Oh no, another Nvidia driver repository? Why? This repository reflects my personal view for the way the driver should be packaged for Fedora and CentOS/RHEL. It’s somewhat different from ELRepo repositories for RHEL/CentOS and from RPMFusion packages for Fedora.
Table of Contents
To install the repository on a supported Fedora distribution, run as root the following command:
dnf config-manager --add-repo=https://negativo17.org/repos/fedora-nvidia.repo
To install the repository on CentOS/RHEL:
Starting from Fedora 25, the Nvidia software packages are available for installation by default also in Gnome Software.
Please note that the driver will show up only if your system matches one of the PCI ID supported by the driver. Otherwise, only the other Nvidia programs (mostly for CUDA development) will show up in the software center.
First of all the packaging is a lot simplified; more stuff is compiled from source, smaller packages and more options. This packages try to comply as maximum to the Fedora Packaging Guidelines; which means they have debuginfo packages, default Fedora’s GCC compile time options (where possible) and standard locations for binaries, data and docs.
What follows below, is a detailed explanation of all the “differences” from the various Nvidia driver packages that I was able to spot on the web and a detailed description on how to install components, etc.
- nvidia-settings, nvidia-persistenced, nvidia-xconfig and nvidia-modprobe are compiled from source.
- All RPM filters except for GL and OpenCL libraries have been removed, so there is no weird dependency option in the SPEC file. RPM pulls in all correct requirements on its own. This is to avoid pulling in the Nvidia drivers instead of the Mesa libraries or in place of the new open source OpenCL support that’s in Fedora.
- Simplified packaging with much simpler and readable SPEC file.
- Dependency on libva-vdpau-driver. So in Totem, or any other libVA supported application you can benefit from VDPAU acceleration.
- Sources are generated with a script and inserted individually in the various packages; so it can be easily reproduced just by changing the version and rerunning the script.
nvidia-xconfigis not required on anything that uses the modular X.org directives, as it writes too much in the configuration file (keyboards, monitors, etc.) and the required entries should be written in separate configuration files under
/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d. The package is still available as it’s required to speed up some configuration like multi-monitor setups with SLI Mosaic enabled from the command line, but not installed by default.
- The NVIDIA OpenGL-based Framebuffer Capture (NvFBCOpenGL) libraries (NvFBC and NvIFR) are private APIs that are only available to NVIDIA approved partners for use in remote graphics scenarios (i.e. Steam In-Home Streaming hardware encoding); so they are packaged in another small package called
nvidia-settingspackage now builds the external
libXNVCtrl.solibrary that can be used to control the graphic cards through the NV-CONTROL extension. This library updates the old and obsolete one in Fedora.
nvidia-settingsbinary is compiled with GTK3 instead of GTK2 on Fedora and RHEL/CentOS 7+.
- The driver can be installed separately from the
nvidia-settingsutility, so if you simply want a working driver and do not care about details, your experience should be as close as possible to the one with open source drivers.
- ELRepo ships 32 bit compatibility libraries in a separate package with x86_64 as the architecture and “32bit” in the name. 32 bit libraries should be like in RPMFusion, with an i686 package installable in parallel with the x86_64 one. There are no other packages in the distribution that are built for x86_64, with “32bit” in their name that contain i686 binaries (!), so Nvidia drivers should not be an exception. So no separate “32bit.x86_64” package for 32 bit libraries also on CentOS/RHEL; just install
- Versions are not hidden; all packages have the same driver version.
- No alternatives system, only the latest version which integrates CUDA support is available. For older releases nouveau works great; and anything below a GeForce 8xxx it’s in my opinion too low end to play anything modern. And Quake 3 and Doom 3 work greatly with nouveau, so that’s not a case!
- The CentOS/RHEL repository contains the “Long Lived Branch version” where less changes occur; while Fedora repositories contains the “Short Lived Branch version”. Beta CentOS/RHEL and Fedora’s rawhide repositories will contain the “Beta Branch version”
- CUDA libraries/tools for the driver are split into subpackages. There’s no need to install all the CUDA libraries and tools on a system that has only one adapter and is used for occasional gaming or for simple office use. This can save ~120 MB worth of installed libraries. nvidia-persistenced falls in this category as it’s not needed on a normal laptop or gaming system.
- Complete packaged CUDA stack has been added for all supported distributions, all the packages provide/require/obsolete the relevant packages in the Nvidia CUDA repository; so you can enable this repository along with the official Nvidia CUDA one (x86_64 systems only).
