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#1 2023-11-21 19:19:06

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 208  

Upgrading a video card

New video cards are sitting here and I'm planning to place them in existing systems. This is a completely new generation of vNidia cards, so I'm sure the installed driver will not be compatible. What is the usual way to do this in Linux? Is it how I would expect:

Re-enable the Noveau driver and uninstall the current proprietary drivers
Shut down, make the hardware swap.
Restart and install the proprietary drivers again

Or is there some better process?

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#2 2023-11-22 00:56:13

GlennW
Member
From: Brisbane, Australia
Registered: 2019-07-18
Posts: 601  

Re: Upgrading a video card

Hi, I did this not too long ago, and I just powered down, swapped the cards...

(made the usual attempt to keep the cables on the box tidy, removed redundant drives, etc.)

And powered the system on and booted to safe-mode with my usual edits for grub...

vga=794 modeset.nouveau=0 nokmsboot

From X I re-run the nVidia blob installer.

All the best.


pic from 1993, new guitar day.

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#3 2023-11-22 02:45:17

steve_v
Member
Registered: 2018-01-11
Posts: 356  

Re: Upgrading a video card

You don't need X or a working GUI of any kind to install GPU drivers. X also has a generic VESA driver that will work with just about anything, though IMO it's more hassle than just installing the right driver from the CLI.

Worst case if the existing driver doesn't work with a new card is you disable KMS (i.e. nomodeset and co.) and/or blacklist the module and reinstall drivers from the console.

I've been through many generations of nvidia hardware on GNU/Linux (at least as far back as NV40/GT6xxx), and I don't think I've ever bothered to "prepare" anything. Just swap it in, reboot, and if X doesn't load then see about fixing the drivers.

Last edited by steve_v (2023-11-22 02:45:46)


Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Official GNOME Policy.

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#4 2023-11-22 18:04:30

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 208  

Re: Upgrading a video card

Well, it would be quite a surprise to be able to just replace the video card with something 3 generations newer and just load the same driver. But I guess I can try it.

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#5 2023-11-27 22:00:47

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 208  

Re: Upgrading a video card

Yes, it worked. I just replaced the card and started up my Chimaera install and it worked like before. Played some games just to see that it works in 3D mode as well as desktop. No noticeable problems. The previous card as an nVidia 1050TI, the new one is nVidia 3050. Three generations difference, and the driver just works? After getting acclimated to all the Wind'ohs rigmarole this is confusing.

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#6 2023-11-27 22:18:37

GlennW
Member
From: Brisbane, Australia
Registered: 2019-07-18
Posts: 601  

Re: Upgrading a video card

I am glad it worked out for you. All the best.


pic from 1993, new guitar day.

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#7 2023-11-28 07:55:17

steve_v
Member
Registered: 2018-01-11
Posts: 356  

Re: Upgrading a video card

Micronaut wrote:

After getting acclimated to all the Wind'ohs rigmarole this is confusing.

The windows nvidia drivers also support multiple generations, at least technically. In practice windows keeps a record of hardware IDs and the associated driver, which causes update/reinstall rigmarole (found new hardware wizardidiot spam anyone?) if anything changes.
Linux OTOH just loads the drivers you (or udev rules) tell it to, and each driver probes for supported hardware. Dumb, but 99% of the time it just works (and makes things like livecds and moving installs to new hardware much easier).
The disadvantage is that if you want different drivers for two or more compatible devices, you need to set that up manually. Pretty rare thing in practice though.

Last edited by steve_v (2023-11-28 08:00:56)


Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Official GNOME Policy.

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#8 2023-11-29 14:49:09

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 208  

Re: Upgrading a video card

That's a thought that occurred to me. There is more to system drivers than video, but I wonder what the complexity of creating an install that works on a few different systems would be. Not a generic "Live CD" that has to probe and select a bunch of drivers every time it boots, but something that understands and runs on a few system configurations that I happen to have. Since I have drive trays that allow easy swapping of HDs, it would be cool to have a single OS setup that I could move around between machines.

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#9 2023-11-29 18:51:15

steve_v
Member
Registered: 2018-01-11
Posts: 356  

Re: Upgrading a video card

Let me put it this way: When I upgrade my desktop (hardware), I build the new machine, swap the drive(s) in from the old box, and boot just it up. smile
99% of the drivers you will need are already present in the kernel / modules, it's just a question of autodetection, and that's pretty good IME.

Last time I wanted Devuan on a new-old machine, I actually just grabbed a backup of the whole disk form another completely different machine... Which worked without issue, and saved a bunch of time.

Last edited by steve_v (2023-11-29 18:53:02)


Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Official GNOME Policy.

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#10 2023-11-30 18:43:10

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 208  

Re: Upgrading a video card

Once I get done shuffling hardware I'll have to see about creating a single transferable setup. These 1050TI cards will be going into older systems, MSI motherboards while the boards they were on before are Asus. It would be very nice to just have one standard install across all systems. I could then download updates once on my slow DSL connection and then just copy the files around.

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