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This article covers the official NVIDIA graphics card drivers. For the community open-source driver, see Nouveau. If you have a laptop with hybrid Intel/NVIDIA graphics, see NVIDIA Optimus instead.


Warning: Avoid installing the NVIDIA driver through the package provided from the NVIDIA website. Installation through pacman allows upgrading the driver together with the rest of the system.

This article or section needs expansion.

Reason: The following note does not indicate which hardware may be affected and what the Eco mode is. (Discuss in Talk:NVIDIA)
Note: When dual booting on a system with a hybrid graphics card, enabling Windows or third-party apps Eco mode may deactivate the NVIDIA discrete GPU, making it undetectable.
  1. If you do not know what graphics card you have, find out by issuing:
    $ lspci -k | grep -A 2 -E "(VGA|3D)"
  2. Determine the necessary driver version for your card by:
  3. Install the appropriate driver for your card:
  4. For 32-bit application support, also install the corresponding lib32 package from the multilib repository (e.g. lib32-nvidia-utils).
  5. Remove kms from the HOOKS array in /etc/mkinitcpio.conf and regenerate the initramfs. This will prevent the initramfs from containing the nouveau module making sure the kernel cannot load it during early boot.
  6. The nvidia-utils package contains a file which blacklists the nouveau module once you reboot.
Note: If you are using Wayland you should not restart until after following #DRM kernel mode setting or you may end up with a black screen.

Once the driver has been installed, continue to #Xorg configuration or #Wayland.

Unsupported drivers

If you have an older card, NVIDIA no longer actively supports drivers for your card. This means that these drivers do not officially support the current Xorg version. It thus might be easier to use the nouveau driver, which supports the old cards with the current Xorg.

However, NVIDIA's legacy drivers are still available and might provide better 3D performance/stability.

Custom kernel

Ensure your kernel has CONFIG_DRM_SIMPLEDRM=y, and if using CONFIG_DEBUG_INFO_BTF then this is needed in the PKGBUILD (since kernel 5.16):

install -Dt "$builddir/tools/bpf/resolve_btfids" tools/bpf/resolve_btfids/resolve_btfids

DRM kernel mode setting

Since NVIDIA does not support automatic KMS late loading, enabling DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) kernel mode setting is required to make Wayland compositors function properly, or to allow for Xorg#Rootless Xorg.

To enable it, set the modeset=1 kernel module parameter for the nvidia_drm module.

To verify nvidia_drm.modeset=1 was correctly applied after a reboot, execute the following:

# cat /sys/module/nvidia_drm/parameters/modeset

Which should now return Y, and not N anymore.

Additionally, with the driver version 545 and above, you can also set the experimental nvidia_drm.fbdev=1 parameter, which is required to tell the NVIDIA driver to provide its own framebuffer device instead of relying on efifb or vesafb, which do not work under simpledrm.

For NVIDIA driver version < 545 or when not also using nvidia_drm.fbdev=1, the nvidia_drm.modeset=1 option must be set through kernel parameters, in order to disable simpledrm [1] (for more information, refer to FS#73720).

  • nvidia_drm.fbdev=1 has known issues that are only possibly fixed in the driver version 550 and above, see Talk:NVIDIA#Framebuffer consoles experimental support for more information.
  • NVIDIA drivers prior to version 470 (e.g. nvidia-390xx-dkmsAUR) do not support hardware accelerated Xwayland, causing non-Wayland-native applications to suffer from poor performance in Wayland sessions.

Early loading

For basic functionality, just adding the kernel parameter should suffice. If you want to ensure it is loaded at the earliest possible occasion, or are noticing startup issues (such as the nvidia kernel module being loaded after the display manager) you can add nvidia, nvidia_modeset, nvidia_uvm and nvidia_drm to the initramfs.


If you use mkinitcpio initramfs, follow mkinitcpio#MODULES to add modules.

If added to the initramfs, do not forget to run mkinitcpio every time there is a nvidia driver update. See #pacman hook to automate these steps.


If you use Booster, follow Booster#Early module loading.


If you use dracut, follow dracut#Early kernel module loading.

pacman hook
Note: A custom pacman hook is only needed for packages that ship built kernel modules. *-dkms packages do not need it as their upgrades will automatically trigger a mkinitcpio run.

