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Nvidia Drivers Issues on Linux

Is there really that many papercuts if you use Nvidia on Linux? Or is the problem overblown by people hating Nvidia's practices of proprietary drivers?

 

No, I'm not asking this because I wanted to upgrade to the 30 Series anytime soon.

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LATTER !!! (people hating Nvidia's proprietary drivers)

it's fine.....it's nice......i like it

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37 minutes ago, Fatih19 said:

Is there really that many papercuts if you use Nvidia on Linux? Or is the problem overblown by people hating Nvidia's practices of proprietary drivers?

It's mostly just partypoopers hating on proprietary drivers and people who insist on installing NVIDIA's drivers manually and fucking it up, instead of installing them from the distro's repos. (Ie. in Ubuntu, it's literally just a few clicks to install the drivers, no need to download anything manually, let alone hopping down to CLI to install anything)

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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8 minutes ago, Gamuniter said:

NVIDIA drivers aren't open source, so you have to set up manually.

Nope. Almost all modern distros offer you a way of installing the drivers with just a few clicks, and some distros automatically install them.

 

EDIT: Seems to be 5 clicks to install the drivers in the default Ubuntu Desktop.

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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11 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

It's mostly just partypoopers hating on proprietary drivers and people who insist on installing NVIDIA's drivers manually and fucking it up, instead of installing them from the distro's repos. (Ie. in Ubuntu, it's literally just a few clicks to install the drivers, no need to download anything manually, let alone hopping down to CLI to install anything)

No, I'm not talking about installation. I mean, in day-to-day use is there issues here and there? Like something not working, screen goes black, etc. etc.

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Just now, Fatih19 said:

No, I'm not talking about installation. I mean, in day-to-day use is there issues here and there? Like something not working, screen goes black, etc. etc.

I already said, no. The people complaining are mostly those grumpy partypoopers and people who fuck the installation up and then blame the drivers.

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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1 hour ago, Fatih19 said:

Is there really that many papercuts if you use Nvidia on Linux? Or is the problem overblown by people hating Nvidia's practices of proprietary drivers?

The real issue in my opinion comes down to this.

NVIDIA drivers are proprietary and they don't like to share information.

NVIDIA's config is a mess, especially with the introduction of wayland. They also seem to refuse to adapt new practices for handling xorg configs, which can cause issues with xorg in some instances.

NVIDIA's drivers target Ubuntu and RedHat, they are only guaranteed to work against the packages shipped on these distros, which are considered heavily outdated by others.

If the Linux community comes up with a implementation, NVIDIA tries to complicate it by introducing there own closed source version and not adopting the open-source implementation.

Most developers primarily target the Mesa 3d Graphics Library, which is part of the open-source driver stack for Intel and AMD.

 

When it comes to the open-source driver stack, when a problem arises, the Linux community can fix it.

Some patches with various applications go hand in hand with additional patches to the open-source driver stack, they can be built and tested at the same time.

A good example is the introduction of the RADV ACO compiler for AMD, it was actually made by valve and merged into Mesa.

 

31 minutes ago, Fatih19 said:

No, I'm not talking about installation. I mean, in day-to-day use is there issues here and there? Like something not working, screen goes black, etc. etc.

For target distros such as Ubuntu, RedHat and there derivitives such as Mint, PopOS!, etc..., its fairly unlikely so long as you don't try to modify the configs NVIDIA Generates.

As you move towards something like Arch, issues like that can and do creep up from time to time.

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NVIDIA drivers are kinda known to be a give or take on Linux. Let alone the open source ones where performance is horrendous.

The only distro that NVIDIA drivers mainly work on are Ubuntu/Debian and Pop!_OS. Rest are kinda just hope they're flawless or live with the minor inconsistencies.

 

Installation-wise it's pretty simple being a .deb that you can install via apt, but depending on the card and what you plan to run you may need to configure Xorg a tad.

There is absolutely no reason to manually install them using the scripts/blobs NVIDIA provides on their website unless you have an extremely good reason to do so.

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Cool cool cool. Thanks for the info guys!

Main Rig :

Ryzen 7 2700X | Powercolor Red Devil RX 580 8 GB | Gigabyte AB350M Gaming 3 | 16 GB TeamGroup Elite 2400MHz | Samsung 750 EVO 240 GB | HGST 7200 RPM 1 TB | Seasonic M12II EVO | CoolerMaster Q300L | Dell U2518D | Dell P2217H | 

 

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Thinkpad X230 | i5 3320M | 8 GB DDR3 | V-Gen 128 GB SSD |

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  • 4 months later...
On 9/7/2020 at 7:16 AM, WereCatf said:

The people complaining are mostly those grumpy partypoopers and people who fuck the installation up and then blame the drivers.

