[arch-general] Broke Arch trying to change graphics driver

Eric Blau eblau at eblau.com
Fri May 4 18:00:01 UTC 2018

On Fri, May 4, 2018 at 1:34 PM Junayeed Ahnaf via arch-general <
arch-general at archlinux.org> wrote:

> So here's what happened, I was facing issue with proprietary nVidia driver
> (screen tearing) so I thought I want to switch to the free one, so I
> uninstalled nvidia with "pacman -Rs nvidia" , then I thought might as well
> try a different kernel and installed zen. Now when I boot into either
> kernel I am seeing "Starting display manager" then a black screen. I can
> login to tty2 , but no display comes up.
> I want to switch back to free driver, with preferably zen kernel. What
> should I do? Thanks in advance.

I just hit a similar issue when trying to switch from nvidia to nouveau. I
was trying to switch from i3/Xorg to sway/Wayland. The proprietary nvidia
driver is unsupported with sway. I uninstalled the nvidia modules like you
did, disabled the lightdm display manager, and booted into nouveau. It
worked but was much too slow to be usable with my 4K display. I was getting
major lag. It was like getting 1 HZ refresh rate moving my mouse pointer

I switched back to i3/Xorg with the nvidia modules but when rebooting to
test, it failed with a black screen like you got. When I tried "sudo
modprobe nvidia" I got an "exec format error" message and the  nvidia
module refused to load.

The nvidia module installed to the extramodules directory so I expected it
to work with the 4.16.4 kernel I'm running even though it was built on
4.16.1, but apparently that is not the case. Uninstalling and reinstalling
nvidia and nvidia-utils did not fix things.

Eventually I gave up and did a "zfs rollback" to restore the previous
system state and everything was fine after that. Sorry I don't have good
solution for you, but I wanted to chime in that I also encountered the same
problem and it was related to the nvidia modules not being loadable.


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