To avoid the possibility of forgetting to update initramfs after an NVIDIA driver upgrade, you may want to use a pacman hook:

# Uncomment the installed NVIDIA package
# If running a different kernel, modify below to match

Description=Updating NVIDIA module in initcpio
Exec=/bin/sh -c 'while read -r trg; do case $trg in linux*) exit 0; esac; done; /usr/bin/mkinitcpio -P'
Note: The complication in the Exec line above is in order to avoid running mkinitcpio multiple times if both nvidia and linux get updated. In case this does not bother you, the Target=linux and NeedsTargets lines may be dropped, and the Exec line may be reduced to simply Exec=/usr/bin/mkinitcpio -P.

Hardware accelerated video decoding

Accelerated video decoding with VDPAU is supported on GeForce 8 series cards and newer. Accelerated video decoding with NVDEC is supported on Fermi (~400 series) cards and newer. See Hardware video acceleration for details.

Hardware accelerated video encoding with NVENC

NVENC requires the nvidia_uvm module and the creation of related device nodes under /dev.

The latest driver package provides a udev rule which creates device nodes automatically, so no further action is required.

If you are using an old driver (e.g. nvidia-340xx-dkmsAUR), you need to create device nodes. Invoking the nvidia-modprobe utility automatically creates them. You can create /etc/udev/rules.d/70-nvidia.rules to run it automatically:

ACTION=="add", DEVPATH=="/bus/pci/drivers/nvidia", RUN+="/usr/bin/nvidia-modprobe -c 0 -u"

Xorg configuration

The proprietary NVIDIA graphics card driver does not need any Xorg server configuration file. You can start X to see if the Xorg server will function correctly without a configuration file. However, it may be required to create a configuration file (prefer /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-nvidia.conf over /etc/X11/xorg.conf) in order to adjust various settings. This configuration can be generated by the NVIDIA Xorg configuration tool, or it can be created manually. If created manually, it can be a minimal configuration (in the sense that it will only pass the basic options to the Xorg server), or it can include a number of settings that can bypass Xorg's auto-discovered or pre-configured options.

Tip: For more configuration options, see NVIDIA/Troubleshooting.

Automatic configuration

The NVIDIA package includes an automatic configuration tool to create an Xorg server configuration file (xorg.conf) and can be run by:

# nvidia-xconfig

This command will auto-detect and create (or edit, if already present) the /etc/X11/xorg.conf configuration according to present hardware.

If there are instances of DRI, ensure they are commented out:

#    Load        "dri"

Double-check your /etc/X11/xorg.conf to make sure your default depth, horizontal sync, vertical refresh, and resolutions are acceptable.


The nvidia-settings tool lets you configure many options using either CLI or GUI. Running nvidia-settings without any options launches the GUI, for CLI options see nvidia-settings(1).

You can run the CLI/GUI as a non-root user and save the settings to ~/.nvidia-settings-rc by using the option Save Current Configuration under nvidia-settings Configuration tab.

To load the ~/.nvidia-settings-rc for the current user:

$ nvidia-settings --load-config-only

See Autostarting to start this command on every boot.


Manual configuration

Several tweaks (which cannot be enabled automatically or with nvidia-settings) can be performed by editing your configuration file. The Xorg server will need to be restarted before any changes are applied.

See NVIDIA Accelerated Linux Graphics Driver README and Installation Guide for additional details and options.

Minimal configuration

A basic configuration block in 20-nvidia.conf (or deprecated in xorg.conf) would look like this:

Section "Device"
        Identifier "NVIDIA Card"
        Driver "nvidia"
        VendorName "NVIDIA Corporation"
        BoardName "GeForce GTX 1050 Ti"

Disabling the logo on startup

Add the "NoLogo" option under section Device:

Option "NoLogo" "1"

Overriding monitor detection

The "ConnectedMonitor" option under section Device allows overriding 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"
Note: Use "CRT" for all analog 15 pin VGA connections, even if the display is a flat panel. "DFP" is intended for DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort digital connections only.

Enabling brightness control

This article or section is out of date.

Reason: Potentially obsolete[2], upstream package also seems to be ancient. (Discuss in Talk:NVIDIA)

Add to kernel parameters:


Alternatively, add the following under section Device:

Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"

If brightness control still does not work with this option, try installing nvidia-bl-dkmsAUR.

Note: Installing nvidia-bl-dkmsAUR will provide a /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/brightness with inotifywait and to translate and write to nvidia_backlight/brightness accordingly. See Backlight#sysfs modified but no brightness change.

Enabling SLI

Warning: Since the GTX 10xx Series (1080, 1070, 1060, etc) only 2-way SLI is supported. 3-way and 4-way SLI may work for CUDA/OpenCL applications, but will most likely break all OpenGL applications.

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.

