Make.conf/VIDEO CARDS/NVIDIA and Nouveau Driver Switching

From Funtoo
Jump to: navigation, search

This page describes how to switch between nvidia and nouveau graphics drivers from the boot menu with the same kernel.


The use of libglvnd was introduced with Funtoo Release 1.4. libglvnd provides for the automatic detection and configuration of the graphics driver during boot. When more than one driver is available for the same card, the configuration depends on the driver detected. Previous to Release 1.4, the proper configuration was provided by 'eselect opengl'. The selection between the nvidia and nouveau driver for a Nvidia graphics card is such a case.

Switching drivers from the boot menu requires blacklisting of all graphics kernel modules (including drm) and configuring the graphics from an init daemon before Xorg is started. This will not work, for instance, if the kernel has been configured for the plymouth splash screen. The prebuilt debian-sources-lts kernel provided in the Funtoo stage3 base system is consistent with the switching procedure.

System Profile

Check your system profile with ego. Both the gfxcard-nouveau mix-in and either the gfxcard-nvidia orgfxcard-nvidia-legacy mix-in need to be in your profile and installed. Check the information here and here.


The most important change: edit /etc/boot.conf:

boot {
	generate grub
	default "Funtoo Linux [nvidia]" 
	# or
	# default "Funtoo Linux [nouveau]"
	timeout 3 

color {
	normal cyan/blue
	highlight blue/cyan

display {
	#gfxmode 1280x800
	#font unifont.pf2

"Funtoo Linux [nvidia]" {
	kernel vmlinuz[-v]
	params += ro console=tty1 quiet <other standard boot options>
	params += nouveau.blacklist=true vga=791 # nouveau.blacklist=true is important
	# or
	# params += nouveau.blacklist=true video=uvesafb:1440x900-8,mtrr:2

"Funtoo Linux [nouveau]" {
	kernel vmlinuz[-v]
	params += ro console=tty1 quiet <other standard boot options>
	params += nvidia.blacklist=true # nvidia.blacklist=true is important

Next, run boot-update.

After boot-update has been run, you should have something like:

root # grep menuentry /boot/grub/grub.cfg | wc -l
root # grep menuentry /boot/grub/grub.cfg
menuentry "Funtoo Linux [nouveau] - vmlinuz-" {
menuentry "Funtoo Linux [nvidia] - vmlinuz-" {

Blacklist Drivers

We must blacklist all graphics kernel modules:

blacklist drm
blacklist nouveau
blacklist nvidia
blacklist nvidia_modeset
blacklist nvidia_drm

xcfgmaker daemon

A Section "Device" must be provided for each driver. The most basic form is:

Section "Device"
    Driver         "nvidia" #or "nouveau"
root # mkdir /etc/X11/video/;
root # cd /etc/X11/video/;
root # nano 10-monitor.conf.nouveau # make default config for nouveau. or copy existing config… 
root # nano 10-monitor.conf.nvidia # also for nvidia

Then create a new daemon. Edit the file /etc/init.d/xcfgmaker:

   xcfgmaker - init daemon

# by
# To be placed in /etc/init.d/
# Run Command: rc-update add xcfgmaker boot

   need localmount
   before xdm-setup
   before xdm
   before alsasound


   cmdline_display_mode_exist=$(cat /proc/cmdline | grep -e "nouveau.blacklist=" -e "nvidia.blacklist=")
   display_mode_nvidia_exist=$(ls /etc/X11/video/ | grep "10-monitor.conf.nvidia")
   display_mode_nouveau_exist=$(ls /etc/X11/video/ | grep "10-monitor.conf.nouveau")
   cmdline_display_mode=$(cat /proc/cmdline | awk -Fnvidia.blacklist= '{print $2}' | awk '{print $1}')
   if [ -n "$cmdline_display_mode_exist" ]; then
      if [ -n "$display_mode_nvidia_exist" ] && [ -n "$display_mode_nouveau_exist" ]; then
            #Choose the xorg file to be copied over
            if [ "$cmdline_display_mode" == "true" ]; then
               ebegin "Configuring X display with nouveau"
               cp /etc/X11/video/10-monitor.conf.nouveau /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-monitor.conf
#              eselect opengl set xorg-x11 >/dev/null 2>&1;
               /sbin/modprobe drm
               /sbin/modprobe nouveau;
               ebegin "Configuring X display with nvidia"
               cp /etc/X11/video/10-monitor.conf.nvidia /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-monitor.conf
#              eselect opengl set nvidia >/dev/null 2>&1;
               /sbin/modprobe nvidia-drm;
         sleep 5
         eend 0
         ebegin "Xorg file missing. Exitting"
         eend 0


Do not forget:

root # chmod +x /etc/init.d/xcfgmaker
root # rc-update add xcfgmaker boot

Additional Resources