- Multiple choice of kernel module packages; akmod (RPMFusion) for Fedora and binary kmod (Kernel ABI whitelists) for CentOS/RHEL. In addition to this, on both distributions dkms packages are available. This way all cases and personal preferences are covered for both distributions.
- Starting from Nvidia driver version 334.16, the Nvidia DDX driver for X can also rely on the
nvidia-modprobecommand in the system to create devices and set permissions, so the new optional package has been added.
nvidia-uvmmodule has a soft dependency on the
nvidiamodule, making sure that these modules are not included in the initrd (thing that would happen by using systemd’s configuration (
module-s-load.d). UDev rules make sure the module has proper permissions.
- On Fedora, the kernel modules are compressed with XZ, like all the other kernel modules.
- Dracut options are depending on the distribution; so no more “vga=normal is an obsolete option” at boot. Each distribution gets its own specific GRUB options for booting.
- 96 DPI is written in the default
xorg.confconfig file. Why? Gnome 3 by defaults hard-codes a 96×96 DPI resolution, most of the free drivers do (intel, nouveau, etc.) as the EDID is almost never reliable (please see the excellent Adam’s Jackson post where he explains this). As an example, if you install the Nvidia drivers on a RHEL/CentOS 6 laptop where you used to have nouveau installed (96 DPI hardcoded), the fonts gets 90% of the time supersize and ugly as Gnome 2 and the Nvidia driver do not hard-code 96 DPI like Gnome 3.
- Make X.org NVIDIA Files section to be loaded latest in case there are other packages providing a custom Files section.
- Use new OutputClass directive on X.org server 1.16 (and later) to load the driver and do not rely on an edited
/etc/X11/xorg.conffile. This also removes editing of the
xorg.conffile from the package scriptlets. This does not hardcode the 96 DPI resolution.
- Add the
IgnoreABIdirective by default on Fedora rawhide builds.
Kernel modesetting and Wayland support
Kernel mode setting on the
nvidia-drm module has been disabled by default for various reasons. First of all, Wayland support in the drivers require a patched Wayland which has been refused upstream, and then the driver itself does not expose an FB driver for the console, so you won’t see any difference in the terminal output, you will still be limited to VGA.
There is a proposal for sorting everything out at XDC 2016 for hardware vendors that require to expose extensions for the drivers.
The Wayland libraries are still included in the builds, as all the dependencies are there but they are not used.
On supported releases, the Vulkan loader and libraries are installed automatically and you do not need to do anything to enable support in the drivers. CentOS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 does not have Vulkan.
Distribution and Nvidia driver version support
Here is a rundown of Nvidia supported drivers and options split by distribution. Basically, CentOS/RHEL will always get a Long Lived branch release if possible, Fedora always a Short Lived branch release, and unreleased distributions will always get a Beta driver.
|Operating system||CentOS / RHEL||Fedora||rawhide|
|Driver branch||Long Lived||Short Lived|
|Video Codec SDK||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Basic nvidia driver:|
|CUDA libraries and tools:|
|OpenGL Framebuffer Capture:|
|32 bit compatibility on x86_64:|
The driver should install and operate cleanly whether you are installing it on a system which has one or more discrete Nvidia cards or an Optimus laptop with an Intel and a Nvidia card. Nothing to do to enable or configure Optimus.
This is up to the point that when the drivers are installed, you can even turn off Optimus on or off in your system Bios (if your laptop allows that) and the only difference you should see is that there’s an additional VGA card enabled in your system (check with
lspci) and that the Nvidia control panel switches between a PRIME Display, like in this picture:
And a normal RandR managed one, like in this one:
Everything else should not be different from your normal experience.
Limitations with the Nvidia driver
The limitations are the same as provided by the Nvidia driver, this means that if you are running it on an Optimus laptop, the Intel card can never power off. Which means higher power consumption, unfortunately. If you have an Optimus laptop and absolutely need the proprietary drivers, my suggestion is still to disable Optimus in the Bios.
