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By Manuel, 2022-March-31

Overview

EndeavourOS has had an Nvidia installer application nvidia-installer-dkms. As it is useful for many purposes, a new similar application nvidia-inst was written, which adds some new features. Nvidia-inst is planned to replace nvidia-installer-dkms eventually.

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

$ nvidia-inst -h

NOTE: this app is still beta quality!
      Please report any issues to:
      https://forum.endeavouros.com/c/arch-based-related-questions/bug-reports

nvidia-inst - help installing Nvidia graphics drivers

Usage: nvidia-inst [options]
Options:
  -b, --bumblebee         Install bumblebee and Nvidia drivers for optimus cards.
  -f, --force             Force driver installation even if a nvidia card is not detected.
  -n, --nouveau           Install nouveau driver (open source).
  -p, --prime             Install also prime render offload.
  -q, --quiet             Suppress log messages.
  -t, --test              Test mode. Nothing in your system will be modified.
  -c, --conf              Create also file /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-nvidia.conf (might be needed on some systems).
  -i, --ignore            Ignore all errors (useful for testing only).
  -v, --version           Show version of this software.
  --legacyrepo            Add a third party repository for legacy (470 and 390 series) Nvidia drivers.
  --32                    Install also support for 32-bit apps.
  --drivers               Show supported NVIDIA driver series for your card.
  --series                (Advanced) Use this series for testing.
  -h, --help              This help.

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

Options

Like nvidia-installer-dkms, 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

--prime

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

--legacyrepo

Adds a third party repo that includes legacy Nvidia drivers like 470 and 390 series. If the legacy drivers are required, use this option to add this third party repo. Note that you may need to check the supported drivers using the option --drivers.

--drivers

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

--32

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

--conf

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.

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.

References

https://discovery.endeavouros.com/nvidia/nvidia-installer/2021/03

Examples:

Enable legacy driver repository and install legacy driver series

If you have an older card like gt 700 series or older you will not have support with the latest Nvidia driver packages from the official archlinux repository. You need to use nouveau (open source) drivers or take the legacy drivers from AUR and build them on your own, but if it is possible to get packages for them from a third-party repository:

nvidia-inst --legacyrepo
Add a third-party repository for legacy (470 and 390 series) Nvidia drivers.

This repository is from a user and not an official Arch or EndeavourOS one: kernel-lts

Next see what drivers your GPU supports:


nvidia-inst --drivers

Now do a test run to make 100% sure it will work (-t option):

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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
COMMANDS TO RUN:
    pacman -Syuq --noconfirm --noprogressbar --needed nvidia-390xx-dkms nvidia-390xx-utils nvidia-390xx-settings
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

or if 470 is supported:
nvidia-inst --series 470 -t

if test (-t) runs without error, you can do real install:
nvidia-inst --series 390 or
nvidia-inst --series 470

This will enable the kernel-lts repository permanently in your pacman.conf and with it you will get updates on the legacy driver with regular system update routines.

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New Nvidia driver installer, nvidia-inst

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