Hi, first of all, I’m a longtime Manjaro user now and I really love it for the most part. But as always there are things which can be improved.
One thing I miss from the old days is one simple package for the nvidia driver which we have to install once and forget about it. It did always have the latest version, so we didn’t need to manually update.
Sadly this feature got removed at some point when all the different nvidia driver versions were introduced. However it would be really useful to get it back.
Problems with older drivers
First let’s have a look at why someone shouldn’t use an older driver version:
- broken features like the video hardware encoder and cuda
- worse performance in some cases
- missing fixes for games and apps (some newer games and stuff like Proton or newest Wayland development often need the newest Nvidia driver for best performance or sometimes to work at all)
So for the most part using an older driver version doesn’t make sense because it only breaks more things than it fixes. In my experience I never saw a situation where an older version of the driver was even necessary, so in most cases it should be the best idea to use the very latest nvidia driver at every time.
(except if you are running a very old card which is not supported anymore by the newest branch, obviously)
Why we need to have the driver rolling
The current situation is that every nvidia driver version has it’s own package. If a new driver comes out, we have to manually update.
But why make this step necessary? I saw people facing the above mentioned problems without knowing why.
Sure you could say they should just ask in the forum and will get the answer, but I know that many people won’t. As I know the most of my family and some friends at least, they are like:
“Huh, something doesn’t work. Linux is trash, it is too much hussle to learn every inconsistency and takes too much time to maintain and do everything manually.”
They don’t really try to understand it and it sometimes gets on the nerves to ask for every problem. Most will just switch back to Windows (or another distro) because they need something that “just works”.
However this is not only annoying for noobs. I don’t like the current situation either. You will get later why.
The current steps of updating the driver and how it should be
What we currently have to do when a new nvidia driver comes out:
- Remove all packages which depend on nvidia and remember them
- Remove metapackages (like of linux-latest)
- Remove the old driver
- Install the new one
- Install the new metapackage again
- Install the programs again which depend on nvidia
You see these are many steps (especially if you have to do it on multiple machines). It takes time and nerves since you have to do everything manually step by step.
This could be enormously improved.
How I imagine it should be:
- Run normal system updates
The problem breaks consistency
As I mentioned above, it is really weird. Normally one would not expect to have to update this manually to keep the system working.
I don’t see a reason why on a rolling release distro everything gets updated automatically on system update, but some drivers don’t. This just creates unexpected inconsistency and breaks user friendliness (and features if you are not awary of it), which may lead to unnecessary frustration.
To fix this, there could be just a simple
linuxXX-nvidia package for each kernel (just like in the old days) and packages for the kernel metapackages (
What do you all think about it? Of course I’m open to alternative ideas. Just write down your thoughts and the community will discuss together to find the best solution.
Have a nice day and thanks for reading,