Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Write suggestions and new ideas in here
More ideas here http://community.linuxmint.com/idea/welcome
Forum rules
  • Only post ideas here that are specifically about the Linux Mint distribution or its websites.
  • So that developers and users from any distribution can discuss ideas in one place, post ideas about improving software to the collaboration website for that software instead.
Post Reply
Yfrwlf
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:46 pm

Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by Yfrwlf » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:25 pm

So I hear through the grapevine that Windows 10 installs graphics drivers automatically. Regardless of whether or not that is true, I often hear about confusion around how someone gets the latest NVIDIA driver installed, because adding the graphics-driver PPA is an extra step. Some games, including all Windows games played via Proton in Steam (and DXVK+Wine), require the very latest stable NVIDIA drivers be installed, and perhaps even sometimes the beta branch driver.

I think it'd make sense to do this for users as part of their installation experience, and have NVIDIA driver updates be included in their normal system updates, with the graphics-driver PPA enabled by default. The Driver Manager could allow selecting between the latest stable, and the beta, branches. I think doing this would make Linux Mint be an even easier Linux distro to use, and would help NVIDIA users out. As for AMD users, if there is a good PPA that they should be using, such as perhaps ppa:paulo-miguel-dias/pkppa, maybe adding that PPA should also be done for when AMD graphics is detected. Better would be if these weren't PPAs but included in the main repos, but the Ubuntu repo/PPA system is what it is for now. I'm not sure why they are kept as PPAs rather than being included, but it's silly to do that when this software is so widely installed and needed.

Thoughts? :)

Thanks for reading!

EDIT: I didn't mean "automatic" installation of drivers, although that should be done if the user selects to install updates when they install Linux Mint. I meant more to make the graphics-drivers PPA added by default, or some similar solution, so that the NVIDIA driver would be installed if needed during system updates, and the ability to switch to the open source driver still available by using the Driver Manager.

User avatar
karlchen
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 11397
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Germany

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by karlchen » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:27 pm

<moderator on>
Deleted unconstructive quarrel between two users.
Please, try to express your point of view in a friendly way, even if you disagree with a suggestion.
</moderator off>
Image
Linux Mint 19.2 32-bit xfce Desktop, Total Commander 9.22a 32-bit
Haß gleicht einer Krankheit, dem Miserere, wo man vorne herausgibt, was eigentlich hinten wegsollte. (Goethe)

Yfrwlf
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:46 pm

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by Yfrwlf » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:34 pm

Have any of the devs considered making the newest drivers in the graphics-drivers PPA available in the driver manager tool, so that the PPA will get added upon selecting one of those drivers, or even just making the graphics-drivers be a default PPA? Or some other way of doing it, but you get the general idea!

mirkoj
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:17 pm

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by mirkoj » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:31 pm

funny enough I'm wondering this as well.
was installing centos on another machine and the following guide from a friend it installs latest 418 something drivers.
and reinstalled mint on another home machine like yesterday and there is only 390 something version.
any options to update that or is there properly written a guide on how to actually update Nvidia drivers to latest version?
Thank you!

Yfrwlf
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:46 pm

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by Yfrwlf » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:24 pm

mirkoj wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:31 pm
funny enough I'm wondering this as well.
was installing centos on another machine and the following guide from a friend it installs latest 418 something drivers.
and reinstalled mint on another home machine like yesterday and there is only 390 something version.
any options to update that or is there properly written a guide on how to actually update Nvidia drivers to latest version?
Thank you!
The normal method is to add the graphics-drivers PPA. You can do all this via the terminal with

Step 1

Code: Select all

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa
And then install 418 with:

Step 2

Code: Select all

apt install nvidia-driver-418
After you've added the PPA with the first step, the Driver Manager will show you the drivers which are available in that PPA, so you can also use the Driver Manager to install them for step 2. You can also use the software sources tool to add the PPA which would replace step 1.

The issue here is making Driver Manager be smarter, making that PPA be default or have an option in the Driver Manager to add it or query it, etc, some sort of solution so that users can avoid doing these steps altogether. :)

User avatar
catweazel
Level 19
Level 19
Posts: 9697
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:44 pm
Location: Australian Antarctic Territory

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by catweazel » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:33 pm

Yfrwlf wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:25 pm
I think it'd make sense to do this for users as part of their installation experience
I agree that the user experience would be enhanced but the nVidia drivers aren't 'free', as in open source. Even the kernel complains about tainting when it detects the nVidia driver. There are onerous license conditions for installing nVidia drivers and these are probably what prevent the drivers being insalled during the OS installation.
"There is, ultimately, only one truth -- cogito, ergo sum -- everything else is an assumption." - Me, my swansong.