I agree (mostly, from personal experience); I actually did this to myself when I tried installing drivers directly from Nvidia's website for my K1100M (kepler mobile GPU, old I know) in my HP ZBook 15 (1st Gen) and the built-in laptop screen stopped working until I had to reinstall my Ubuntu OS from scratch.

HOWEVER, this is not to say that Nvidia is entirely guilt-free (at least in my case) either.  Nvidia Optimus (a proprietary technology from Nvidia themselves) can be a source of headaches for many users even on Windows (see IMPOSSIBLE Doom Vulkan Glitch - Haunted Hardware Episode 1 on the main LTT channel, and make sure to read comments on that video which explain Nvidia Optimus's role in the glitch).

 

In my case at least, how the LTT video mentioned previously relates to my case (and likely most others who have had similar issues with their laptops featuring dual graphics), is for many (if not all) laptops with Nvidia Optimus, on a hardware level the frame buffer for the built-in laptop screen always resides on the VRAM of the integrated graphics chip on the CPU.  So even if one were to "disable" the integrated graphics in the BIOS, it's impossible to completely bypass the integrated graphics altogether.  Or, if you were somehow able to completely disable the integrated graphics altogether, you will run into issues with your built-in laptop screen, such as the screen not displaying any image after booting into the OS, unable to adjust brightness, etc.

 

And since Nvidia Optimus is a technology mostly from Nvidia themselves, and given the prevalence of Nvidia Optimus in laptops, I find it extremely ironic that the driver I attempted to install directly from Nvidia's website didn't take it properly into account when installing itself on my laptop (on which I subsequently had to reinstall my OS due to the issues with the driver from the Nvidia website).  Fortunately, as long as I set my dual graphics setting to "auto" in the BIOS, and I made sure to use the driver directly from the official Ubuntu repositories, I have had no issues whatsoever with my drivers including adjusting brightness on my built-in laptop screen (except for when the laptop is set to lock my account and suspend itself automatically when the lid is closed; then every-time it attempts to wake from sleep, xorg running on my built-in display will always crash once and produce a core dump in "/" directory before restarting itself successfully after I log back in; I worked around it by setting Ubuntu to only turn off my built-in display when I close the lid and do nothing else, and by putting a shortcut to launch a manual screen-locking command on the desktop).

Nevertheless, one of the nice things about using AMD graphics instead (I have a Vega 56 in my Ubuntu gaming machine) is that open source drivers are available and therefore support/security fixes are not completely at the mercy of the manufacturer.  Nvidia stopped guaranteeing critical security updates for Kepler Mobile GPUs back in April of last year (since my ZBook mobile laptop has a Quadro K1100M), so who knows how long it'll be before my K1100M will stop receiving updates forever directly from Nvidia.  This is another reason for why to get drivers directly from the distro maintainers and not from Nvidia themselves; the distro maintainers themselves have direct access to the files that build the kernel modules which consist of the core parts of the driver, and therefore can update them as necessary (or I guess you can do it yourself if you feel comfortable enough).

 

But the fact that Nvidia drivers are mainly kernel modules and not part of the kernel itself, unlike AMD's open source drivers, means that they aren't tightly bound to specific versions of the Linux kernel.  So unless if you're willing to risk installing the latest Linux kernel on your distro before it officially get incorporated into the distro itself, this is a reason why it could be actually better to go with Nvidia in some cases than AMD for Linux; keep in mind though that even for Nvidia not everything supported on Windows will carry over to Linux - just refer to Wikipedia's page on the list of ray tracing games supported on PC for an example of what I mean.

 

Sorry if this was too long, but unfortunately (at least from what I have seen) there isn't a coherent source of information explaining all these nuances of GPU drivers especially for Linux distros, so I wanted to make sure that at least people on this forum will have access to this useful information.
 

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18 hours ago, linuxChips2600 said:

I agree (mostly, from personal experience); I actually did this to myself when I tried installing drivers directly from Nvidia's website for my K1100M (kepler mobile GPU, old I know) in my HP ZBook 15 (1st Gen) and the built-in laptop screen stopped working until I had to reinstall my Ubuntu OS from scratch.

Nice necrobump lol

Anyway, I don't think that's an issue in this sub since it's really slow.

 

18 hours ago, linuxChips2600 said:

So unless if you're willing to risk installing the latest Linux kernel on your distro before it officially get incorporated into the distro itself

DKMS makes this a non-issue.

18 hours ago, linuxChips2600 said:

keep in mind though that even for Nvidia not everything supported on Windows will carry over to Linux - just refer to Wikipedia's page on the list of ray tracing games supported on PC for an example of what I mean.

