How do I switch between Nvidia and Nouveau drivers on boot?


I have installed Manjaro on my external SSD drive as a sort of testing / gaming rig that I can switch between my different computers for fun. It works very well and I have not found any issues when simply booting on a different PC.

Now my issue is that I cannot boot Manjaro from the External SSD on my laptop, since I have installed the proprietary Nvidia drivers as a base installation, since all of my PCs use Nvidia and I do not have the Nvidia-hybrid graphics installed that the Laptop would need for it to boot properly and show a display.

My question is, whether I can somehow stop loading the Nvidia drivers on boot and only load the open source Linux driver. I already tested it out, and when I only have the Linux Noveau driver installed I can boot on the laptop just fine, though it would be a hassle to have to uninstall the drivers each time I want to do a switch.

From searching around on the internet I found that the below Linux boot parameters should blacklist Nvidia and load Noveau, though it did not seem to help in my case:

modprobe.blacklist=nvidia systemd.setenv=GPUMOD=nouveau rd.driver.blacklist=nvidia nouveau.modeset=1 nvidia.modeset=0 

I appreciate any help or insight.

I use Nouveau. From what I understand it is a “kernel” driver. I don’t know how you could switch back and forth. Maybe there are ways, but I cannot fathom what they would be.

There is a xorg config file so I guess you also need to remove/modify it to not load the nvidia drivers.

you dont need that line ,
see this

in terminal or TTY
for free drivers

 sudo mhwd -a pci free 0300

for no free drivers

 sudo mhwd -a pci nonfree 0300 

then reboot

Appreciate it,

though I would want to avoid having to reconfigure the graphics to free and then back to nonfree every time when I want to do the switch. My main question is whether it is possible to switch before the system fully boots. Since as mentioned, using the Nvidia drivers will just hang the display on the Laptop, cannot even get to the console to mhwd into free drivers.

You could install Manjaro twice: Once with free and once with nonfree drivers, and then use the same home partition on both systems.

After each update, remember that one installation is updated while the other is not, so I’d boot either into runlevel 3 and update there, or in chroot.

1 Like

There’s no such thing as hot swapping drivers. The only way is to uninstall one and install the other as @stephane outlined. Pick one and stick with it, switching makes no sense. Nouveau is mostly useless, especially with hybrid graphics.

This topic was automatically closed 2 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.