NVIDIA/Tips and tricks
- 1 Fixing terminal resolution
- 2 Using TV-out
- 3 X with a TV (DFP) as the only display
- 4 Check the power source
- 5 Listening to ACPI events
- 6 Displaying GPU temperature in the shell
- 7 Set fan speed at login
- 8 Manual configuration
Fixing terminal resolution
Transitioning from nouveau may cause your startup terminal to display at a lower resolution. For GRUB, see GRUB/Tips and tricks#Setting the framebuffer resolution for details.
A good article on the subject can be found here.
X with a TV (DFP) as the only display
The X server falls back to CRT-0 if no monitor is automatically detected. This can be a problem when using a DVI connected TV as the main display, and X is started while the TV is turned off or otherwise disconnected.
To force NVIDIA to use DFP, store a copy of the EDID somewhere in the filesystem so that X can parse the file instead of reading EDID from the TV/DFP.
To acquire the EDID, start nvidia-settings. It will show some information in tree format, ignore the rest of the settings for now and select the GPU (the corresponding entry should be titled "GPU-0" or similar), click the
DFP section (again,
DFP-0 or similar), click on the
Acquire Edid Button and store it somewhere, for example,
If in the front-end mouse and keyboard are not attached, the EDID can be acquired using only the command line. Run an X server with enough verbosity to print out the EDID block:
$ startx -- -logverbose 6
After the X Server has finished initializing, close it and your log file will probably be in
/var/log/Xorg.0.log. Extract the EDID block using nvidia-xconfig:
$ nvidia-xconfig --extract-edids-from-file=/var/log/Xorg.0.log --extract-edids-output-file=/etc/X11/dfp0.bin
xorg.conf by adding to the
Option "ConnectedMonitor" "DFP" Option "CustomEDID" "DFP-0:/etc/X11/dfp0.edid"
ConnectedMonitor option forces the driver to recognize the DFP as if it were connected. The
CustomEDID provides EDID data for the device, meaning that it will start up just as if the TV/DFP was connected during X the process.
This way, one can automatically start a display manager at boot time and still have a working and properly configured X screen by the time the TV gets powered on.
If the above changes did not work, in the
Device section you can try to remove the
Option "ConnectedMonitor" "DFP" and add the following lines:
Option "ModeValidation" "NoDFPNativeResolutionCheck" Option "ConnectedMonitor" "DFP-0"
NoDFPNativeResolutionCheck prevents NVIDIA driver from disabling all the modes that do not fit in the native resolution.
Check the power source
The NVIDIA X.org driver can also be used to detect the GPU's current source of power. To see the current power source, check the 'GPUPowerSource' read-only parameter (0 - AC, 1 - battery):
$ nvidia-settings -q GPUPowerSource -t
Listening to ACPI events
NVIDIA drivers automatically try to connect to the acpid daemon and listen to ACPI events such as battery power, docking, some hotkeys, etc. If connection fails, X.org will output the following warning:
NVIDIA(0): ACPI: failed to connect to the ACPI event daemon; the daemon NVIDIA(0): may not be running or the "AcpidSocketPath" X NVIDIA(0): configuration option may not be set correctly. When the NVIDIA(0): ACPI event daemon is available, the NVIDIA X driver will NVIDIA(0): try to use it to receive ACPI event notifications. For NVIDIA(0): details, please see the "ConnectToAcpid" and NVIDIA(0): "AcpidSocketPath" X configuration options in Appendix B: X NVIDIA(0): Config Options in the README.
While completely harmless, you may get rid of this message by disabling the
ConnectToAcpid option in your
Section "Device" ... Driver "nvidia" Option "ConnectToAcpid" "0" ... EndSection
If you are on laptop, it might be a good idea to install and enable the acpid daemon instead.
Displaying GPU temperature in the shell
There are three methods to query the GPU temperature. nvidia-settings requires that you are using X, nvidia-smi or nvclock do not. Also note that nvclock currently does not work with newer NVIDIA cards such as GeForce 200 series cards as well as embedded GPUs such as the Zotac IONITX's 8800GS.
To display the GPU temp in the shell, use nvidia-settings as follows:
$ nvidia-settings -q gpucoretemp
This will output something similar to the following:
Attribute 'GPUCoreTemp' (hostname:0.0): 41. 'GPUCoreTemp' is an integer attribute. 'GPUCoreTemp' is a read-only attribute. 'GPUCoreTemp' can use the following target types: X Screen, GPU.
The GPU temps of this board is 41 C.
