NVIDIA Driver Installation
If you're planning on running software on Linux that utilises openGL, such as Blob and Conquer or XGL, you'll need to ensure your graphics card drivers support hardware acceleration. If your card is made by NVIDIA, you'll find that the open-source nv driver provided by X.org isn't suitable. Fortunately, NVIDIA have packaged their drivers for easy installation on several platforms.
Getting the Drivers
To get NVIDIA's proprietary drivers with support for hardware accelerated 3D, it's as simple as going to http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html and clicking the link to the latest version for your platform (be it Linux, FreeBSD or even Solaris). On the next page, click the link to NVIDIA-*.run (the exact name changes depending on your platform) and the file will download.
Installation is as simple as opening a terminal, cding into the directory where the file you just downloaded and typing sh ./NVIDIA-*.run as root (where NVIDIA-*.run is the name of the file, typing NVIDIA- and pressing tab will complete the name for you if you're using bash.) In some distributions, it's necessary to terminate X before running the file. This usually can be done by logging out of your X session, then switching to runlevel 3 by pressing CTRL+ALT+F1, logging into the console, and running telinit 3 as root. The package will ask you to agree to the End User License Agreement, then install the drivers and configure X to use them. Once this is complete, switch back to runlevel 5 if necessary, and restart X.
Removing the Splash Screen
While you've now got the drivers running successfully, there remains an annoyance which you might want to fix - NVIDIA have inserted a splash screen which plasters your screen with their logo whenever X starts. To remove this, open your X configuration file (usually /etc/X11/xorg.conf) as root in your favorite text editor, and search for "nvidia" until you find a section called "Device" containing the following line: Driver "nvidia". Below this line, add the following: Option "[[NoLogo]]" "true". Save the file, and restart X. The splash screen will now be disabled.