Package:NVIDIA Linux Display Drivers
NVIDIA Linux Display Drivers
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
Also note that there is an Open Source driver for NVIDIA graphics cards: x11-drivers/xf86-video-nouveau.
Preparing to Install
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
root # nano /etc/portage/make.conf VIDEO_CARDS="nvidia"
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 commands:
root # emerge x11-drivers/nvidia-drivers x11-drivers/nvidia-kernel-modules
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
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 modules="nvidia"
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" EndSection
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 USE="nvidia"
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.
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 [nvidia-testkit] location = /var/git/overlay/nvidia-testkit auto-sync = no priority = 10 ^D root # cat >> /etc/portage/package.mask root # upstream gentoo mask we need to fix =media-libs/libglvnd-184.108.40.20690313 ^D 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. ^D 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
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.