Linux - Background on Kernal Interfaces
The NVIDIA kernel module has a kernel interface layer which must be
compiled specifically for the configuration and version of the kernel
you are running. NVIDIA distributes the source code to this kernel
interface layer, as well as a precompiled version for many of the kernels
distributed by some popular distributions.
When the installer is run, it will determine if it has a precompiled
kernel interface for the kernel you are running. If it does not have
one, it will check if there is one on the NVIDIA ftp site (assuming you
have an internet connection), and download it.
If a precompiled kernel interface is found that matches your kernel,
then that will be linked against the binary portion of the NVIDIA
kernel module. The result of this operation will be a kernel module
appropriate for your kernel.
If no matching precompiled kernel interface is found, then the installer
will compile the kernel interface for you. However, first it will
check that you have the correct kernel headers intalled on your system.
If the installer must compile the kernel interface, then you must install
the kernel-sources package for your kernel.
 NOTE: installation requires that you have a linker installed.
The linker, usually '/usr/bin/ld', is part of the binutils package;
please be sure you have this package installed prior to installing the