Yfrwlf
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:46 pm

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by Yfrwlf » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:24 pm

catweazel wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:33 pm
Yfrwlf wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:25 pm
I think it'd make sense to do this for users as part of their installation experience
I agree that the user experience would be enhanced but the nVidia drivers aren't 'free', as in open source. Even the kernel complains about tainting when it detects the nVidia driver. There are onerous license conditions for installing nVidia drivers and these are probably what prevent the drivers being insalled during the OS installation.
The Driver Manager already offers these drivers. This is a request to have it offer the newer drivers, that's all.

mirkoj
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:17 pm

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by mirkoj » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:45 pm

this worked for me. after using that 1st part it showed bunch of new drivers there so installed latest and all good and fine :)
could be an option to have that as a checkbox when installing, similar to 3rd party stuff checkbox during installation. like would you like .. blah blah..

ajgringo619
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1449
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:36 pm
Location: San Diego, California

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by ajgringo619 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:59 pm

The problem with Linux GPU drivers, especially with Nvidia, is that they drop support for older GPUs all the time. At least with the stock drivers that come with Mint, you're very likely to get one that will support your GPU. As already mentioned in this thread, adding the PPA is very easy.
Mint 19.2 XFCE
kernel 4.15.0-66-generic
AMD FX-8350 Eight-Core w/16 GB RAM
Nvidia GeForce 960 w/2GB RAM (440.26)
Image

Yfrwlf
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:46 pm

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by Yfrwlf » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:04 pm

ajgringo619 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:59 pm
The problem with Linux GPU drivers, especially with Nvidia, is that they drop support for older GPUs all the time. At least with the stock drivers that come with Mint, you're very likely to get one that will support your GPU. As already mentioned in this thread, adding the PPA is very easy.
This is a request for an option for newer drivers to be made available so that users don't even have to do the work of Googling how to update to them, then adding the PPA. Multiple drivers can be made available in the Driver Manager. This would help make Mint/Ubuntu friendlier for new users by removing that Googling hurdle.

ajgringo619
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1449
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:36 pm
Location: San Diego, California

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by ajgringo619 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:07 pm

OK, gotcha.
Mint 19.2 XFCE
kernel 4.15.0-66-generic
AMD FX-8350 Eight-Core w/16 GB RAM
Nvidia GeForce 960 w/2GB RAM (440.26)
Image

Yfrwlf
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:46 pm

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by Yfrwlf » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:13 pm

ajgringo619 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:07 pm
OK, gotcha.
Actually, I can confirm that's what adding the graphics-drivers PPA does, in fact. Right now, I have the 390, 396, 410, 415, 418, and nouveau drivers all showing in my Driver Manager because I have that PPA added, and I'm 99% sure that the 390 and/or 396 drivers are the older original ones that exist without the PPA. Maybe mark the 390 driver as the "supported" driver and the others as not supported, or maybe have an old/stable driver section and a new/current driver section? I don't know how would be best to communicate the driver situation to new users, but offering those newer drivers by default or by having an option someplace in the tool I think would help them out. :)

User avatar
catweazel
Level 19
Level 19
Posts: 9697
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:44 pm
Location: Australian Antarctic Territory

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by catweazel » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:43 pm

Yfrwlf wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:24 pm
The Driver Manager already offers these drivers. This is a request to have it offer the newer drivers, that's all.
Video driver updates are rather important because they contain updated definitions for what certain objects should like under OpenGL, but that said, the 390 driver is LTS, so it is maintained up to date.

There's also another point that may need to be considered. PPAs require the user to place trust in the PPA maintainer so perhaps this is a decision that the Mint devs consider should be left completely to the user, otherwise the Mint project wears the risk.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with your idea. I just don't see the Mint devs doing it.

Cheers.
"There is, ultimately, only one truth -- cogito, ergo sum -- everything else is an assumption." - Me, my swansong.

gm10
Level 19
Level 19
Posts: 9647
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:11 pm

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by gm10 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:56 pm

As far as I can see, the official repositories have up to version 410 of the Nvidia drivers. It's natural they would be slightly lower than the latest, comes with the nature of the distribution, we're not on a bleeding edge rolling release model. You also don't get the latest versions of other software. By design. I imagine only gamers need those drivers, anyway.

