I've run into my first nVidia driver issues. Ever. ☹

I'm attempting to install the drivers on my shiny new Dell XPS15 8750. It has both an Intel (default) and nVidia graphics card; the Intel works just fine out of the box with Nouveau, with terrible fps. Installing the nVidia drivers causes a conflict with those, and X just displays a black screen. I can still interact via the virtual terminals, but with a 4k display it's kind of annoying.

I'm currently trying to install nvidia-bumblebee and related crap, bur it is not going well.

  • 15
    You need to run nvidia-xconfig, the nvidia drivers don’t support auto probe. Also you need to blacklist nouveau on your modprobe.d blacklist. Most distributions do the latter automatically when installing. But do install nvidia-xconfig and run it and then restart x11 to configure the driver.
  • 7
    You want Optimus. Bumblebee is old
  • 9
    Well.. Welcome to NoVideo - hybrid graphics cards are a steaming pile of shit on Linux. Still are, probably will be for at least a few more years... It sucks.
  • 4
    I had a shitty week days ago trying to set this up in arch linux.

    nvidia-xrun worked for me, but I couldn't turn off the gpu on demand, and scrolling in chrome was weird for some reason.

    OTOH, Manjaro has been working nicely for me for months thanks to mhwd using bumblebee, and I think it was a zero config thing. https://wiki.manjaro.org/index.php/....

    I am aware that you're not arch based.
  • 4
    Ahhhh I don't know how to do thissss
    Nothing is working!

    The downloaded nvidia drivers refuse to install and tell me to use the debian packages instead. Those seem installed but won't work at boot.

    `nvidia-xconfig` generates an xorg.conf but it causes x11 to throw a fatal error (no screens). Without it, x11 runs, but just barely. No opengl, so almost everything is broken.

    I've followed several guides and none of them have helped much. I think I've hit a wall 😐
  • 2
    Suggestions, @FrodoSwaggins? 🙁
  • 0
    Have you completely turned off secure boot in the bios. This was the issue for me after hours of headbanging.
  • 3
    @JFK422 Yes, it is off. The windows bootloader is also dead and disabled. The bios is set to use legacy boot options, and has "debian" as the primary

    I also disabled the bloody annoying internal speaker. Got tired of hearing pong sound effects 😅
  • 3
    @Root make sure to use the Debian package. It does modprobe blacklisting and updates the alternatives for the glx so libs. So you really need that.

    General rule of thumb don’t use third party installers they invariably fuck everything up and don’t do the things actually needed especially if they’re from nvidia.

    If the Debian package doesn’t have a new enough driver version consider upgrading to sid.
  • 1
    @Root also what’s the error?
  • 1
    Blacklist nouveau in modprobe.d also look for a package called nvidia-xrun is what I use to run both my nvidia and intel gpu's, if I just want to use Intel I use startx.
  • 1

    Alright I cannot use gdm I have to boot into command line then start x with nvidia-xrun I have absolutely no problems with Nvidia and intel gpu's. If I don't use it i can only run one of the other
  • 0
    Similar problems on windows 10, I’m currently talking to razer help on Reddit, hope they eventually help out!
  • 1
    @FrodoSwaggins What is the debian package called? There are a plethora and none of them look right.

    For now I have the intel driver working and I'm trying to get some work in before giving it another try. Tomorrow I'll try whatever advice you have!
  • 3
    I’ve remember the same issue with NVidia drivers so many years ago(don’t know how to say that without sounding old haha). Still can’t believe what a clusterfuck it can be still on brand new hardware on modern distros. Like wtf.. this is why we lose people to windows. The masses demand at minimum seamless installs/setups for shit like graphics.
  • 3
    @Root nvidia-driver

    Make sure you’ve removed anything manually installed before installing this. If unsure I would honestly start fresh, trying to recover file structure after nvidia shell scripts have massacred it is possible but might just not be worth the trouble.
  • 4
    @badcopnodonuts nvidia goes out of their way to make their driver terrible on Linux. And it’s just never available the day the cards come out.
  • 0
    I feel your pain.

    This often happens here on W10 when a new graphics card driver update happens and screws everything up.

