# NVIDIA under Fedora: Which driver when?

Hi,

I have read a few Q/A here about people having trouble with drivers for their Nvidia cards. Moreover, the internet is full of opinions, guides, questions, answers, rumors about nvidia under Linux. A few of my questions remain:

My specific hardware is an older, not so common Quadro 410 but I hope that my questions are general enough to be useful to others.

• Why don't I just install the binary driver from nvidia.com (assuming on this workstation I don't need to be free) What are advantages/disadvantages of this driver?

• What are akmods-nvidia from rpmfusion? Free? advantages/disadvantages? If I should go with this driver, which one to use? dnf returns three options: akmod-nvidia.x86_64, akmod-nvidia-304xx.x86_64, and akmod-nvidia-340xx.x86_64.

• Is there anything that Nouveau cannot do for me? Does nouveau work out-of-the box after installing Fedora? Can I install Nouveau and akmods-nvidia and switch between them?

• How do I actually know which of these features I depend on? (FYI, my card is part of the NVE0 family - (NVE7 (GK107)) One thing I would like to be able is to play not-so-demanding games under Steam.

• Which driver would you use if you had my system?

I know, maybe too many questions for one question

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If you install the driver from the NVidia website, it will not be managed by the packaging system and will be harder to update and definitely difficult to remove.

akmods-nvidia is the same driver, but packaged to be managed by dnf and will automatically recompile when you install a new kernel version.

nouveau generally works out of the box, but some cards don't have full support.

According to that matrix, nouveau has full support for your card for what you want to do. I assume you don't have SLI, because you only mention one card and power management is not such a problem with a desktop computer. There is a mention that it might be a bit slower due to the lack of power management, so give it a try and see how it works for you.

If I had your system, I would replace the video card with an AMD one. ;-) Otherwise, I avoid the closed drivers as much as possible so I would first try with nouveau to see how well it works.

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I am going to try nouveau first, and afterwards akmod-nvidia. How do I know which of the three available ones I should use? If I remove akmod-nvidia with dnf, will my system automatically default to nouveau or will I break my system with such a move?

Yes, I don't the SLI feature.

(Changing the video card to an AMD Radeon is currently not an option - I need this card since it is certified for my CAD application, and space is tight (full height, half lengths only)

( 2016-07-15 14:20:59 -0500 )edit

If you use the akmod-nvidia rpm, I expect that it would clean up nicely if you remove it. But I can't say for sure as I've never used it.

As for which one to use, hopefully you can find a list of which driver version supports which card. Maybe there's one on NVidia's website.

( 2016-07-16 02:59:22 -0500 )edit

If you want to clean everything up properly, use this command: sudo dnf remove \*nvidia\* and then reboot. Also, if you do install the binary blob from nVidia, you'll have to boot into a CLI and install it again, every time you update/upgrade the kernel. Using the akmod from rpmfusion as I do automates the process.

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