SUMMARY: vidia video driver

From: Shawn Kondel (
Date: Thu Jul 22 1999 - 13:53:00 CDT

Sorry for delay,

Original Messages

> Does anyone knows if Sun came out with a video driver that will work on nVidia
> Riva tnt2 video card? Or have anyone have tried to use other video driver
> may work on this nVidia card?
> Using standard VGA 800x600 with 256 color works (pan mode) will work. But is
> awfully big on 21 inch monitor and shows shades of gray for most part - can't
> see some gray text over gray background. :-(
> will summerize

Good luck finding a driver, Shawn! Sun is way behind on video drivers
for Intel systems. The nRiva TNT2 cards are cutting-edge technology -
so my guess is 6mos-1yr before Sun has a driver, and that's if you
and ALL your friends kick and scream.

Ever consider Linux? There's probably already a driver for that
card under Linux. I found this out a couple of years back when I
wanted to run Solaris 2.4 x86 with a Millenium AGP card - I still
don't know if Sun has a driver for that one yet!
We're evaluating Solaris x86 to determine if it's feasible for
us to replace a couple of aging SPARCstations with Intel-based machines. Our
test machine has a TNT, so were in the same boat.

As far as I could tell, Sun does not support this. Sun's list of supported
video cards is dismally ancient :^( However, Xfree86 *does* support the TNT
and works quite well. Check out for more info. They have
binaries there which is what we used - if we end up using it for real, I
think I'd compile it myself...

I had a look for drivers a while ago for PC video cards under solaris and 
there's not much out there. It seems the best bet is to get XFree86 (X for Intel 
- and others) and use the X server from that. I'm using it on a linux box at 
home with a TNT card and it's fairly good.

I'm not sure if XFree86 support DPS however, so you may have to give that up. ---- I have a TNT card (not a TNT2) and I have had to replace Sun's Openwindows with XFREE86 ( This is less than ideal, but it sure beats 800x600 ---- Sun does not support nVidia chips; frankly, they can't - nVidia does not release specs for their chips so anyone can write drivers. There is a decent 2D driver in XFree86 ( for source and/or binaries; look at Greg Lazzaro's excellent site ( for tips on how to set it up with Solaris. nVidia themselves did the XFree86 2D driver, but refuse to actually release any hardware specs, or source for 3D drivers, as they consider this proprietary info. ---- If you haven't yet, you might try to track something down via Daryll Strauss's page at

I know, I know, it's linux rather than solaris or *BSD but it might get you at least part way there. ----

Solutions: 1) Goto Linux (Does Red Hat Linux 6.0 have NIS+ client package that will work with SUN NIS+?) I am relucting to use nis since nis+ is superior. 2) Get Xfree86 and install it on Solaris 7 x36 platform (can SUN CDE window manager run top of it?) the above two have nVidia tnt driver which may work on nVidia tnt2 (no driver available yet) 3) Get a video card that uses one of the Solaris 7 x36 video drivers

Thanks to Matt Joe Anderson John Sullivan Karl W. MacMillan Jody L. Baze Ian Angles

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Shawn Kondel Computer Specialist Department of Mathematics & Statistics Email: Utah State University Phone: (435) 797-4061 3900 Old Main Hill Fax: (435) 797-1822 Logan, UT 84322-3900 Web: * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * "UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things." -- Doug Gwyn

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