NVIDIA Linux Display Drivers

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Summary: NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver

Use Flags

Install the X.org driver, OpenGL libraries, XvMC libraries, and VDPAU libraries
Install nvidia-settings with support for GTK+ 2
Install nvidia-settings with support for GTK+ 3
Enable support for kernel mode setting (KMS)
PaX patches from the PaX project
Install additional tools such as nvidia-settings
Install the Unified Memory kernel module (nvidia-uvm) for sharing memory between CPU and GPU in CUDA programs



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NVIDIA Linux Display Drivers


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NVIDIA have proprietary graphics drivers for Linux under binary blob. The alternative open source driver is Package:Nouveau Video Drivers (Open Source).

Preparing to Install

Hardware compatibility and driver versions

Currently there are five meta versions of NVIDIA Linux drivers each of which supports a specific group of GPUs. To check the type of driver that is related to your video card, check the link on this page of the official NVIDIA:


If you have identified as your driver version 337.25, for example, you need the mask(s) driver(s) latest(s) to which you want to install.

# echo “>x11-drivers/nvidia-drivers-340” >> /etc/portage/package.mask

The required kernel options

[*] Enable loadable module support
[*] MTRR (Memory Type Range Register) support

To we made a successful compilation of the legacy NVIDIA driver, we set before the removal of the native framebuffer drivers into the kernel in order to avoid conflicts for x86 and AMD64 processors, in this case.

Device Drivers --->
      Graphics support ---> 
            <*> Support for frame buffer devices --->
                  <> NVIDIA Framebuffer Support
                  <> NVIDIA Riva support

An alternative is to uvesafb framebuffer, which can be installed in parallel with nvidia-drivers


Upgrade and/or configure VIDEO_CARDS variable in /etc/make.conf. This will serve to while you are installing the Server X, the correct version of nvidia-drivers to be provided for you.

# nano /etc/make.conf

Installing to the driver with the option in gtk use flags will make it installed the media-video/nvidia-settings which is a graphical tool for monitoring and various settings for your video card

Emerging the package

# emerge x11-drivers/nvidia-drives

When the installation is complete run modprobe nvidia module to read kernel memory.

# lsmod | grep nvidia

If an update before remove the old module

# rmmod nvidia
# modprobe nvidia

Testing your Video Card

To test your video card run the glxinfo program, which is part of the mesa-progs package. This will check if direct rendering is enabled.

$ glxinfo | grep direct
$   direct rendering: yes


Loading at boot

To automate the loading of the module when you boot your system, add nvidia in modules variable.

# nano /etc/conf.d/modules

Integration with X Server

When your X server is installed find, and there's /etc/X11/xorg.conf you can run the nvidia-xconfig which will set in xorg.conf to identify the video card among other possible configurations.

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "nvidia"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BoardName      "[Name] [Model]"

Enabling NVIDIA Support

Include the use flag in nvidia in /etc/make.conf so due to applications that make use of this advantage may withdraw.

# nano /etc/make.conf

Enabling OpenGL/OpenCL

As a requirement, make sure that the Xorg server is not in use during this change. To enable OpenGL and OpenCL.

# eselect opengl set nvidia
# eselect opencl set nvidia