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Old 04-30-09, 07:27 AM   #13
artem
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Default Re: Easy nVidia driver update and installation

Aaron, I have another suggestion.

Why does nvidia-installer checks if it can rmmod nvidia driver at all? nvidia.ko binary module can be replaced in place (files are usually not locked in Unix'es as in Windows), and then user simply restarts X server, while X server nvidia driver reloads kernel module. I don't think it's difficult to check if nvidia.ko has changed on X server restart.
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Old 04-30-09, 12:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: Easy nVidia driver update and installation

It checks because there are a number of reasons why the kernel module would build successfully but then fail to load. The installer insists on trying it first, because if it doesn't work it can roll back the install and leave your system in a working state. If it just installed the new nvidia.ko without trying it first and it turns out it doesn't work, your X server won't start anymore.
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Old 04-30-09, 01:05 PM   #15
artem
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Default Re: Easy nVidia driver update and installation

If it's not a secret in what cases nvidia kernel driver won't load?

I can only think of hardware incompatibility (a new driver for an unsupported old GPU) or missing NVIDIA hardware (like the user tries to install nvidia drivers having only an Intel GPU). However in both cases nvidia installer can easily check if there's a compatible hardware available (`lspci`).
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Old 04-30-09, 02:02 PM   #16
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Default Re: Easy nVidia driver update and installation

Missing hardware is one reason, definitely, but there are others that include EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL symbols, system-level problems that prevent the driver from probing the GPUs, and other drivers such as nvidiafb attaching to the GPUs and preventing the nvidia module from working. I'm sure there are other reasons too -- zander would have a better idea of what exactly can go wrong.
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Old 04-30-09, 11:30 PM   #17
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Question Re: Easy nVidia driver update and installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronP View Post
Missing hardware is one reason, definitely, but there are others that include EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL symbols, system-level problems that prevent the driver from probing the GPUs, and other drivers such as nvidiafb attaching to the GPUs and preventing the nvidia module from working. I'm sure there are other reasons too -- zander would have a better idea of what exactly can go wrong.
Is the nvidia-installer, "open source"?
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Old 05-01-09, 12:27 AM   #18
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Default Re: Easy nVidia driver update and installation

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Is the nvidia-installer, "open source"?
Yes it is
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Old 05-01-09, 03:18 AM   #19
artem
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Cool Re: Easy nVidia driver update and installation

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Originally Posted by AaronP View Post
Missing hardware is one reason, definitely, but there are others that include EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL symbols, system-level problems that prevent the driver from probing the GPUs, and other drivers such as nvidiafb attaching to the GPUs and preventing the nvidia module from working. I'm sure there are other reasons too -- zander would have a better idea of what exactly can go wrong.
Aaron, you are missing one point: if we already have nvidia driver running then there's quite a big chance that a new driver will load too. If we don't have nvidia kernel module loaded then we can modprobe it even if X is running.

So, the question boils down to: can you add an option to nvidia-installer so that we could replace nvidia driver while running X server? The option could be called "--IamPervertAndCrazyIdiot" or something like that. Normal users will never go that way and experienced users will easily cope with the consequences if anything goes wrong.
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Old 05-01-09, 04:01 AM   #20
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Default Re: Easy nVidia driver update and installation

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Originally Posted by artem View Post
Aaron, you are missing one point: if we already have nvidia driver running then there's quite a big chance that a new driver will load too. If we don't have nvidia kernel module loaded then we can modprobe it even if X is running.

So, the question boils down to: can you add an option to nvidia-installer so that we could replace nvidia driver while running X server? The option could be called "--IamPervertAndCrazyIdiot" or something like that. Normal users will never go that way and experienced users will easily cope with the consequences if anything goes wrong.
If the nvidia module is loaded, you're running X, and using the nvidia driver for X, then you can obviously not unload the nvidia module and load the new one. It's not just the module, but libs etc as well.
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Old 05-01-09, 04:15 AM   #21
artem
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Default Re: Easy nVidia driver update and installation

Read the whole thread and my message carefully. I'm not saying it is possible to remove a running nvidia module when X server is also running.
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Old 05-01-09, 05:16 AM   #22
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Default Re: Easy nVidia driver update and installation

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Read the whole thread and my message carefully. I'm not saying it is possible to remove a running nvidia module when X server is also running.
Anyway, package manager > *.

Write a script that autodetects the distribution it runs on, then build a package for that distribution with the latest NVIDIA driver (perhaps even a choice of beta/stable)
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Old 05-01-09, 06:21 AM   #23
artem
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Cool Re: Easy nVidia driver update and installation

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Anyway, package manager > *.

Write a script that autodetects the distribution it runs on, then build a package for that distribution with the latest NVIDIA driver (perhaps even a choice of beta/stable)
Right you are, but that's not NVIDIA's job. They've got no resources to cover >100 Linux distros. We should be thankful that they provide a generic installer and don't make you install all libraries, header files, kernel module and X.org driver manually.

This problem can be solved by distro maintainers by incorporating their spec files (or ebuilds or whatever else) into NVIDIA drivers. This way we could install drivers preserving the distro consistency and not breaking dependencies, e.g.
Code:
./NVIDIA-Linux-x86-185.18.04-pkg0.run --build-distro-package
.
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Old 05-01-09, 08:32 AM   #24
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Default Re: Easy nVidia driver update and installation

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Right you are, but that's not NVIDIA's job. They've got no resources to cover >100 Linux distros. We should be thankful that they provide a generic installer and don't make you install all libraries, header files, kernel module and X.org driver manually.

This problem can be solved by distro maintainers by incorporating their spec files (or ebuilds or whatever else) into NVIDIA drivers. This way we could install drivers preserving the distro consistency and not breaking dependencies, e.g.
Code:
./NVIDIA-Linux-x86-185.18.04-pkg0.run --build-distro-package
.

Of course NVIDIA shouldn't provide this, they don't maintain any distributions. My post was aimed at the OP.
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