Limitations with the OSS stack
On the contrary, if you use the OSS stack (
nouveau/intel) the second card can be powered off if there’s no application running on it or display directly connected to one of the card’s outputs. That’s the best reason to use the OSS drivers at all if you you’re not doing serious gaming or 3D work:
$ sudo cat /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch 0:IGD:+:Pwr:0000:00:02.0 1:DIS: :DynOff:0000:01:00.0
You also got the nifty selection menu about running your game on the discrete card on Gnome, which is really cool:
It will power up the video card just before launching the process. Launching a program through that menu entry is like starting it from the command line with the DRI_PRIME variable declared. For example, the same as above would be:
$ DRI_PRIME=1 quake3 & $ sudo cat /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch 0:IGD:+:Pwr:0000:00:02.0 1:DIS: :DynPwr:0000:01:00.0
As you can see, the discrete video card is turned on. For Steam, you still need to edit each of your game to run on the Nvidia card:
SLI is now enabled by default with the Auto profile, there’s nothing to do if you have a SLI system. If you need any different SLI option (AA, SFR, etc.), just override it in X.org configuration files.
With the new expanded
OutputClass support for X, as carried out by Hans, it’s now super easy to switch to the OSS stack if the proprietary Nvidia driver somehow does not work. No user space component is touched, as soon as the Nvidia kernel module is not loaded (check on
/sys/module/nvidia), the desktop starts with the normal OSS components you get with a normal installation. Thanks to all the work done on libglvnd, the libraries loaded are the correct one for the driver you are running.
This means that the performance of the Nvidia card would be abysmal, but still you would get a nice desktop and browser to Google around for answers on how to fix it :).
Here is an example. Let’s assume you have a freshly installed CentOS system with a recent Nvidia GPU and you want to:
- Install the driver for gaming
- Play Vulkan enabled games
- Want to be comfortable with the Nvidia control panel
- Play 32 bit games (Vulkan included) on a 64 bit system
- Play 32 bit Vulkan games on a 64 bit system
# yum install nvidia-driver nvidia-driver-libs.i686 Last metadata expiration check: 0:05:30 ago on Tue 05 Feb 2019 06:52:50 AM CET. Dependencies resolved. ================================================================================ Package Arch Version Repository Size ================================================================================ Installing: nvidia-driver x86_64 3:415.27-4.fc29 fedora-multimedia 2.4 M nvidia-driver-libs i686 3:415.27-4.fc29 fedora-multimedia 18 M Installing dependencies: akmod-nvidia x86_64 3:415.27-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 10 M nvidia-driver-cuda-libs x86_64 3:415.27-4.fc29 fedora-multimedia 25 M nvidia-driver-libs x86_64 3:415.27-4.fc29 fedora-multimedia 34 M nvidia-kmod-common noarch 3:415.27-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 10 k akmods noarch 0.5.6-17.fc29 updates 22 k egl-wayland x86_64 1.1.1-3.fc29 updates 29 k kernel-devel x86_64 4.20.6-200.fc29 updates 13 M mesa-libEGL i686 18.2.8-1.fc29 updates 112 k mesa-libgbm i686 18.2.8-1.fc29 updates 39 k libglvnd-egl i686 1:1.1.0-2.fc29 fedora 45 k libglvnd-gles i686 1:1.1.0-2.fc29 fedora 32 k libglvnd-opengl i686 1:1.1.0-2.fc29 fedora 37 k libglvnd-opengl x86_64 1:1.1.0-2.fc29 fedora 39 k libva-vdpau-driver x86_64 0.7.4-22.fc29 fedora 60 k libwayland-server i686 1.16.0-1.fc29 fedora 38 k Transaction Summary ================================================================================ Install 17 Packages Total download size: 103 M Installed size: 385 M Is this ok [y/N]:
As you can see, this system has akmod enabled kernel modules and libraries for running 32 bit applications. The amount of data to download for the drivers is really small compared to packages that contain CUDA libraries and tools.
If you are booting the system in UEFI mode; as a prerequisite to installing any external module (not built into the kernel package), you have to disable UEFI Secure Boot in the system configuration. All modules contained in the kernel package are signed with keys that are generated during build and deleted when packaging. If you want to preserve Secure Boot, you need to sign the modules yourself and import the keys into your hardware module. Doing so is out of scope here; if you need a decent guide just follow Red Hat’s guide for signing kernel modules.
yum -y remove *nvidia*
Then, to install the Nvidia driver and its control panel utility in CentOS/RHEL with the binary kABI (Kernel ABI whitelist) module (this is the default on CentOS/RHEL), perform the following command:
yum -y install nvidia-driver nvidia-settings
To do the same in Fedora, using akmod modules, perform the following command:
dnf -y install nvidia-driver nvidia-settings
Specific driver installations
For both Fedora and CentOS/RHEL distributions it’s possible to install additional packages and / or variant of the basic kernel modules. This paragraph contains some examples. Make sure you have the EPEL repository enabled if you plan to use DKMS modules on CentOS/RHEL.
