Difference between revisions of "Package:NVIDIA Linux Display Drivers"

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options nouveau modeset=0
options nouveau modeset=0
alias nouveau off
alias nouveau off
=== Required Kernel Options ===
=== Required Kernel Options ===

Revision as of 17:19, July 8, 2019

NVIDIA Linux Display Drivers


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NVIDIA provides proprietary graphics drivers for Linux with excellent performance. The name of the package for these drivers is x11-drivers/nvidia-drivers, and in Funtoo Linux 1.4 and later there is an additional x11-drivers/nvidia-kernel-modules package which includes the necessary kernel modules (in 1.3 and earlier, these kernel modules are included in the main nvidia-drivers package.

Also note that there is an Open Source driver for NVIDIA graphics cards: x11-drivers/xf86-video-nouveau.

Preparing to Install

Blacklist Nouveau

When installing the proprietary NVIDIA drivers, it is a good practice to first blacklist the Open Source nouveau drivers so they do not load automatically and interfere with the official NVIDIA drivers. Do this by adding a nouveau-blacklist.conf file as follows:

blacklist nouveau
options nouveau modeset=0
alias nouveau off

Required Kernel Options

If using a pre-build debian-sources or debian-sources-lts kernel, it is not necessary to fiddle with the kernel to enable necessary options. However, if you are building your kernel from source, ensure that the following options are enabled to ensure compatibility with the drivers:

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

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

Hardware compatibility and driver versions

Currently, there are five versions of meta NVIDIA Linux drivers, each of which supports a specific group of GPUs. To learn which driver is suitable for your video card, consult the official page of the NVIDIA complete list of supported GPUs. Mind that choosing the wrong driver may render your system unusable!


With version 396, support for the Fermi family and older cards deprecated. Use the legacy drivers instead. http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4654"


Upgrade and/or configure the VIDEO_CARDS flag to nvidia in /etc/make.conf.

root # nano /etc/portage/make.conf

For many users, after doing this and doing an emerge -auDN @world will result in the NVIDIA drivers being merged. If this does not happen, they can be merged with the following command:

root # emerge x11-drivers/nvidia-drivers

For older NVIDIA cards, especially unsupported versions, you may need to enter the details of the lowest numbered driver that will fail your video-card into /etc/portage/package.mask. Example:


This will block the installation of the 341.0.0 driver and all later versions, as the video cards used (a GT8400GS in this case) is not supported by those newer drivers. emerge will therefore install the latest previous version, in this case the 340.102 driver.


Installing the driver with the gtk use flags will also provide media-video/nvidia-settings which is a graphical tool for monitoring and various settings for your video card

When the installation is complete run nvidia-modprobe module to manually load kernel modules to begin testing.

The Importance of the Video Group

While many video drivers (those that are part of xorg-x11) do not require users to be part of the video group for hardware acceleration, the NVIDIA drivers definitely do require this. Please make sure that any non-root user is part of the video group. This can be done by using vigr or via the command-line as follows:

root #  usermod -a -G video myusername

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.

user $ 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.

root # nano /etc/conf.d/modules

Integration with X Server

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

root # nvidia-xconfig
Section "Device"
    Identifier     "nvidia"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BoardName      "[Name] [Model]"
    Option    "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"

The "EnableBrightnessControl=1" option above will allow laptop backlight brightness to be controlled via hotkey or via GNOME slider. Without this option, it is likely that brightness will not be able to be controlled.

Enabling NVIDIA Support

Include the use flag in nvidia in /etc/portage/make.conf so that applications flags are set correctly.

root # nano /etc/portage/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.

root # eselect opengl set nvidia
root # eselect opencl set nvidia

TemptorSent's Experimental NVIDIA ebuilds

These are an active work-in-progress which are not expected to work out of the box yet!

Use at your own risk -- if it breaks, you get to keep the pieces.

The x11-drivers/nvidia-drivers packages contained in the following repo utilize a parser which evaluates the package manifest included in NVIDIA's packaging directly and installs requested components to specified directories.

Add the overlay:

root # mkdir -p /var/git/overlay
root # cd /var/git/overlay
root # git clone https://github.com/TemptorSent/overlay-nvidia-testkit nvidia-testkit
root # cat > /etc/portage/repos.conf/overlay-nvidia-testkit
location = /var/git/overlay/nvidia-testkit
auto-sync = no
priority = 10
root # cat >> /etc/portage/package.mask
root # upstream gentoo mask we need to fix
root # cat >> /etc/portage/package.use
root # if you JUST have an NVIDIA video card, we DON'T want these -- nvidia-drivers provides them for us:
media-libs/mesa -opencl -vdpau -xa -vulkan
root # if you have a multi-GPU setup with a non-NVIDIA card, then the above should be OK to omit.
root #

Install the package, and include mesa so it is rebuilt as well, since we need the new version from nvidia-testkit:

root # emerge nvidia-drivers mesa

This will install both the drivers and the now split nvidia-kernel-modules package.

Please note that you will need the mesa and libglvnd ebuilds provided in the nvidia-testkit repo for full functionality.


Once the new drivers are installed, you will notice that eselect opengl will display xorg-x11. This is OK! With the new drivers, the libglvnd package now provides libGL and brokers the GL calls to the appropriate underlying hardware-specific library, making eselect opengl redundant. We may fix this is the production release so that eselect opengl shows glvnd instead, to avoid confusion.

The remainder of configuration should remain mostly the same as above where needed, consult NVIDIA's docs for details. Please contact TemptorSent on freenode IRC in #funtoo.