    I'd hop into safe mode, remove the old drivers, boot normally and install a specific version of driver known to work, and try to stop it installing a newer version from then on..

    Then what would happen is W10 would do a massive update, not update the graphic drivers, but instead delete them !

    Was one reason I got a really cheap laptop secondhand, (Like 75% cheaper than it should be.) because it was really difficult to install Windows onto it (Even harder I hear to install any flavour of Linux!) since an update had screwed up the graphics side of thing, so you had to go through specific steps to get it working.

    As such, it arrived dead as a doornail and needed lots of coaxing to get it functional.

    Even now, if you ever turn it off, it may not boot correctly the first time !
  • 0

    Of course, getting into safemode in W10 isn't as easy as it used to be, I think you have to turn off the GUI boot menu, otherwise you can't see if it the graphic driver is screwed..

    Not something you can do easily after the fact !

    And even if you do change it, updates like to turn it back on again..
  • 0
    Well, at least you are saving battery life running Intel gpu! Nvidia sucks battery fast.
  • 1
    Before I found nvidia-xrun on Arch, I was able to get it to run with a manual setup. I'll look for article tonight that helped. It was for Arch so idk if it will be compatible with Debian. I do know I had to blacklist nouveau and intel modules in modprobe.d/ then manually setup an X server config for Nvidia I just cannot remember what was in the config. I know I had bumblebee and bbswitch installed along with Nvidia driver (from package manager)

    But I do feel your pain, it took a while to figure out.
  • 2

    I installed nvidia-driver and nvidia-xconfig, ran the latter, and rebooted.

    My system does not have an xorg.conf by default, so `nvidia-xconfig` generated its default simple configuration. Starting X causes it to throw an error saying "Fatal server error: (EE) No screens found"

    If I delete xorg.conf, X will start, but complains that it cannot use opengl2, and all of the panels, etc. don't render. This also makes it impossible to start any programs manually.

    I'm currently digging through `man xorg.conf` and the `nvidia-xconfig --advanced-help` to see if I can figure out what's missing/misconfigured.
  • 1
    @Root I’d have to take a look myself probably, but I bet nvidia xconfig generates a bad configuration 90% case. I can send you mine some tonight and you send me yours and we can compare. You might have to email me to remind me because I work from like 5:30a to 7:30p the last two weeks and that’s going to continue for another few days, so I’m basically not checking the computer, but my phone does poke me when my personal account is messaged
  • 1
    @FrodoSwaggins Thanks. I'll send you an email tonight. But hopefully I can get it working before then.
  • 0
    @Root can you manually place your busID in Nvidia config like so:

    lspci | grep -i nvidia | awk '{print $1}'


    Section "Device"
    Identifier "nvidia"
    Driver "nvidia"
    BusID "PCI:1:0:0"
  • 1

    `lspci` shows the pci address as 01:00.0

    Under Section "Device" I've added:
    BusID "PCI:1:0:0"
    and upon running `startx` it apparently freezes my screen, requiring me to switch to another vterm and kill it.

    The log shows two errors: "[drm] Failed to open DRM device for pci:0000:01:00.0: -2" -- I've checked `lsmod` and `dmesg` and both show nvidia-drm being loaded. The second error in the log says "Number of created screens does not match number of detected devices. Configuration failed."

    Relating to that, the log shows something interesting: It's using /root/xorg.conf.new and /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d instead of the /etc/X11/xorg.conf I've been editing. The config living in /root is using nouveau instead of nvidia. However, it lists two devices and two screens. The xorg.conf.d doesn't list anything useful save an "OutputClass" section for nvidia-drm
  • 1

    This is article I used to setup manually. Unforunately idk how different Debian is with Arch Linux when it comes to Nvidia driver, anyways hope it helps!

  • 1
    @hash-table I'll give it a try. Thanks!
  • 2
    @condor maybe dual GPUs with nvidia are. And dual GPU is running amazing with prime
  • 0
    Switch to linux
  • 0
    @dontbeevil nice necrotroll
  • 1
    @erandria but if the rant was about windows and the problem was clearly about drivers many comments would have been: "windows sucks, switch to linux"... In that case was totally fine, right? I'm just trying to help the same way
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