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I'm using Debian 10 (Buster) with a NVidia GT630 graphics card on a i386 system. apt install nvidia-driver installed nvidia-legacy-390xx drivers. Unfortunately the kernel module doesn't load (output of /var/log/Xorg.log):

[   100.857] (II) LoadModule: "nvidia"
[   100.858] (WW) Warning, couldn't open module nvidia
[   100.858] (EE) Failed to load module "nvidia" (module does not exist, 0)
[   100.858] (EE) No drivers available.

/lib/modules/4.19.0-12-686-pae/updates/dkms contains three nvidia-legacy-390xx*.ko files.

dkms status claims that the nvidia module is installed. modprobe nvidia wants to load nvidia-current, which fails (see log below). Not sure if this shouldn't read nvidia-legacy?

Any help would be much appreciated.

htpc:~# systemctl status nvidia-persistenced.service
● nvidia-persistenced.service - NVIDIA Persistence Daemon
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/nvidia-persistenced.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Wed 2020-11-25 12:42:40 CET; 33s ago

Nov 25 12:42:40 htpc systemd[1]: Starting NVIDIA Persistence Daemon...
Nov 25 12:42:40 htpc nvidia-persistenced[7376]: nvidia-persistenced failed to initialize. Check syslog for more details.
Nov 25 12:42:40 htpc systemd[1]: nvidia-persistenced.service: Control process exited, code=exited, status=1/FAILURE
Nov 25 12:42:40 htpc systemd[1]: nvidia-persistenced.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'.
Nov 25 12:42:40 htpc systemd[1]: Failed to start NVIDIA Persistence Daemon.
htpc:~# modprobe nvidia
modprobe: FATAL: Module nvidia-current not found in directory /lib/modules/4.19.0-12-686-pae
modprobe: ERROR: ../libkmod/libkmod-module.c:979 command_do() Error running install command for nvidia
modprobe: ERROR: could not insert 'nvidia': Operation not permitted
htpc:~# dkms status
nvidia-legacy-390xx, 390.138, 4.19.0-12-686-pae, i686: installed
htpc:~# dkms install nvidia-legacy-390xx/390.138 -k $(uname -r)
Module nvidia-legacy-390xx/390.138 already installed on kernel 4.19.0-12-686-pae/i686

Output of syslog regarding nvidia-persistenced

Nov 25 12:42:40 htpc nvidia-persistenced: Started (7377)
Nov 25 12:42:40 htpc nvidia-persistenced: Failed to open libnvidia-cfg.so.1: libnvidia-cfg.so.1: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
Nov 25 12:42:40 htpc nvidia-persistenced: Shutdown (7377)

A libnvidia-cfg.so.1 symlink pointing to libnvidia-cfg.so.390.138 exists in /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/nvidia/legacy-390xx. No such symlink and file in /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/nvidia/current.

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  • What does modprobe nvidia-legacy give? Nov 25 '20 at 12:52
  • modprobe: FATAL: Module nvidia-legacy not found in directory /lib/modules/4.19.0-12-686-pae
    – lmoly
    Nov 25 '20 at 13:05
  • Thanks, it was just a try (some vendors use fancy module aliases) Nov 25 '20 at 13:07
  • @EugenRieck Thanks anyway. I added some additional syslog output regarding nvidia-persistenced, maybe this helps.
    – lmoly
    Nov 25 '20 at 13:15
  • Forget nvidia-persistenced, it's not really needed. The problem is the kernel module itself - before you can load it, nothing else will work. Nov 25 '20 at 13:28
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I was able to solve the problem: For whatever reason apt install nvidia-driver had installed a wild mixture of Nvidia 390.132 and 418.152 drivers (possibly related to the fact that nvidia-kernel-dkms required by 418.152 is only available for amd64 and not i386).

Running apt purge *nvidia* && apt install nvidia-legacy-390xx-driver brought my X system back.

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