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By Manuel, 2022-Mar-31
Latest update: 2023-Jul-14

Important for older Nvidia GPUs!

Currently (2023-Feb) nvidia-inst does not support installing (older) legacy drivers. This means certain older Nvidia GPUs should use either the nouveau kernel driver or install the appropriate legacy driver from the AUR (with yay).

IMPORTANT NOTE: if you have added repository [kernel-lts] into file /etc/pacman.conf, please remove it from the file because this repository may include outdated packages.

Tip: you can still use command nvidia-inst -t to find the needed commands, just be sure to change the package names according to the version (for example, change nvidia-dkms to nvidia-470xx-dkms etc.).


A new Nvidia driver installer, nvidia-inst, replaces the old nvidia-installer-dkms.

Here’s the output of the nvidia-inst command with the help option:

$ nvidia-inst -h

nvidia-inst - help installing drivers for Nvidia GPU

Usage: nvidia-inst [options]

-h, --help This help.
-b, --bumblebee Install bumblebee and Nvidia drivers for optimus cards (only very old cards).
-f, --force Force driver installation even if a nvidia card is not detected.
-n, --nouveau Install (open source) nouveau driver instead of nvidia-dkms.
-o, --open Install package nvidia-open-dkms instead of nvidia-dkms.
-p, --prime Install also prime render offload.
-q, --quiet Suppress log messages.
-t, --test Test mode. Nothing in your system will be modified.
-v, --version Show version of this software.
--32 Install also support for 32-bit apps.
--conf Create also file /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-nvidia.conf (might be needed on some older systems).
--drivers Show supported NVIDIA driver series number for your card.
--listseries List Nvidia driver versions supported by nvidia-inst.
--ignore Ignore all errors (useful for testing only).
--series (Advanced) Use the given Nvidia driver version (for testing).
--listopts List options supported by nvidia-inst.
--legacyrepo (*1) Adds a third party repository for legacy (470 and 390 series) Nvidia drivers.

Package nvidia-dkms will be selected for install if none of options
is used.

(*1) Option --legacyrepo is no more supported.
Instead, 'yay' can be used for installing legacy Nvidia drivers from the AUR.

If you have used nvidia-installer-dkms before, the help output above should look rather familiar.


With nvidia-inst you can install drivers for your Nvidia GPU. nvidia-inst detects which driver packages are needed. Additional features will be installed based on given options.

Likely the most important new options in nvidia-inst are


This option will install package nvidia-prime in addition to the Nvidia drivers.


List which Nvidia series drivers are supported with your Nvidia GPU.


Includes also support for 32-bit apps, like certain games.


This option creates a simple Nvidia config file into folder /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d. By default, this file will not be created. Note that nvidia-installer-dkms usually created this file.


This option selects package nvidia-open-dkms for install instead of nvidia-dkms.

Other new options should be either self explanatory, or mainly meant for internal testing of nvidia-inst.

About the internal operation

If nvidia-inst is executed e.g. with option --nouveau, it will remove conflicting packages like the nvidia drivers, and then install the nouveau driver. A similar idea is used with all options that need to take care of conflicting packages and/or certain settings: conflicting stuff will be removed first, and then the new packages/settings will be installed.

This also means that if you have Nvidia related packages or settings that you want to save, you need to do that manually before using nvidia-inst.


Nvidia install on Discovery


Enable legacy drivers (older Nvidia cards)

Older Nvidia cards like GT 700 series are not supported by the latest Nvidia driver available from the official Arch repositories. For those cards there are a few alternatives:

  • the nouveau open source kernel driver
  • a legacy Nvidia driver from the AUR

For the older Nvidia GPUs nvidia-inst supports the nouveau driver (option -n). If legacy Nvidia drivers are needed, user can install them from the AUR, using e.g. yay. Tip: use option --test to see which packages would be installed. Then install them manually, but replace some packages to the legacy counterparts, for example nvidia-dkms to nvidia-470xx-dkms.

To see which of the legacy drivers is supported, run

nvidia-inst --drivers

Before actually installing the drivers, you should test (dry-run) the install to make 100% sure it will work. Use option -t:

nvidia-inst --series 390 -t
2022-04-25 23:45:00: Info: Running: nvidia-inst v1.0.3-1
2022-04-25 23:45:00: Info: Command line: nvidia-inst --series 390 -t
2022-04-25 23:45:00: Info: Selected mode: nvidia
2022-04-25 23:45:00: Info: Installing packages: nvidia-390xx-dkms nvidia-390xx-utils nvidia-390xx-settings
    pacman -Syuq --noconfirm --noprogressbar --needed nvidia-390xx-dkms nvidia-390xx-utils nvidia-390xx-settings

After rebooting the drivers should be active. You will get driver updates as expected using pacman or yay.

Bumblebee (for very old machines)

If you need to set up Bumblebee as detailed here: EndeavourOS Bumblebee wiki the nvidia-inst script can do that automatically too:

nvidia-inst -b

New Nvidia driver installer, nvidia-inst

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