14 Most Common NVIDIA Problems and their Solutions

When setting up new drivers, misconfiguration and other conflicts can possibly occur. This happens when installing a new graphics card or updating a driver. There can be several errors such as unable to connect to Nvidia, GeForce experience issue, Nvidia control panel won’t open & many more.

Below is the listing of some common problems related to the NVIDIA Linux x86 Driver. I have also listed the fix for them, wherever possible.

1. My X Server does not start, and log file shows:

The NVIDIA kernel module does not appear to receiving interrupts generated by the NVIDIA graphics device PCI:x:x:x.

PCI IRQ routing errors cause this. I/O APIC problems and device sharing can also hamper.

Fix:You can configure your graphics card in such a way, so it does not share its IRQ with other devices. For this, move graphics card to another slot. Unload or disable driver for device sharing the card’s IRQ. Remove or disable the device itself.


2. My X Server does not start, and log file shows:

The interrupt for NVIDIA graphics device PCI:x:x:x appears to be edge triggered.

Fix: Try these. Update to a newer system BIOS. Try a 2.6 kernel with ACPI enabled. Pass ‘noapic’ option to the kernel.


3. X starts, but then OpenGL applications terminate after that.

Problem possibly exists with other libraries or stale symlinks.

Fix: Rerun ldconfig.

You should check if correct extensions are present. Use “ %xdpyinfo” without the quotation. This should show “GLX” and “NV-GLX” extensions present. If these extensions are not present, check your X config file. Make sure you are loading glx. If the config file is correct, check X log file. It will show warning or errors related to GLX.


4. Stereo is not syncing across multiple displays.

Possibly, you have attached the displays to the same GPU. One of them is out of sync with the stereo glass.

Fix: If you have attached displays to different GPUs, use a G-Sync device. This is supported by certain Quadro cards.


5. You have upgraded the kernel, and now NVIDIA kernel module is not loading.

Fix: Compile kernel interface layer of the NVIDIA kernel module. This should complement configuration and version of your kernel. You can also reinstall the driver itself.


6. Installing the NVIDIA kernel module gives the following error message:

Modules should never use kernel-headers system headers but headers from an appropriate kernel-source

Fix: Install the source for the Linux kernel. Installing kernel-source or kernel-devel package for your distribution will help.


7. OpenGL applications are crashing

The dynamic loader on your system is bugged, and hence causes the crash to occur.

Fix: If crashing application is single threaded, set the environment variable __GL_SINGLE_THREADED to 1

To do this, in bash shell, enter:

% export __GL_SINGLE_THREADED = 1

And in csh and derivatives enter:



8. Quake3 is crashing when changing the video modes

Fix: As in previous problem, set __GL_SINGLE_THREADED to 1 .


9. When compiling NVIDIA kernel module, it gives the following error:

You appear to be compiling the NVIDIA kernel module witha compiler different from the one that was used to compilethe running kernel. This may be perfectly fine, but thereare cases where this can lead to unexpected behavior andsystem crashes.

Fix: Use same compiler version you used to compile your kernel. To check what version of gcc was used to compile your kernel, you can examine the output of:

% cat /proc/version

To check what version of gcc is currently in your $PATH, you can examine the output of:

% gcc–v


10. X is failing with the following error:

Failed to allocate LUT context DMA

This happens on compiling NVIDIA kernel interface with different gcc version.

Fix: See previous problem


11. You have rebuilt the kernel module. Trying to insert it gives you a message, that you have unresolved symbols.

This is caused by mismatch between your kernel sources and running kernel.

Fix: Make sure your kernel sources are installed. Configure it to match your running kernel.


12. OpenGL applications leak a lot of memory.

If kernel is using –rmap VM, leaking memory is possible.

Fix: Upgrade your kernel. Contact your distribution’s vendor for assistance.


13. After installing driver, the Enable 3D Acceleration checkbox is still grayed out.

Many applets are not configured for new NVIDIA accelerated driver. This is why they don’t update themselves when installing the driver.

Fix: Check if your driver has installed properly.


14. OpenGL applications are running slowly.

Possibly these applications are using a different library, which exists on your system. This is in contrast to using NVIDIA supplied OpenGL library.


15. Fonts are incorrectly sized after installing the NVIDIA driver.

Incorrect DPI (Dots Per Inch) information cause this.

Fix: Check physical size of monitor by running:

% xdpyinfo | grep dimensions

This will report the size in pixels, and in millimeters.

If these numbers are wrong, you can correct them by modifying the X server’s DPI setting.

Categories: Fix Error

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