What does the future hold for Nvidia Linux users?

I just found this:

(Had to add spaces because I can’t post links)
Nvidia will eventually drop support for their Nvidia cards. The Open Source Nouveau driver has saved my ancient PC from becoming a piece of scrap metal (I was forced to reinstall my Manjaro but aside of that it still works), but now I am trying Manjaro with the Open Source driver in my laptop. It’s almost like a crippled piece of useless junk. Can’t use the GPU memory. Will the Nouveau ever be good enough to use it? Will my Laptop stop working because of Nvidia’s planned obsolescence just like my older PC did?
Will the community members always be chasing around this? Years ago when I got this laptop I didn’t know Nvidia was going to be such a treacherous and anvilicious entity, heck! Other companies are NOT as greedy and don’t mean to cause as much prejudice to Linux users as this! Now I realize why Linus Torvalds flipped the finger to Nvidia. They deserve it if they want to force people to buy newer hardware like that. I’m not buying an Nvidia card anymore, I will go full AMD.
But all this rant shouldn’t mean people like me who already owned Nvidia hardware should be left stranded to fend for themselves! Is there any hope for Linux users like me? Will Nouveau use reverse engineering or something? Are we doomed to loose our hardware because it will become a useless piece of junk even when Linux could have kept it working?

The future most of the time is unknown. Nobody knows even what’s gonna happen the next second, let alone a few years down.

Depends on your definition of good enough. For me, the current situation is good enough. Earlier version where no Nvidia employees have given any hand was way, way worse. There weren’t many greens here back then.

Probably not, Nouveau will keep it at least usable in the sense that you can use it normally, just can’t push the GPU performance to the max.

Maybe, as long as the open source implementation is left behind the closed source one.

Depends on what hope you’re expecting.

It IS already a result of reverse engineering Nvidia proprietary driver.

The chance is always there, it’s just who’s willing to spend the time and effort to improve it. No, rant doesn’t count. Only actual inspection (to reverse engineer) and coding do.

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Thansk for your reply.

It’s not just the performance, it’s that it doesn’t seem to be using it at all! At least the older PC just “works” and seems to use it but being so old I can’t expect to get much from it. However with the Laptop being less old, I expected to be able to keep playing the games and doing GPU intensive tasks I used to do. But it’s just not working with the Nouveau drivers, I will have to use the closed source ones.

Hmmm yeah, but it seems they have only succesfully reverse engineered older GPUs. My ancient PC uses a Nvidia Geforce 9500 and it just works because being a PC there would be NO image output if it didn’t. However my Laptop uses an already old GeForce GTX 850M, and as usual with laptops it comes with an intel graphics to be used instead to save energy. That’s what it seems to be working with the Nouveau drivers instead of the Nvidia GPU.

To have a normal life, not to go reinstalling my system every time something breaks beyond repair nor to spend my life repairing it instead of doing other productive things. To not be thrown back to Windows.

Can’t buy new hardware right now. Of any kind. No money. I really need this to work. How do I prevent Kernel and Nvidia drivers from updating? I really don’t want an update to break my system like the last time, all I could do was recover the data because the system was borked beyond recovery. Again thank you for your reply.

You can add the relevant packages to IgnorePkg section of pacman.conf. This should be quite safe in the long run as long as the kernel is still supported, not many other packages depend on the kernel package.

Don’t forget the old 390 video drivers are also available in Manjaro so in the worst scenario you could use that probably if your 850M card is supported by this driver (//EDIT: it seems it is so no problem NVIDIA DRIVERS Linux x64 (AMD64/EM64T) Display Driver), and there will probably be workaround when the time comes to keep the 470 drivers (like there is for the 340 older video driver currently).

There is also the AUR and I’m pretty sure people will create what is needed to have something to fallback on.

I’m not sure about that, it should work I think only if you hold back the kernel too. But then you are holding back packages and Manjaro would be in ‘partial upgrade’ state, and this is not recommended (not supported).

I would say wait and see, when the time will come you will have solutions to keep a viable Nvidia setup. There is always a solution.

//EDIT: so in short your GT 9500 is supported by the 340 driver that you can manually install following the tutorial in the link above, and the 850M is supported by the 390 driver directly from Manjaro. You will still have support when the Nvidia rolling driver in Manjaro (currently the 470 one) will go to the next version.

That’s card is from Maxwell generation - Nvidia don’t drop it yet :wink:

Nvidia don’d drop completely Kepler cards, there still will be critical security updates, whatever it means. I don’t know how Manjaro will handle it, but in my opinion it’s good to keep 470 drivers until 2024 year. Here you have complete list of cards which will be dropped:

Desktop cards from Kepler generation:


Laptop cards from Kepler generation:


That’s what the OP asked: kernel and nvidia driver packages.