In order to get just the temperature for use in utilities such as rrdtool or conky:
$ nvidia-settings -q gpucoretemp -t
Use nvidia-smi which can read temps directly from the GPU without the need to use X at all, e.g. when running Wayland or on a headless server. To display the GPU temperature in the shell, use nvidia-smi as follows:
This should output something similar to the following:
Fri Jan 6 18:53:54 2012 +------------------------------------------------------+ | NVIDIA-SMI 2.290.10 Driver Version: 290.10 | |-------------------------------+----------------------+----------------------+ | Nb. Name | Bus Id Disp. | Volatile ECC SB / DB | | Fan Temp Power Usage /Cap | Memory Usage | GPU Util. Compute M. | |===============================+======================+======================| | 0. GeForce 8500 GT | 0000:01:00.0 N/A | N/A N/A | | 30% 62 C N/A N/A / N/A | 17% 42MB / 255MB | N/A Default | |-------------------------------+----------------------+----------------------| | Compute processes: GPU Memory | | GPU PID Process name Usage | |=============================================================================| | 0. ERROR: Not Supported | +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
Only for temperature:
$ nvidia-smi -q -d TEMPERATURE
====NVSMI LOG==== Timestamp : Sun Apr 12 08:49:10 2015 Driver Version : 346.59 Attached GPUs : 1 GPU 0000:01:00.0 Temperature GPU Current Temp : 52 C GPU Shutdown Temp : N/A GPU Slowdown Temp : N/A
In order to get just the temperature for use in utilities such as rrdtool or conky:
$ nvidia-smi --query-gpu=temperature.gpu --format=csv,noheader,nounits
Use AUR.AUR which is available from the
There can be significant differences between the temperatures reported by nvclock and nvidia-settings/nv-control. According to this post by the author (thunderbird) of nvclock, the nvclock values should be more accurate.
Set fan speed at login
You can adjust the fan speed on your graphics card with nvidia-settings' console interface. First ensure that your Xorg configuration sets the Coolbits option to
12 for fermi and above in your
Device section to enable fan control.
Option "Coolbits" "4"
Place the following line in your xinitrc file to adjust the fan when you launch Xorg. Replace
n with the fan speed percentage you want to set.
nvidia-settings -a "[gpu:0]/GPUFanControlState=1" -a "[fan:0]/GPUTargetFanSpeed=n"
You can also configure a second GPU by incrementing the GPU and fan number.
nvidia-settings -a "[gpu:0]/GPUFanControlState=1" -a "[fan:0]/GPUTargetFanSpeed=n" \ -a "[gpu:1]/GPUFanControlState=1" -a [fan:1]/GPUTargetFanSpeed=n" &
If you use a login manager such as GDM or SDDM, you can create a desktop entry file to process this setting. Create
~/.config/autostart/nvidia-fan-speed.desktop and place this text inside it. Again, change
n to the speed percentage you want.
[Desktop Entry] Type=Application Exec=nvidia-settings -a "[gpu:0]/GPUFanControlState=1" -a "[fan:0]/GPUTargetFanSpeed=n" X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=true Name=nvidia-fan-speed
GPUCurrentFanSpeedwas used instead of
To make it possible to adjust the fanspeed of more than one graphics card, run:
$ nvidia-xconfig --enable-all-gpus $ nvidia-xconfig --cool-bits=4
See NVIDIA Accelerated Linux Graphics Driver README and Installation Guide for additional details and options.
Disabling the logo on startup
"NoLogo" option under section
Option "NoLogo" "1"
Overriding monitor detection
"ConnectedMonitor" option under section
Device allows to override monitor detection when X server starts, which may save a significant amount of time at start up. The available options are:
"CRT" for analog connections,
"DFP" for digital monitors and
"TV" for televisions.
The following statement forces the NVIDIA driver to bypass startup checks and recognize the monitor as DFP:
Option "ConnectedMonitor" "DFP"
Enabling brightness control
Add under section
Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"
If brightness control still does not work with this option, try installingAUR or AUR.
/sys/class/backlight/nvidia_backlight/interface to backlight brightness control, but your system may continue to issue backlight control changes on
/sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/. One solution in this case is to watch for changes on, e.g.
acpi_video0/brightnesswith inotifywait and to translate and write to
nvidia_backlight/brightnessaccordingly. See Backlight#sysfs modified but no brightness change.
Taken from the NVIDIA driver's README Appendix B: This option controls the configuration of SLI rendering in supported configurations. A "supported configuration" is a computer equipped with an SLI-Certified Motherboard and 2 or 3 SLI-Certified GeForce GPUs. See NVIDIA's SLI Zone for more information.
