NVIDIA driver packages changing

In the past there have been issues with the proprietary NVIDIA driver packages in OM, but most of those are about to be addressed with the latest packages. We will do our best in the future to reduce the amount of hassle that installing these packages has historically created, but that isn’t always up to us. Not many of our developers or packagers have NVIDIA hardware because the driver was only open sourced for select cards and is not considered production ready, among other reasons.

The release branches of OM and the driver packages for NVIDIA (open and proprietary) will be configured like so:

Production (a.k.a. rock) will have the latest NVIDIA Production branch driver
ROME (a.k.a. rolling) will have the latest NVIDIA New Feature branch driver
Development/Testing (a.k.a. cooker) will have the latest NVIDIA Beta driver

There will most likely be lag time between release of NVIDIA’s driver and when we package it due to the size of our packaging team. Each release branch of OM will only feature the companion driver package listed above. We do not recommend trying to install a higher version of the package than what is delivered from the package repositories. If you wish to do that and are not actively testing it for packaging, it may be better to just remove our package entirely and download the driver from NVIDIA directly. We will only be able to assist with that in a limited capacity.

If someone wants to test the NVIDIA driver, they are encouraged to do that with our cooker release. Anyone willing to test NVIDIA drivers (and anything else) are encouraged to join our Development chat listed here:

For those that have NVIDIA cards (and want to use them with the packaged driver) there are some announcements and caveats:

  • VT’s are broken in rock but are working experimentally in rolling and cooker. This is due to recent Beta driver support for fbdev in driver versions >= 545. Plasma users will need to disable the Compositor on start up. If you forget to disable it and switch back to your GUI session you will see a mouse cursor and a black screen. Press Alt + Shift + F12 to disable effects and have a working GUI again (this is a long standing Plasma bug and was confirmed on x11 session). This was not tested on other Desktop Environments or Window Managers so results may vary.

  • The reported OpenGL renderer issue has been fixed. The NVIDIA driver is using libglvnd and this has been confirmed working with video playback, native Steam games, and 32bit Proton games in the latest packages.

  • nvidia-persistenced and nvidia-modprobe have been added directly from NVIDIA’s sources instead of being delivered from the driver package. The former is for server kernels and offloading primarily, and the latter is required to correctly load the nvidia-drm module.

  • For advanced users that want to tweak their kernel or test the open source version of the NVIDIA driver we have packaged nvidia-dkms-kmod, nvidia-kmod-open, and nvidia-kmod-open-dkms. In this use case it is best to check NVIDIA’s forums first.

  • nvidia-settings is included in the driver package, but nvidia-xconfig is not. The reason for this is twofold. Configs should be backed up before they are modified, and nvidia-xconfig may put the wrong config in the wrong spot or make an entirely incorrect config. nvidia-settings should modify the bulk of settings for a normal use case in the logged in user’s permission context. More advanced settings such as the CompositionPipeline settings can be modified system-wide in /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-nvidia using the values specified in the driver version README file. Other ways to make nvidia-settings do things system-wide are out of the scope of this post, but can be achieved.

  • Because we are using version 6 of the Linux kernel in all of our release channels, NVIDIA Legacy drivers are not supported. This is because NVIDIA did not add support for newer kernels in these drivers. There may be ways to get these drivers to work with an older kernel package, but we will be limited in our ability to support that.

We appreciate everyone’s patience and assistance with improving these packages. Please search for an existing post or create a new one if there are any issues with the new packages.

1 Like