As a starting point, download the latest stable drivers.
Then you’ll need to install a few packages :
$ sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r)
Debian Sarge users have to replace linux-headers with kernel-headers.
First you’ll need to kill the X server. You can do that by switching to console #1 : press CTRL-ALT-F1 simultaneously.
Once there, log in with your username and password.
Stop the graphical login manager :
$ sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop
Then install the drivers :
$ sudo sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-9755-pkg1.run
and follow the installation process.
Make sure you tell the installer to automatically modify your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file so you’ll end up using the NVIDIA drivers.
If you haven’t, then you simply have to make a few changes to your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. Here they are. Debian Sarge users have to modify /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 instead.
In Section “Modules” comment the dri and GLcore modules :
In Section “Device” make sure you use the NVIDIA driver :
And finally comment the whole Section “DRI” :
# Mode 0666
Here is an example xorg.conf file with the proper changes made.
Once done, load the NVIDIA module :
$ sudo modprobe nvidia
And restart the graphical login manager, which will bring back X :
$ sudo /etc/init.d/gdm start
If you happen to update your kernel, then you don’t need to reinstall the whole NVIDIA driver, but only the kernel module. So running this command will do the trick :
$ sudo sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-9755-pkg1.run -K