Find the first GPU's PCI Bus ID using
$ lspci | grep VGA
03:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation G92 [GeForce 8800 GTS 512] (rev a2) 05:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation G92 [GeForce 8800 GTS 512] (rev a2)
Add the BusID (3 in the previous example) under section
Add the desired SLI rendering mode value under section
Option "SLI" "AA"
The following table presents the available rendering modes.
|0, no, off, false, Single||Use only a single GPU when rendering.|
|1, yes, on, true, Auto||Enable SLI and allow the driver to automatically select the appropriate rendering mode.|
|AFR||Enable SLI and use the alternate frame rendering mode.|
|SFR||Enable SLI and use the split frame rendering mode.|
|AA||Enable SLI and use SLI antialiasing. Use this in conjunction with full scene antialiasing to improve visual quality.|
Alternatively, you can use the
nvidia-xconfig utility to insert these changes into
xorg.conf with a single command:
# nvidia-xconfig --busid=PCI:3:0:0 --sli=AA
To verify that SLI mode is enabled from a shell:
$ nvidia-settings -q all | grep SLIMode
Attribute 'SLIMode' (arch:0.0): AA 'SLIMode' is a string attribute. 'SLIMode' is a read-only attribute. 'SLIMode' can use the following target types: X Screen.
$ nvidia-settings -q all | grep -i pcibus
Attribute 'PCIBus' (host:0[gpu:0]): 101. 'PCIBus' is an integer attribute. 'PCIBus' is a read-only attribute. 'PCIBus' can use the following target types: GPU, SDI Input Device. Attribute 'PCIBus' (host:0[gpu:1]): 23. 'PCIBus' is an integer attribute. 'PCIBus' is a read-only attribute. 'PCIBus' can use the following target types: GPU, SDI Input Device.
and comment out the PrimaryGPU option in your xorg.d configuration,
... Section "OutputClass" ... # Option "PrimaryGPU" "yes" ...
Using this configuration may also solve any graphical boot issues.
Overclocking is controlled via Coolbits option in the
Device section, which enables various unsupported features:
Option "Coolbits" "value"
# nvidia-xconfig --cool-bits=value
The Coolbits value is the sum of its component bits in the binary numeral system. The component bits are:
1(bit 0) - Enables overclocking of older (pre-Fermi) cores on the Clock Frequencies page in nvidia-settings.
2(bit 1) - When this bit is set, the driver will "attempt to initialize SLI when using GPUs with different amounts of video memory".
4(bit 2) - Enables manual configuration of GPU fan speed on the Thermal Monitor page in nvidia-settings.
8(bit 3) - Enables overclocking on the PowerMizer page in nvidia-settings. Available since version 337.12 for the Fermi architecture and newer.
16(bit 4) - Enables overvoltage using nvidia-settings CLI options. Available since version 346.16 for the Fermi architecture and newer.
To enable multiple features, add the Coolbits values together. For example, to enable overclocking and overvoltage of Fermi cores, set
Option "Coolbits" "24".
The documentation of Coolbits can be found in
/usr/share/doc/nvidia/html/xconfigoptions.html and here.
Setting static 2D/3D clocks
Set the following string in the
Device section to enable PowerMizer at its maximum performance level (VSync will not work without this line):
Option "RegistryDwords" "PerfLevelSrc=0x2222"
Allow change to highest Performance Mode
Since changing Performance Mode and Overclocking Memory Rate has little to no effect in nvidia-settings, try this:
- Setting Coolbits to 24 or 28 and remove Powermizer RegistryDwords -> Restart X - find out max. Clock and Memory rate. (this can be LOWER than what your gfx card reports after booting!):
nvidia-smi -q -d SUPPORTED_CLOCKS
- set rates for GPU 0:
sudo nvidia-smi -i 0 -ac memratemax,clockratemax
After setting the rates the max. Performance Mode works in nvidia-settings and you can overclock graphics-clock and Memory Transfer Rate.
Custom TDP Limit
Modern Nvidia graphics cards throttle frequency to stay in their TDP and temperature limits. To increase performance it is possible to change the TDP limit, which will result in higher temperatures and higher power consumption.
For example, to set the power limit to 160.30W:
# nvidia-smi -pl 160.30
To set the power limit on boot (without driver persistence):
[Unit] Description=Set NVIDIA power limit on boot [Timer] OnBootSec=5 [Install] WantedBy=timers.target
Description=Set NVIDIA power limit [Service] Type=oneshot ExecStart=/usr/bin/nvidia-smi -pl 160.30
Kernel module parameters
Some options can be set as kernel module parameters, a full list can be obtained by running
modinfo nvidia or looking at
nv-reg.h. See the Gentoo wiki as well.
For example, enabling the following will turn on kernel mode setting (see above) and enable the PAT feature , which affects how memory is allocated. PAT was first introduced in Pentium III  and is supported by most newer CPUs (see wikipedia:Page attribute table#Processors). If your system can support this feature, it should improve performance.
options nvidia-drm modeset=1 options nvidia NVreg_UsePageAttributeTable=1
On some notebooks, to enable any nvidia settings tweaking you must include this option, otherwise it responds with "Setting applications clocks is not supported" etc.
options nvidia NVreg_RegistryDwords="OverrideMaxPerf=0x1"