel source directory ... now your ready to get the latest driver file.....

Then download the latest driver here:

After downloading the file named, you must switch to character based mode to do the install ... if you automatically boot to X, you will need to boot to runlevel 3 instead of runlevel 5 ... here are instructions:

to boot to runlevel 3 though, press esc on your lilo boot screen add run linux init 3 rather than just "linux". alternatively if it's grub you're using, press e to edit and type init 3...or you can insead edit the file /etc/inittab and find the line:


change the 5 to a 3 and then reboot ... when all done, change the 3 back to 5 to boot back into X windows mode.

After logging in as root in character based mode (runlevel 3), go to the download directory and change the file so it is executable .. the command is:

chmod 755

then run the driver like this:


Answer the questions ... it should install.

Then goto the /etc/X11 directory and edit the file XF86Config (or XF86Config-4) and change the driver from nv to nvidia and make add Load glx in the modules section of the file and remove (or put a # in front of) Load "dri" and Load "GLcore".

Here is the readme file for the install:
Another reason for very slow operations is the hard drive and cdrom not operating in DMA mode, or not set to the max read/write speed.

Use these commands (and post the results) ... and we can let you know if your hard drive is optimized:

Hard drive:
hdparm -i /dev/hda

hdparm -v /dev/hda

CDROM (you may need to put a cd in before you run the commands):
hdparm -i /dev/cdrom

hdparm -v /dev/cdrom
The purpose of a swap partion is to use hard drive space as virtual memory. If you need more memory than you have installed, it uses the swap space as memory. Windows does the same thing ... they call it virtual memory.

Most of the time, the experts recommend 2xmemory for swap size ... but with 768mb RAM, you can probably get by without a swap partition on a workstation.

I have a pIII 800 test machine with 768mb RAM and I install distros to it all the time without swap ... I do use a swap partition on all my important machines, though .... but the swap is hardly ever used.

Here is the info on a couple of my servers:

Mem: 1548180K av, 335288K used, 1212892K free, 0K shrd, 89084K buff
Swap: 2096472K av, 0K used, 2096472K free, 121120K cached


Mem: 1548180K av, 574428K used, 328500K free, 0K shrd, 104088K buff
Swap: 3249336K av, 0K used, 3249336K free 259340K cached
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