PROPOSAL: Blog post about reasonable expectations for nVidia proprietary driver users

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f92c13bf870> #<Tag:0x00007f92c13bf730> #<Tag:0x00007f92c13bf618>

Note on spelling: nVidia is meant to refer to the company/organization. All lower case nvidia is meant to refer to any nvidia driver software.

Full disclosure: I don’t have nvidia hardware so my interest is from perspective of QA-Team. And I may have had a few misconceptions. One I seem to share with a lot of our users is that as soon as a new kernel package is introduced then the existing nvidia kernel modules should automatically, right away work with the new kernel. By now we all should realize this does not work this way. Why?

nvidia driver releases are designed to work up to a specific kernel version and often need to be patched to work with later kernel versions. Be aware that nVidia is closed source so these patches are mostly provided by nVidia or other kernel hackers. Whatever the source of the patches they are not usually available until after a new kernel is released. It is therefore inevitable that in some instances there will be a delay between the time when a new kernel is released by OpenMandriva and when a new nVidia driver package can be made available.

So what should nVidia proprietary driver users do?

  1. Pay attention when you update your system so you know when a new kernel version is available. Then:
    a. either don’t install it until the nvida drivers for that kernel are ready OR:
    b. install the new kernel but continue to boot in to the previous one with working nvida driver until drivers for new kernel are available.

  2. Be patient and realize that OpenMandriva developers are a Community of some of the hardest working all volunteer (and part time) folks you would ever want to meet.

And 2 more points worthy of consideration from @bero:

Indeed… I’d like to make sure 2 extra points are pointed out:

  1. The best fix is to not support a company that is rabidly anti-Linux. If you’re buying new hardware, look for something with an AMD or Intel GPU, both of those will do much better. Also email nvidia support and tell them to open their drivers, support nouveau, or be boycotted next time.

  2. If you want to keep your old hardware (let’s not waste electronics), there is a supported driver and it’s called nouveau. It’s not perfect, but certainly good enough these days unless you’re playing ultra high-end games every day.

And thanks to @Colin for the wording in the 3rd paragraph that explains why nvidia driver patches are sometimes not available for latest kernel.

Edit: Edited on 1/27/18 to include language from @Colin and some important points from @bero.

2 Likes

And this I simply can not resist in a thread about nVidia:

Anyone that doesn’t like this delay or simply wants to know more then Google “Linus Torvalds nVidia” and read away.

Good therapy. Guaranteed.

I included a section about what users can do. There are possibly some things we on the OpenMandriva as a distro side could do better. One thought is simply to do better at publicizing all of this. I think we might want to consider having a short (or longer) blog post when we release new kernels and again when we release new nvidia drivers? Could be as short as one or 2 sentences?

Again: W.D.Y.T.?

On first place I’d strongly recommend to NOT use any proprietary graphics drivers. We are in 2018 and free graphics drivers from Mesa project are doing very well, compared to proprietary ones.

1 Like

I don’t disagree. And I don’t use them myself.

This thread is an attempt to answer a repeated question I’m tired of answering. The above posts are polite (I hope) but one might bluntly answer “Quit complaining when you install a new kernel and nvidia stops working. That is normal. If you don’t like it complain to the people who make the hardware.” But I thought that might not be suitable for a blog post…

Edit: In fairness not all are complaining some are just reporting there is a difference and I sometimes miss it myself and interpret as complaint that which is merely reporting. It’s that pesky human nature stuff I suppose.

Ben I would re-phrase this slightly.

nvidia driver releases are designed to work up to a specific kernel version and often need to be patched to work with later kernel versions. Be aware that nVidia is closed source so these patches are mostly provided by nVidia or other kernel hackers. Whatever the source of the patches they are not usually available until after a new kernel is released. It is therefore inevitable that in some instances there will be a delay between the time when a new kernel is released by OpenMandriva and when a new nVidia driver package can be made available.

Your advice for getting around the issue is exactly right.

1 Like

Indeed… I’d like to make sure 2 extra points are pointed out:

  1. The best fix is to not support a company that is rabidly anti-Linux. If you’re buying new hardware, look for something with an AMD or Intel GPU, both of those will do much better. Also email nvidia support and tell them to open their drivers, support nouveau, or be boycotted next time.

  2. If you want to keep your old hardware (let’s not waste electronics), there is a supported driver and it’s called nouveau. It’s not perfect, but certainly good enough these days unless you’re playing ultra high-end games every day.

2 Likes

Thanks @Colin that is exactly the kind of input I’m looking for.

Edit: And @bero thanks also good points. I’ll work those in too.

The Mesa drivers work well enough it’s true when they are working but I’m afraid they are still not stable I get 3 or 4 lockups a day when using them and it’s a solid lock the only option being the power switch. This does not happen with nVidia drivers. I have tried to get logs but so far unsuccessfully. I haven’t tried the new version you have just built maybe that will have a fix. I rely on hand-me-downs for graphics cards since I’d rather spend by money of processors and memory so I’m usually stuck with nvidia 'cus that what the kiddies whose computers I fix use (They are gamers of course)

1 Like

Thanks Ben79, for addressing this problem,

I just would like to add that in my case I also consider the seasonal need for nvidia drivers, GPU, 3D acceleration. As an example, these days I don’t need GPU or 3D acceleration so I run the risk to update kernels without concerns on nvidia support.

Of course, I use to report the failure anyway because it might help distro maintenance.

1 Like

That is a help for distro maintenance and is appreciated by you and other users. For any software not just nvidia drivers.

This proposal is still in play I just need to get to the finishing of it.

Also based on the response here I think that others do believe that a blog post on this issue is worthwhile? Just another opportunity for anyone to tell me what you think about this.

Edit: Delay is 'cause I have a lot of things I have to do in personal and family life at this time.

BTW please check if you made some modifications to your texts between Sunday and Tuesday that there is no changes lost since we rolled back to this backup :\

1 Like

Hi Ben, I’ve been thinking about this and although a blog post is a good idea they tend to fade away as other blog posts accumulate. I think that maybe a “sticky post” in the support forum or perhaps in a new forum (“Non-free software and drivers” perhaps) would remain more visible and could also be easily referred to from other forum threads.

2 Likes

How about we do both?

OK, I just edited the 1st post in this thread and maybe it is ready to become both a “sticky” in the English Support category and also a blog post. FWIW I am not a professional writer (or even close) and do the best I can with my US Community College education. Thus any corrections or clarifications are welcome.

Again W.D.Y.T.?

Good points. Blog posts do fade away hence blogs need to be kept contemporary. This is a attempt to that and at same time perhaps help out some users and Community helpers.

I have posted this (the very first post above) in English Support category for better or worse.

Edit: So I think I can close this one. Any comments can go here.

1 Like