By what I know it’s not. GeForce GTX 850M architecture is Kepler according to this:

https: // en. wikipedia .org /wiki/GeForce_800M_series
(ugh had to add spaces again)

I do have a bitter ugly experience with my older PC with a Nvidia Geforce 9500. When Nvidia dropped support for it, the update killed it. Borked system booted to black screen nothing else, that’s what I remember.
I had to backup the data and reinstall Manjaro. Oh and installing with the Nvidia drivers was also useless. It was only possible to reinstall using the Open Source (Nouveau) drivers.

Yes, Thank you.
The thing is, my older PC is at least 15 years old and it still works (barely, the hardware is starting to have issues) but it does work thanks to the Nouveau drivers, I expect to get at least some other 5 years from my laptop, but things like these would make it painful as hell!
This painful thought just crossed my mind! What if my HDD fails? Perhaps not even freezing the kernel and Nvidia driver packages would save me! I would have to install Manjaro again, but (just the problem I had with my older PC) I would be completely unable to install a newer version because it would simply not work! Updating would also become impossible! Or perhaps… I will have to keep around older versions of Manjaro just to be safe…

Nope. GTX850M have GM107 code name - that’s Maxwell microarchitecture. I know because I have same card in my laptop and I’ve made some research when I heard about it.

You can’t fight planned obsolescence, no matter what OS you’re using. The only options you have are maybe hoping these abandoned GPUs get added to the nvidia legacy drivers or simply use the old driver version that still supported your GPU, or as you mentioend before, use nouveau.

That is, besides just getting a new PC, preferably one with an AMD gpu instead now that you know just how shitty nvidia actually are.

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Sooner or later, Windows (and Mac) are going to be obsolete, so NVIDIA probably has some strings attached to them, and if I had to take a wild guess, the only people who need NVIDIA are those who own one of their products by accident, or they are a gamer who is looking for the processing power advertised by NVIDIA.

All this is really bad for the right to repair!

If this laptop’s HDD ever fails, I could just replace it and reinstall the OS and everything should work even if it’s quite ancient! But that’s not the case!
Nvidia is making Linux users a disservice by giving closed source drivers instead of open source. It’s like pretending to help while making sure they can backstab us whenever they need.

Now I am having a more technical problem, I have opened a thread here

Nvidia can do what every they want with their hardware. Especially if Wayland is standard, most of the old hardware won’t work anyway. So use Nouveau if that works for you.

Thank you but it doesn’t work. Yeah, they are a company that can do anything as they wish. But is it OK to go against older hardware users’ right to repair? I don’t think so.
So, I guess even if using free software we are not truly free to own what we paid for!
Linux games need the GPU as well. Anyways Linux was supposed to allow the usage of much older hardware, that’s what it was capable of, but now it can’t, Nouveau Open Source driver is playing catchup and right now it simply can’t use the capabilities of the GPU. It’s useles. What if I wanted to use Blender to render some 3D stuff? That would also require the GPU.
This is almost as if all the hard work I did to buy this laptop was in vain! All effort I took to be free and install Linux distros (now that my Mint is going End of Life support) seems in vain as well! I feel desperate and cornered!

Well, Manjaro is more on the bleeding edge, and we drop Nvidia drivers when they are not compiling against the latest kernels. So even if there were some drivers we have to support all kernels on our end. So maybe the good old Debian might help you out: https://wiki.debian.org/NvidiaGraphicsDrivers

Thanks for your reply. Well… I must say I have tried installing Debian in my older PC, and it works but it lacks some capabilities. Manjaro does work even in that ancient PC (Much older Nvidia 9500 GT was saved by the Nouveau Open Source drivers, as the Nvidia closed source ones killed the machine with the last update)
However the same can’t be said for my laptop which is not that old, but still, clearly Nvidia killed support before, will kill it for “Kepler” hardware architecture and regardless of whether my 850M GPU is Kepler or not, their path is set, they will eventually come for it. But Nouveau which came to the rescue with the older card, doesn’t seem to be able to do it this time!

Well, one reason why Intel and AMD do their driver updates within the Kernel. Nvidia is known for Blender and Crypto, but as soon as they won’t support a new Xorg-Server or Wayland as a user you can’t do much. Let’s see when my NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 bites the dust …

And also, as I explained, there is still currently solutions to keep the latest compatible driver in Manjaro, even if Manjaro change the current driver to one not compatible.

Nvidia dropping support for older hardware in newer driver doesn’t mean that suddenly your hardware is good for the trash can… There are possibilities to manage the driver yourself, or with the help of the AUR.

Again, you could keep an old driver, even if not supported by Manjaro, and even if Nvidia stop supporting your card in their latest drivers. The support is still in a driver.

The only issue would be the kernel/driver compatibility, but again, smart people will figure it out (and anyway, you could keep an older LTS kernel compatible with the driver).

Thanks for your reply. You see, I can’t make Manjaro work with my hardware and I am having problems right now.

I hope you’re right and someone who knows how to do things will help me make it work, because I am still unable to. I just can’t use my laptop in this state as advanced GPU usage won’t work.

I’m planing to dumb Nvidia as soon as I can.
I ain’t got a problem switching drivers and such as long as I can skip all the irritating problems I face BECAUSE Nvidia is messing with everything.