Find the first GPU's PCI Bus ID using lspci:

# lspci | grep -E "VGA|3D controller"
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v2/3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller (rev 09)
03:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GK107 [GeForce GTX 650] (rev a1)
04:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GK107 [GeForce GTX 650] (rev a1)
08:00.0 3D controller: NVIDIA Corporation GM108GLM [Quadro K620M / Quadro M500M] (rev a2)

Add the BusID (3 in the previous example) under section Device:

BusID "PCI:3:0:0"
Note: The format is important. The BusID value must be specified as "PCI:<BusID>:0:0"

Add the desired SLI rendering mode value under section Screen:

Option "SLI" "AA"

The following table presents the available rendering modes.

Value Behavior
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.
Warning: After enabling SLI, your system may become frozen/non-responsive upon starting xorg. It is advisable that you disable your display manager before restarting.

If this configuration does not work, you may need to use the PCI Bus ID provided by nvidia-settings,

$ 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.

Multiple monitors

See Multihead for more general information.

Using nvidia-settings

The nvidia-settings tool can configure multiple monitors.

For CLI configuration, first get the CurrentMetaMode by running:

$ nvidia-settings -q CurrentMetaMode
Attribute 'CurrentMetaMode' (hostnmae:0.0): id=50, switchable=no, source=nv-control :: DPY-1: 2880x1620 @2880x1620 +0+0 {ViewPortIn=2880x1620, ViewPortOut=2880x1620+0+0}

Save everything after the :: to the end of the attribute (in this case: DPY-1: 2880x1620 @2880x1620 +0+0 {ViewPortIn=2880x1620, ViewPortOut=2880x1620+0+0}) and use to reconfigure your displays with nvidia-settings --assign "CurrentMetaMode=your_meta_mode".

Tip: You can create shell aliases for the different monitor and resolution configurations you use.


If the driver does not properly detect a second monitor, you can force it to do so with ConnectedMonitor.


Section "Monitor"
    Identifier     "Monitor1"
    VendorName     "Panasonic"
    ModelName      "Panasonic MICRON 2100Ex"
    HorizSync       30.0 - 121.0 # this monitor has incorrect EDID, hence Option "UseEDIDFreqs" "false"
    VertRefresh     50.0 - 160.0
    Option         "DPMS"

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier     "Monitor2"
    VendorName     "Gateway"
    ModelName      "GatewayVX1120"
    HorizSync       30.0 - 121.0
    VertRefresh     50.0 - 160.0
    Option         "DPMS"

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device1"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    Option         "NoLogo"
    Option         "UseEDIDFreqs" "false"
    Option         "ConnectedMonitor" "CRT,CRT"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BoardName      "GeForce 6200 LE"
    BusID          "PCI:3:0:0"
    Screen          0

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device2"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    Option         "NoLogo"
    Option         "UseEDIDFreqs" "false"
    Option         "ConnectedMonitor" "CRT,CRT"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BoardName      "GeForce 6200 LE"
    BusID          "PCI:3:0:0"
    Screen          1

The duplicated device with Screen is how you get X to use two monitors on one card without TwinView. Note that nvidia-settings will strip out any ConnectedMonitor options you have added.


You want only one big screen instead of two. Set the TwinView argument to 1. This option should be used if you desire compositing. TwinView only works on a per-card basis, when all participating monitors are connected to the same card.

Option "TwinView" "1"

Example configuration:

Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier     "TwinLayout"
    Screen         0 "metaScreen" 0 0

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier     "Monitor0"
    Option         "Enable" "true"

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier     "Monitor1"
    Option         "Enable" "true"

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Card0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"

    #refer to the link below for more information on each of the following options.
    Option         "HorizSync"          "DFP-0: 28-33; DFP-1: 28-33"
    Option         "VertRefresh"        "DFP-0: 43-73; DFP-1: 43-73"
    Option         "MetaModes"          "1920x1080, 1920x1080"
    Option         "ConnectedMonitor"   "DFP-0, DFP-1"
    Option         "MetaModeOrientation" "DFP-1 LeftOf DFP-0"

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "metaScreen"
    Device         "Card0"
    Monitor        "Monitor0"
    DefaultDepth    24
    Option         "TwinView" "True"
    SubSection "Display"
        Modes          "1920x1080"

Device option information.

If you have multiple cards that are SLI capable, it is possible to run more than one monitor attached to separate cards (for example: two cards in SLI with one monitor attached to each). The "MetaModes" option in conjunction with SLI Mosaic mode enables this. Below is a configuration which works for the aforementioned example and runs GNOME flawlessly.