That's not a nvidia problem, but the game's problem. RTX works on linux, just look at quake rtx.

 

18 hours ago, linuxChips2600 said:

HOWEVER, this is not to say that Nvidia is entirely guilt-free (at least in my case) either.  Nvidia Optimus (a proprietary technology from Nvidia themselves) can be a source of headaches for many users

Bumblebee can be a pain, but the new PRIME offload seems to work nice. Haven't tested it that much since I seldom use the dGPU in my laptop.

 

On 9/7/2020 at 7:24 AM, Fatih19 said:

Is there really that many papercuts if you use Nvidia on Linux? Or is the problem overblown by people hating Nvidia's practices of proprietary drivers?

 

No, I'm not asking this because I wanted to upgrade to the 30 Series anytime soon.

It works just fine.

 

t. been using my 2060 Super on Arch since dec 2019 without any issues whatsoever.

 

On 9/7/2020 at 8:09 AM, Gamuniter said:

NVIDIA drivers aren't open source, so you have to set up manually.

All I did was a "pacman -S nvidia nvidia-dkms" and everything worked flawlessly, even easier than trying to install drivers on windows.

 

On 9/7/2020 at 8:49 AM, Nayr438 said:

NVIDIA's config is a mess, especially with the introduction of wayland. They also seem to refuse to adapt new practices for handling xorg configs, which can cause issues with xorg in some instances.

Yeah, nvidia doesn't play that well with Wayland, but I never had to mess with any xorg config. In fact, I don't even have a xorg config file, the defaults work just fine.

 

On 9/7/2020 at 8:49 AM, Nayr438 said:

As you move towards something like Arch, issues like that can and do creep up from time to time.

I had more problems with my rx 480 and AMDGPU than with my nvidia GPUs on Arch (admittedly, AMDGPU was just getting started, haven't used it in a long time). As many mentioned above, you only get issues when you do something wrong.

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The hate on NVIDIA cards mainly comes from developers who have to work with it (I don't know much about it). Most sane people don't care to bash on software for being proprietary, but just prefer open source.

---

Cheers

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5 hours ago, Cmin said:

The hate on NVIDIA cards mainly comes from developers who have to work with it (I don't know much about it).

Depends on what kind of development you mean.

ML, GPGPU or anything else that leverages CUDA? It's a bliss to work with nvidia.

Distro maintainers and Wayland devs? Yeah, they do hate nvidia.

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I want to chime in with some personal experiences.

 

In general, amdgpu drivers are of better quality than NVidias drivers (on Linux!). Examples on which they are better: tearing (or lack of it on amdgpu), minor stability issues, suspend support.

 

That being said, NVidia drivers are not bad. I used them still in 2019 and they were certainly usable. There were some minor problems, but there was always some workaround,  but for example, I was not able to completely eliminate tearing. Suspend didn't work. There were occasional driver related problems with NVidia and KDE Plasma (well, not the specific de per se but the parts of the stack it was using tripped over the NVidia driver) - but there was a workaround and they were fixer in later releases (as it's been a while, I don't remember the details...). But: two years is a long time. Things might have changed. Also, the generation of the NVidia GPU in use plays a role; each one might have their different set of problems (or lack of problems). I was using the GTX 970.

 

In general, NVidia has been very slow in fixing errors / bugs in their Linux driver (but again, in 2019...)

 

One final note: If you main platform is Linux, don't look at Windows benchmarks or general experiences in Windows. They are mostly irrelevant. Look comparisons made in Linux specifically. Try to do some detective work on how the development is going these days.

 

In case you notice errors / bugs with the driver, with amdgpu the place to file reports is clear (your distribution or upstream). With NVidia, you may post to their forum and hope some developer notices the bug.

 

These are just some things to consider. If I was looking for a new GPU, and would be mostly using some Linux distribution, I would definitely choose an AMD GPU. However, in case current NVidia benchmarks (in Linux!) are a lot better at my budget, I could consider them, too.

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On 9/7/2020 at 1:24 PM, Fatih19 said:

Is there really that many papercuts if you use Nvidia on Linux? Or is the problem overblown by people hating Nvidia's practices of proprietary drivers?

 

No, I'm not asking this because I wanted to upgrade to the 30 Series anytime soon.

No, if you're not planning to use a linux-libre kernel, and you are ok with using an LTS kernel.

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6 hours ago, Nuudul said:

and you are ok with using an LTS kernel

It works just fine with the latest stable kernel, no need to use a LTS version.

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On 9/7/2020 at 4:24 AM, Fatih19 said:

Is there really that many papercuts if you use Nvidia on Linux? Or is the problem overblown by people hating Nvidia's practices of proprietary drivers? . . .