akmod kernel module variant (Fedora):
dnf -y install nvidia-driver akmod-nvidia
DKMS kernel module variant (Fedora/CentOS/RHEL):
yum/dnf -y install nvidia-driver dkms-nvidia
To add 32 bit libraries on a 64 bit system (for games or applications like Steam):
yum/dnf -y install nvidia-driver-libs.i686
Additional driver configuration to your system
To add additional configuration to your system, just create the
/etc/X11/xorg.conf file. For example:
Option "NoLogo" "true"
Option "DPI" "96 x 96"
Option "SLI" "Auto"
Option "nvidiaXineramaInfoOrder" "DFP-0"
Option "metamodes" "GPU-a493fbbb-7d76-86a2-8764-d76d487a75a7.DVI-I-1: nvidia-auto-select +0+0, GPU-c02960a4-be28-d5ce-8b02-be04b5e2550b.DVI-I-1: nvidia-auto-select +1680+0"
Option "BaseMosaic" "on"
In this example we have 2 video cards with one monitor each, so we enabled SLI, Base Mosaic to have multi monitor support on SLI and make a layout with the second GPU monitor on the right of the first one. Also, we fix the DPI to 96×96, which is the hardcoded default in Gnome and in Open Source drivers.
Configuration for CUDA only systems
Your system might only be used for CUDA development and not require the X server to be running the DDX driver at all, so you might want to tweak the configuration a bit to make the system load (for example) the Intel driver as the main display and just the Nvidia driver for GPU workloads. In this case you have two options.
Option with only CUDA components installed
To install just the CUDA components of the driver and not the OpenGL libraries and all files required by the DDX part of the driver, proceed to install as follows:
# yum install nvidia-driver-cuda Last metadata expiration check: 0:22:51 ago on Tue 05 Feb 2019 06:52:50 AM CET. Dependencies resolved. ================================================================================ Package Arch Version Repository Size ================================================================================ Installing: nvidia-driver-cuda x86_64 3:415.27-4.fc29 fedora-multimedia 308 k Installing dependencies: akmod-nvidia x86_64 3:415.27-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 10 M nvidia-driver-NVML x86_64 3:415.27-4.fc29 fedora-multimedia 457 k nvidia-driver-cuda-libs x86_64 3:415.27-4.fc29 fedora-multimedia 25 M nvidia-kmod-common noarch 3:415.27-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 10 k nvidia-persistenced x86_64 3:415.27-2.fc29 fedora-multimedia 40 k akmods noarch 0.5.6-17.fc29 updates 22 k kernel-devel x86_64 4.20.6-200.fc29 updates 13 M Transaction Summary ================================================================================ Install 8 Packages Total download size: 49 M Installed size: 168 M Is this ok [y/N]:
As you can see, there are no components providing OpenGL or DDX drivers installed on the system. This will not use any X (or Wayland) configuration compared to what has been installed by default on your system.
On top of this, you can still select what kind of kernel modules you want ot have installed (kABI, akmods and dkms).
Option with DDX components installed
The Intel driver should load the modesetting driver, offload the rendering to the Nvidia driver and not use any monitor attached to the X server for the Nvidia driver.
So in this case, I would change
/etc/default/grub to remove the
nomodeset parameter to make the Intel KMS driver to load properly, regenerate the Grub config file, reboot and use this
Screen 0 "intel"
An example of the above can also be read in the official documentation.
The device file
/dev/nvidia0 is normally created when loading the Nvidia driver, so if the X driver is not loaded the device file fileis not created. You can use the
nvidia-modprobe command that is in the package with the same name. It contains a SUID binary that creates the device files and set the appropriate permissions when automatic device creation is not available. It is called directly by Nvidia libraries:
$ for i in $(rpm -ql nvidia-driver-libs.x86_64); do
strings $i | grep nvidia-modprobe > /dev/null && echo $i
/usr/lib64/libnvidia-glsi.so.381.22 /usr/lib64/vdpau/libvdpau_nvidia.so.1 /usr/lib64/vdpau/libvdpau_nvidia.so.381.22
This requires some testing and adjustments with specifics to your setup, but is definitely possible to use the integrated Intel card and or rely on a system without X installed to run the CUDA components.
