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Nouveau is an open source graphic driver for NVIDIA cards.
Do not forget to check out the FAQ if you have any questions, as there is a lot of valuable information there.
- 1 Installation
- 2 Loading
- 3 Tips and tricks
Before proceeding, have a look at the FeatureMatrix to see what features are supported for a given architecture, and the list of codenames to determine the card's category. You could also consult wikipedia for an even more detailed list.If you already installed the proprietary NVIDIA driver, then remove it first:
# pacman -Rdds nvidia nvidia-utils # pacman -S --asdeps libgl
Install the DDX driver with the package.
Also make sure you have Xorg properly installed.
If you want hardware-accelerated 3D support (to run GNOME Shell or KWin's effects for instance), install the DRI driver with thepackage.
The nouveau kernel module should load fine automatically on system boot.
If it does not happen, then:
- Make sure you do not have
grub.cfgkernel line, since Nouveau needs kernel mode-setting in order to run successfully (see below).
- Also, check that you have not disabled Nouveau by using any modprobe blacklisting within
Kernel Mode-Setting (KMS) is required by the Nouveau driver. As the system boots, the resolution will likely change when KMS initializes the display driver. Simply installing the Nouveau driver should be enough to get the system to recognize and initialize it in "Late Start" mode (see below). Additional reading: KernelModeSetting.
With this choice KMS will be enabled when other kernel modules are loaded. You will see the text "Loading modules" and the size of the text may change, possibly with an undesirable flicker.
This method will start KMS as early as possible in the boot process, when the initramfs is loaded. Here is how to do this with the official packages:
Add "nouveau" to the
MODULES array in
MODULES="... nouveau ..."
Re-generate kernel image:
# mkinitcpio -p <kernel preset, e.g. linux>
If experiencing troubles with nouveau leading to rebuild nouveau-drm several times for testing purposes, do not add nouveau to the initramfs. It is too easy to forget to rebuild the initramfs and it will just make any testing harder. Just use late start until you are confident the system is stable. There might be additional problems with initramfs if you need a custom firmware (generally not advised).
Tips and tricks
Keep NVIDIA driver installed
If you want to keep the proprietary NVIDIA driver installed, but want to use the Nouveau driver, comment out nouveau blacklisting in
etc/modprobe.d/nouveau_blacklist.conf modifying it as follows:
And tell Xorg to load nouveau instead of nvidia by creating the file
/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-nouveau.conf with the following content:
Section "Device" Identifier "Nvidia card" Driver "nouveau" EndSection
If you already used the NVIDIA driver, and want to test Nouveau without reboot, make sure the 'nvidia' module is no longer loaded:
# rmmod nvidia
Then load the 'nouveau' module:
# modprobe nouveau
And check that it loaded fine by looking at kernel messages:
Installing the latest development packages
You may install the latest -git packages, through AUR:
- You can use AUR which will allow the installation of the latest Mesa (including the latest DRI driver).
- You can use AUR which will allow the installation of the latest DDX driver.
- You can also try installing a newer kernel version, through packages like AUR in which the Nouveau DRM code would allow better performance.
- To get the latest nouveau improvements, you should use the git://anongit.freedesktop.org/nouveau/linux-2.6. AUR package from the AUR, edit the PKGBUILD and use nouveau's own kernel repository, which is currently located at:
Upsteam driver sources can be found here: http://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/Source.
Tearing free compositing
/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-nouveau.conf, in the Device section add:
Section "Device" Identifier "nvidia card" Driver "nouveau" Option "GLXVBlank" "true" EndSection
Nouveau supports the xrandr extension for modesetting and multiple monitors. See the RandR12 page for tutorials.
Here is a full sample
/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-nouveau.conf above for running 2 monitors in dual head mode. You may prefer to use a graphical tool to configure monitors like GNOME Control Center's Display panel (
# the right one Section "Monitor" Identifier "NEC" Option "PreferredMode" "1280x1024_60.00" EndSection # the left one Section "Monitor" Identifier "FUS" Option "PreferredMode" "1280x1024_60.00" Option "LeftOf" "NEC" EndSection Section "Device" Identifier "nvidia card" Driver "nouveau" Option "Monitor-DVI-I-1" "NEC" Option "Monitor-DVI-I-2" "FUS" EndSection Section "Screen" Identifier "screen1" DefaultDepth 24 SubSection "Display" Depth 24 Virtual 2560 2048 EndSubSection Device "nvidia card" EndSection Section "ServerLayout" Identifier "layout1" Screen "screen1" EndSection
Setting console resolution
Use thetool to adjust console resolution.
You can also pass the resolution to nouveau with the video= kernel line option (see KMS).
GPU Scaling is in various stages of readiness depending on the GPU. See the following link for additional info:
Enable MSI (Message Signaled Interrupts)
This may provide a slight performance advantage. It is only supported on NV50+ and is disabled by default.
Place the following in
options nouveau msi=1
If using early start, add the line
/etc/mkinitcpio.conf, then re-generate kernel image:
# mkinitcpio -p <kernel preset, e.g. linux>
Reboot system to affect changes