- 1 Coming from the proprietary NVIDIA driver
- 2 Installation
- 3 Loading
- 4 Tips and tricks
- 5 Troubleshooting
Coming from the proprietary NVIDIA driver
If you already installed the proprietary Nvidia driver, then remove it first:
# pacman -Rdds nvidia nvidia-utils nvidia-libgl
Be sure to also delete the
/etc/X11/xorg.conf file that the Nvidia driver created (or undo the changes), or else X will fail to properly load the Nouveau driver.
Before proceeding, figure out your card's codename (a more detailed list is available on Wikipedia) and have a look at the feature matrix to see what features are supported for your graphics card. Also make sure you have Xorg properly installed.
For 32-bit 3D support on x86_64, install multilib repository.from the
Enabling Hardware Acceleration
To enable access to hardware acceleration, the framebuffer, and video capture devices, the user must be added to the
# gpasswd -a [user] video
The Nouveau kernel module should load fine automatically on system boot.
If it does not happen, then:
- Make sure you do not have
vga=as a kernel parameter, 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). See the Nouveau KernelModeSetting page for more details.
This method will start the KMS after the 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 the KMS as early as possible in the boot process, when the initramfs is loaded.
To do this, add
nouveau to the
MODULES array in
MODULES="... nouveau ..."
If you are using a custom EDID file, you should embed it into initramfs as well:
Re-generate the initial ramdisk image:
# mkinitcpio -p <kernel preset; e.g. linux>
If you're 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/git/nouveau/xf86-video-nouveau. 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 at the Nouveau Source page.
/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-nouveau.conf, and add the following to the
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" Monitor "NEC" 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 Nouveau PowerManagement page for more details.
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 the system for the changes to take effect.
Add the following to your kernel parameters to turn on video debugging:
Create verbose Xorg log:
startx -- -logverbose 9 -verbose 9
View loaded video module parameters and values:
modinfo -p video
Phantom Output Issue
It is possible for the nouveau driver to detect "phantom" outputs. For example, both VGA-1 and LVDS-1 are shown as connected but only LVDS-1 is present.
This causes display problems and a corrupted screen.
The problem can be overcome by disabling the phantom output (VGA-1 in the examples given) on the kernel command line of your boot loader. This can be achieved by appending the following:
Where d = disable.
The phantom output can also be disabled in X by adding the following to
Section "Monitor" Identifier "VGA-1" Option "Ignore" "1" EndSection