- Previously in the repository was included the GPU Deployment kit. This was constructed with NVML (NVIDIA Management Library) headers, docs and samples from a separate tarball. The separate tarball was using a different version number than the drivers and was packaged in the
nvidia-driver-NVML-develpackages. Starting from CUDA version 8, the NVML header is provided by a CUDA subpackage (
cuda-nvml-devel) and no longer provided as part of the GPU Deployment kit.
- Included is also the Video Codec SDK (Decoder/Encoder) headers, docs and code samples. Again, this uses a different version than the drivers.
- All the libraries are split into subpackages, much like in the original Nvidia CUDA repository. This allows you to install and build software relying on specific components without the need to install all the CUDA toolkit just to satisfy a library dependency. With the new packaging organization, the original
cuda-extra-libswill pull in all the specific subpackages giving you the same situation you are accustomed to. Also, for the same reason, static libraries have been included in each respective
- In addition to the libraries bundled in the CUDA toolkit, also the cuDNN library for distributed neural networks is included in the repository. See the table below for details.
Distribution and CUDA version support
|Operating system||CentOS / RHEL||Fedora||rawhide|
|Basic CUDA libraries/tools:|
|Documentation and samples|
To install just a runtime CUDA support (required for running CUDA enabled programs), without DDX drivers:
yum -y install cuda nvidia-driver-cuda
To just install packages required for enabling CUDA development:
yum -y install cuda-devel
Or if you just want to enable everything:
dnf/yum -y install nvidia-driver nvidia-driver-cuda cuda-devel
A couple of examples. Just the basic tools:
# yum install cuda Last metadata expiration check: 0:30:55 ago on Tue 05 Feb 2019 06:52:50 AM CET. Dependencies resolved. ================================================================================ Package Arch Version Repository Size
================================================================================ Installing: cuda x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 17 M Installing dependencies: cuda-libs x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 8.6 M nvidia-driver-cuda-libs x86_64 3:415.27-4.fc29 fedora-multimedia 25 M Transaction Summary ================================================================================ Install 3 Packages Total download size: 51 M Installed size: 178 M Is this ok [y/N]:
The basic tools along with all the libraries (note that the NVML headers are included):
# yum install cuda-devel Last metadata expiration check: 0:35:09 ago on Tue 05 Feb 2019 06:52:50 AM CET. Dependencies resolved. ================================================================================ Package Arch Version Repository Size ================================================================================ Installing: cuda-devel x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 1.6 M Installing dependencies: cuda x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 17 M cuda-cublas x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 31 M cuda-cublas-devel x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 32 M cuda-cudart x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 135 k cuda-cudart-devel x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 533 k cuda-cufft x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 64 M cuda-cufft-devel x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 127 M cuda-cupti x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 1.4 M cuda-cupti-devel x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 226 k cuda-curand x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 38 M cuda-curand-devel x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 61 M cuda-cusolver x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 40 M cuda-cusolver-devel x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 15 M cuda-cusparse x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 27 M cuda-cusparse-devel x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 28 M cuda-libs x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 8.6 M cuda-npp-devel x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 58 M cuda-nvgraph x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 68 M cuda-nvgraph-devel x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 13 k cuda-nvjpeg x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 372 k cuda-nvjpeg-devel x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 14 k cuda-nvml-devel x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 53 k cuda-nvrtc x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 6.3 M cuda-nvrtc-devel x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 15 k cuda-nvtx x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 33 k cuda-nvtx-devel x86_64 1:10.0.130-1.fc29 fedora-multimedia 41 k nvidia-driver-NVML x86_64 3:415.27-4.fc29 fedora-multimedia 457 k nvidia-driver-cuda-libs x86_64 3:415.27-4.fc29 fedora-multimedia 25 M Transaction Summary ================================================================================ Install 29 Packages Total download size: 650 M Installed size: 1.6 G Is this ok [y/N]:
An example where your CUDA application just uses the CUDA Runtime API and not the kernel runtime:
$ sudo dnf install cuda-cudart Last metadata expiration check: 0:13:10 ago on Sun Oct 23 13:11:01 2016. Dependencies resolved. ================================================================================ Package Arch Version Repository Size ================================================================================ Installing: cuda-cudart x86_64 1:8.0.44-4.fc24 fedora-nvidia 131 k Transaction Summary ================================================================================ Install 1 Package Total size: 131 k Installed size: 536 k Is this ok [y/N]:
This will avoid you pulling in all the libraries as before just because you need a single library. This is useful for example for programs that leverage just some part of the CUDA toolkit, like the Nvidia Performance Primitives for image and signal processing in FFmpeg, and similar things.
Just open an issue to the specific package on GitHub.