How to install Manjaro on a system with nvidia-340xx graphics card?

After the system is installed you can compile the drivers from gitlab, load their modules, blacklist nouveau, etc.

However, for that you first need to install the system, but Manjaro won’t load from recent iso’s because they don’t have the drivers for nvidia-340xx graphics cards. And no, I can’t select in the boot menu to boot with free drivers: free drivers don’t work on my machine, proprietary (old ones, from gitlab) do.

So, could anyone advise me how to get around it?

I have a working system on my old SSD (that’s how I know that free drivers don’t work with my card), however a lot of stuff has prevented me from updating the system in the last half a year or so, so if I just clone the system to the new SSD, I don’t think that I will be able to update, and anyway after such a delay it is better to just install the system afresh.

It is very rare the free driver doesn’t work with old cards - it must be very special.

The usual advise is

Use the free driver option in the installer - this will set the system to use the nouveau driver.

If it is completely impossible you can edit the kernel commandline - perhaps verify what kernel options your current install is using

cat /proc/cmdline

At the very least - you should be able to get to a desktop - then use the guide to build the old driver from the repo you mention or using the manjaro gitlab repo.

You should watch out for your kernel version according to this

But that’s, unfortunately, what my case is. The installer iso won’t boot with either proprietary or free drivers.

hmm - have you tried using nvidia-dkms instead of the prebuilt linuxXX-nvidia drivers?

sudo pacman -S nvidia-dkms $KERNEL-headers dkms

Don’t I need still to install the system first (and I can’t boot into the installer iso), or what do you mean?

Your problem reminds me of why I became so frustrated when take rounds with Linux years ago.

I must admit - I don’t quite understand why your card won’t work with the free driver - don’t answer - it was rethorical :slight_smile: .

Yes - I was thinking of your update issues.

Out of curiosity - what is the output of

lspci | grep -i nvidia

perhaps better with

hwinfo --gfxcard

It’s G92 [GeForce 9800 GT]

Well, I suppose I will try to copy my system and update.

If selecting free drivers is not working on standard ISO image I suggest you try using Minimal (linux510) or Minimal (linux54) ISO
Manjaro 21.3 Ruah released!

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With the current state of Nvidia - theres no point in trying to update - you are more likely to end up with a black screen.

You cannot switch kernel as your system is tied to using the Manjaro compiled Nvidia drivers matching the kernel.

This puts you in a tough spot and you have three options

  1. If your system is a laptop theres nothing you can do - not really an option.
  2. If your system is a workstation - look around for a second hand working AMD card - it is likely better supported using default kernel modules.
  3. Continue to use the system as-is - which brings you back to no.1 and there’s really no harm done.

An option is trying a SbK spin. The iso’s do not contain proprietary drivers, and install with free ones. I would recommend the LXQt one with that old of hardware.


Thanks for the advice everyone! I’m gonna try them out soon.

In the meantime I found out that the installer iso can boot up with free drivers, it just takes a really long time (around 5 minutes), during which time there is no indication that something is happening — just black screen without anything. But after that the systems starts booting, which I found out by accidentally leaving the system to do some other stuff.

Both advice on using a minimal iso and SbK spin are working and allow to boot the iso and install the system.

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