Definitely overblown.  Either use distro's repos or become root offline and install.  Not much problem except the latest kernel.

 

On an old Dell with nVidia, do not go beyond the 4.19.x kernel (seems to go for the latest Firefox, as well) as it seems to me Linus blew it on the latest ones (5.4.x up) that I am aware of.

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23 minutes ago, TorC said:

do not go beyond the 4.19.x kernel (seems to go for the latest Firefox, as well) as it seems to me Linus blew it on the latest ones (5.4.x up) that I am aware of.

image.png.c04eea30d05219fe3c270971b8a80728.png

Works fine on my machine 🤷‍♂️

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22 hours ago, igormp said:

It works just fine with the latest stable kernel, no need to use a LTS version.

it usually works with stable kernel but sometimes nvidia forgets to update their drivers for new kernels (like with 5.9)

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Kernel 5.10.x is causing problems in many areas for Linux users.  This allegation is corroborated in many other forums, so see for yourself if you don't believe me!

 

And LTS is always more stable than thei in-betweens, as far as 'buntus are concerned, IME, going clear back to Lucid Lynx.

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3 hours ago, Nuudul said:

it usually works with stable kernel but sometimes nvidia forgets to update their drivers for new kernels (like with 5.9)

It was not a matter of "forgetting" to update. They had a "gpl condom" that was pointed out by other kernel devs, so they had to take their time to make a proper driver that didn't mess with the kernel's licensing. You can read more about it here

 

2 hours ago, TorC said:

Kernel 5.10.x is causing problems in many areas for Linux users.  This allegation is corroborated in many other forums, so see for yourself if you don't believe me!

 

And LTS is always more stable than thei in-betweens, as far as 'buntus are concerned, IME, going clear back to Lucid Lynx.

Well, as I've shown, I'm running on 5.10 without any issues, but that may just be another classic case of "Werks on my machine". I'm not aware of any other issues people are having, mostly because I don't follow many other linux-centric forums, but that's just my 2 cents.

 

Also not an ubuntu fan, so can't really comment on how things work there.

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Sorry, guys -- was grumpy due to frustration with the graphics/kernel,/firefox issue on an antiquated laptop.  I'm going to trash the D630 as it has outlived its usefulness.  

 

After most of the night getting rid of 'buntus and installing MIYO ('make it your own') -- a base Devuan distro with openbox that is a really basic install -- and adding my chosen apps packages, am now running

uname -a
Linux miyodell 5.7.0-2-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 5.7.10-1 (2020-07-26) x86_64 GNU/Linux

without a problem, so far.


The only real concern had with the install of MIYO on a 'newer' Dell Latitude E5500 was the boot loader. 

It was looking for UEFI on a BIOS machine and I had to install and configure LILO from the console with APT in order to boot.  No biggie.  Am using the distro now.

 

Don't know what the specific issues are with the newer kernel (5.10.x and up) but Firefox 84 and nVidia cards (and perhaps some DEs -- I cannot say) are being problematic, apparently.  

 

Downloaded Firefox 68.9.0esr from the https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/  directory,  went into about:config and altered the autoupdate feature so it will NOT automatically update.

 

It's not a concern, anymore.

 

Best wishes!  Be double safe between now and the 20th!

[I'm glad I do not live in in Portland or Seattle any more!]

 

 

 

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Let me tell you a story about Nvidia. There was a GPU based on Tesla 2.0 released in 2009-2010, the NVS 3100M. Passively cool it Nvidia told OEMs, when I bought a used Dell Lattitude from a friend, he had to machine an aluminum block to add extra contact and thermal mass so now it idles at 60C instead of 80C. It gets better. Last driver for it was in 2015, it only had driver support for 5 years, and because Nvidia refuses to release old iterations of the drivers or help the Noveau team at all its the only driver with any performance. It get's even bbetter, 2014 was the time MAD and Nvidia and Valve got serious about linux drivers and gaming so the drivers aren't unusable but they have not aged well, Ubuntu 20.04 boots to a blaack screen b/c the driver crashes the login screen. So I'm stuck using Lubuntu 16.04 with half decade plus drivers. Don't get me wrog with the aluminum block and good thermal paste I can even play modern versions of minecraft at 60-90fps which is impressive, so the performance of the driver isn't terrible, and once adequately cooled the card does phenomenally in OpenGL games for what it is, it's actually a bit faster than the GT 210 despite having the same gpu on paper (but die shrank). But it took a lot of unecessary work and fiddling because of terrible decisions Nvidia made. And there are lots of stories where Nvidia does terrible stuff like this.

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