Section "Device"
        Identifier      "Card A"
        Driver          "nvidia"
        BusID           "PCI:1:00:0"

Section "Device"
        Identifier      "Card B"
        Driver          "nvidia"
        BusID           "PCI:2:00:0"

Section "Monitor"
        Identifier      "Right Monitor"

Section "Monitor"
        Identifier      "Left Monitor"

Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "Right Screen"
        Device          "Card A"
        Monitor         "Right Monitor"
        DefaultDepth    24
        Option          "SLI" "Mosaic"
        Option          "Stereo" "0"
        Option          "BaseMosaic" "True"
        Option          "MetaModes" "GPU-0.DFP-0: 1920x1200+4480+0, GPU-1.DFP-0:1920x1200+0+0"
        SubSection      "Display"
                        Depth           24

Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "Left Screen"
        Device          "Card B"
        Monitor         "Left Monitor"
        DefaultDepth    24
        Option          "SLI" "Mosaic"
        Option          "Stereo" "0"
        Option          "BaseMosaic" "True"
        Option          "MetaModes" "GPU-0.DFP-0: 1920x1200+4480+0, GPU-1.DFP-0:1920x1200+0+0"
        SubSection      "Display"
                        Depth           24

Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier      "Default"
        Screen 0        "Right Screen" 0 0
        Option          "Xinerama" "0"
Vertical sync using TwinView

If you are using TwinView and vertical sync (the "Sync to VBlank" option in nvidia-settings), you will notice that only one screen is being properly synced, unless you have two identical monitors. Although nvidia-settings does offer an option to change which screen is being synced (the "Sync to this display device" option), this does not always work. A solution is to add the following environment variables at startup, for example append in /etc/profile:

export __GL_SYNC_TO_VBLANK=1

You can change DFP-0 with your preferred screen (DFP-0 is the DVI port and CRT-0 is the VGA port). You can find the identifier for your display from nvidia-settings in the "X Server XVideoSettings" section.

Gaming using TwinView

In case you want to play full-screen games when using TwinView, you will notice that games recognize the two screens as being one big screen. While this is technically correct (the virtual X screen really is the size of your screens combined), you probably do not want to play on both screens at the same time.

To correct this behavior for SDL, try:


For OpenGL, add the appropriate Metamodes to your xorg.conf in section Device and restart X:

Option "Metamodes" "1680x1050,1680x1050; 1280x1024,1280x1024; 1680x1050,NULL; 1280x1024,NULL;"

Another method that may either work alone or in conjunction with those mentioned above is starting games in a separate X server.

Mosaic mode

Mosaic mode is the only way to use more than 2 monitors across multiple graphics cards with compositing. Your window manager may or may not recognize the distinction between each monitor. Mosaic mode requires a valid SLI configuration. Even if using Base mode without SLI, the GPUs must still be SLI capable/compatible.

Base Mosaic

Base Mosaic mode works on any set of Geforce 8000 series or higher GPUs. It cannot be enabled from within the nvidia-setting GUI. You must either use the nvidia-xconfig command line program or edit xorg.conf by hand. Metamodes must be specified. The following is an example for four DFPs in a 2x2 configuration, each running at 1920x1024, with two DFPs connected to two cards:

$ nvidia-xconfig --base-mosaic --metamodes="GPU-0.DFP-0: 1920x1024+0+0, GPU-0.DFP-1: 1920x1024+1920+0, GPU-1.DFP-0: 1920x1024+0+1024, GPU-1.DFP-1: 1920x1024+1920+1024"
Note: While the documentation lists a 2x2 configuration of monitors, GeForce cards are artificially limited to 3 monitors in Base Mosaic mode. Quadro cards support more than 3 monitors. As of September 2014, the Windows driver has dropped this artificial restriction, but it remains in the Linux driver.
SLI Mosaic

If you have an SLI configuration and each GPU is a Quadro FX 5800, Quadro Fermi or newer, then you can use SLI Mosaic mode. It can be enabled from within the nvidia-settings GUI or from the command line with:

$ nvidia-xconfig --sli=Mosaic --metamodes="GPU-0.DFP-0: 1920x1024+0+0, GPU-0.DFP-1: 1920x1024+1920+0, GPU-1.DFP-0: 1920x1024+0+1024, GPU-1.DFP-1: 1920x1024+1920+1024"


See Wayland#Requirements for more information.

For further configuration options, take a look at the wiki pages or documentation of the respective compositor.

Regarding Xwayland take a look at Wayland#Xwayland.

Follow GDM#Wayland and the proprietary NVIDIA driver when using GDM.

Tips and tricks

See NVIDIA/Tips and tricks.


See NVIDIA/Troubleshooting.

See also