Making manjaro use nonfree drivers by default

Yeah, these options’ titles should be something like “Nvidia proprietary driver on” and “no Nvidia proprietary driver off” or similar.

My vote goes too to the automatic selection of nonfree drivers if the installer finds them as a good match for the graphics card.

Also, my recent experience tells me that non-proprietary drivers (that is, the “free” ones) work like crap on a discrete GPU. I Tried them for the first time just yesterday on a laptop with a NVIDIA 2070 Refresh Max-Q; Results?

  • Free drivers:
    System bootable but horrible performances (just dragging a window around was spiking my CPU workload by 30-40%, all taken up by X-org/Kwin)
  • Nonfree drivers
    All good and dandy

Also, we should maybe add another variable to this discussion: the Kernel. might that be another element to consider? In my case, I wasn’t actually able to even boot into the installer with the non-free dirvers so I had to install Manjaro with them; But after installation and after updating my system and using the latest Kernel (5.8) I was then able to switch to the non-free one without any issue.
So this might be something to consider when referring to people unable to boot their system when using “non-free” drivers (the problem there could well involve the Kernel version the installer is using)

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Somehow this topic escaped me.
A few things i want to add from my part:

  • mhwd ui and cli needs a rework - is old; it can’t escape the fact that there are more laptops and desktops with exotic GPU combinations available out there and people want Manjaro installed on.
  • simplifying the install process is a must and the automatization of the best drivers choice needs to be done; since there are so many custom systems out there, and each user managed to get them working, those solutions could be gathered together and used somehow.
  • FOSS is a nice idea, i truly love it and respect it, but we live in the age when people install: Discord, Spotify, Telegram, WhatsApp, Viber, Zoom, Steam and other applications that rely on performance.

I think is easy to see where i go with this. :slight_smile:


I personally disagree. Managing exotic hardware configurations is Xorg’s and the kernels job. It’s our job to provide the required packages.

How many times is it actually necessary to manually modify the default configurations?

That’s fine, you can do that, but let me remind you that you can’t boot kernel 5.9 for example as this moment has no modules for Nvidia build, if you have 450xx drivers installed and the nvidia.conf active. So, there are connections there that need addressed.

I use my own, always, but some do experiments or lost the old ones.
First example:

Second example:

Other have laptops and use docks or try to connect more displays separate, many crash.

Since now you are part of the contributors group, check my topic regarding MHWD so you understand my point the same way i understand your point. I’m on your side! :smiley:

You make very good points and then i notice a tendency from you to use the elbows :face_with_head_bandage:

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So I’m guessing this isn’t getting implemented? Unfortunate because I still get multiple users every week that don’t understand that they need to set the driver option to “nonfree” to get a stable system.

I’ve also found this Reddit post about an hour ago:

Stuff like this doesn’t need to happen. All you need to do to fix these issues forever is to change 1 line of code.

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What if there was a script that detected which card the user had and told the user which driver was recommended, why and what the alternative was. Instead of ‘free’ or ‘non-free’ which in English by the way has more then one meaning. Many users will see that and think it is about money. How many windows users are going to understand that it refers to freedom to change the code. Proprietary vs Open-Source is more accurate language. People paid for the use of the Proprietary drivers when they bought the card. It is the companies responsibility to issue drivers that make the card work.

AMD cards would be recommended to use Open-Source, newer Nvidia cards would be recommended proprietary and older Nvidia cards would be recommended to use Open Source because I believe the older drivers that run those cards are not supported in the newer Kernals.

As for the explanations it could say something like

GTX 2070 detected select driver [ Nvidia 455 (Recommended) ]
Nvidia Proprietary driver recommended for performance; If wish to use non-Nvidia driver please select 'Open Source'.

Would that not help new to linux users?

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… I doubt that would fix it forever.

Even if we gained a no-frills elitist attitude, and dropped the hype about ‘user-friendliness’, made everyone take a 2-week course before posting on the forums, etc, etc … there would still be posts like that.

And here I give you the top 2 comments from that ‘eye opening’ thread…

Manjaro has mhwd which auto installs proprietary drivers. Use it.

Installer? Man no wonder you’re having a bad time if you’re going to nvidia’s website and running the installer from there.

…So yeah. They used it incorrectly … it misbehaved. shocking.

I still see no reasonable argument for this.

And oh … the wonderful backlash from the rest of the linux world when manjaro defaults to forcing only proprietary drivers. That would be a good look too.

Look … some people refuse to understand their system before making changes or throwing a fit and blaming something besides themselves. It happens.
Some people want to delete the running kernel, or remove package X and all dependencies without looking, etc, etc. It will happen … and it doesnt mean that uninstalling things should become impossible (or obfuscated).


You still don’t get it? Not the ONLY option, but the DEFAULT option, with free drivers being the next one.

Lol srsly who cares? In general those people are Fedora users anyway. The last bunch of them left Manjaro after the inclusion of snapd patches about a year ago.

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Again. This is literally irrelevant.



There would be no reason for them to use it incorrectly if the automatic (correct) installation was the default.

Forcing? I don’t think anyone here is suggesting that we force proprietary NVIDIA drivers on anyone. I am just advocating for a 1 line change in Manjaro’s live grub configuration that changes a default value from “free” to “nonfree”.

They can be outraged all they like. Nobody was outraged when PopOS released ISOs with Nvidia drivers included either, so I think that’s unlikely.

I see where you are coming from, but I am in no way advocating for obfuscating or making anything impossible. I just think Manjaro should ship with reasonable defaults, especially as a user-friendly distro. The pros already know how to change the default drivers, the problem is the newbs.

So we agree that user-friendliness is one of the main goals of Manjaro? That should answer this:


This arguement is still going on? Good Grief it is very easy to select free or nonfree during installation.


Imagine not being able to select non-free drivers before installing manjaro, just saying

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Don’t think anyone is arguing about taking the choice of either free or proprietary drivers away. Some think nouveau should be the default for nvidia cards some think nvidia drivers should be the default for nvidia cards. Either way its only a matter of ticking a checkbox. I can see the argument for both sides. Nvidia cards work better with nvidia drivers but sometimes nvidia cards can be problematic and at least it will boot with nouveau


Again, this is NOT about you or other experienced users. The users that would be affected by this are the users that just want their system to work out of the box. This merge request literally changes the default from “free” to “nonfree”. AGAIN, not intended for YOU.

And yet we still see dozens of users with broken systems because of a lack of Nvidia drivers.

Oh yea, the dreaded “BUT SOMETIMES”. Let’s be real here, the nouveau drivers are no match for the Nvidia drivers when it comes to stability, performance or any other metric for that matter.

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So if non-free drivers are the default, how would the amd users feel about this decision? Hm? Just chill out and choose non-free drivers and profit. Linux is about choice, not about obligating people to use x and y (manjaro is not windows)

Dude, those who want to check an entirely different OS then the Windows they are using, shouldn’t they RTFM first before installing? Doesn’t the User Guide mention this?

Granted I have read that Document in a while, but…


Holy shit you all drive me crazy…



For reference here’s my Manjaro spin that already uses this: CathookOS download |

Response to @cscs’s message below: image


Defaulting to opensource technically supports more devices.
Like it or lump it.
Either way - both options are already available.
So its a moot point, and a needless request.

If one of the devs feels differently they will reopen this topic or make the change.