PPAs are third-party software repositories that any random individual can create. They are entirely unofficial, unsupported, untested and unverified. Additionally, due to the nature of this particular one, you receive binary blobs that you cannot verify the source of even if you wanted to. That's a lot of trust to place into some random individual on the Internet.

The AMD PPA mentioned in the OP doesn't even appear to carry AMD drivers and instead brings a new Mesa version, which is even a step further.

So yeah, lots of good reasons for not having any PPAs added out of the box. Maybe we could add an option to the Welcome app or Software Sources to facilitate adding them - along with a big disclaimer - but I don't really see it happening, either. Haven't discussed it in the team though, so this is my personal opinion.
Last edited by gm10 on Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Yfrwlf
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:46 pm

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by Yfrwlf » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:59 pm

catweazel wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:43 pm
Yfrwlf wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:24 pm
The Driver Manager already offers these drivers. This is a request to have it offer the newer drivers, that's all.
Video driver updates are rather important because they contain updated definitions for what certain objects should like under OpenGL, but that said, the 390 driver is LTS, so it is maintained up to date.

There's also another point that may need to be considered. PPAs require the user to place trust in the PPA maintainer so perhaps this is a decision that the Mint devs consider should be left completely to the user, otherwise the Mint project wears the risk.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with your idea. I just don't see the Mint devs doing it.

Cheers.
I agree that the Mint devs might not want it to be the default, yes. Have the LTS/current/supported version be the default and just make the newer drivers optional.
gm10 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:56 pm
As far as I can see, the official repositories have up to version 410 of the Nvidia drivers. It's natural they would be slightly lower than the latest, comes with the nature of the distribution, we're not on a bleeding edge rolling release model. You also don't get the latest versions of other software. By design. I imagine only gamers need those drivers, anyway.

PPAs are third-party software repositories that any random individual can create. They are entirely unofficial, unsupported, untested and unverified. Additionally, due to the nature of this particular one, you receive binary blobs that you cannot verify the source of even if you wanted to. That's a lot of trust to place into some random individual on the Internet.

The AMD PPA mentioned in the OP doesn't even appear to carry AMD drivers and instead brings a new Mesa version, which is even a step further.

So yeah, lots of good reasons for not having all PPAs added out of the box. Maybe we could add an option to the Welcome app or Software Sources to facilitate adding them - along with a big disclaimer - but I don't really see it happening, either. Haven't discussed it in the team though, so this is my personal opinion.
I thought the graphics-drivers PPA was by Canonical but you might be right, not sure who is on the "Graphics Drivers Team". I do know other distros are making newer drivers available due to some gamers needing them especially for things like DXVK/Proton, but obviously also for newer graphics cards and the other usual performance and feature reasons.

Totally agree with you that precautions should be taken as needed and warnings given about adding the PPAs (graphics-drivers for NVIDIA, Padoka PPA for AMD and Intel?), but I do know that this seems to be a fairly commonly desired need and do see it tripping up users now and then. Maybe you can do some polling or something about it? :D

Yeah, options for it in the Mint installer or in the Driver Manager or Welcome screen, lots of potential places one could implement it. I think it would be a hit but I also frequent gaming sites so I might be in a bubble. Thanks for considering this regardless!

Yfrwlf
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:46 pm

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by Yfrwlf » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:51 am

Oh and by the way, the top comment in this Reddit thread was the reason I came back here to update this thread. Fairly big discussion about getting the newest NVIDIA drivers and confusion around that for newbies, and how other distros do it better. Might be worth a read.
https://www.reddit.com/r/linux_gaming/comments/b0kmpg/

ugly
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 232
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:17 pm

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by ugly » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:36 am

I think this is something that should be considered.

With Steam's Proton getting some attention in gaming circles, there has been some more interest in people wanting to try Linux for gaming. The biggest barrier seems to be video driver issues.

Thinking from the perspective of a typical Windows user, the first thing they would think they need to do when installing a new operating system is find and install drivers. Ideally, using the latest stable driver that comes with the distro should be enough. But with Proton and DXVK you do kind of need updated drivers.

So when the new Linux user tries to play a game, it doesn't work, they just give up and say Linux sucks.

Another thing that I see asked for a lot in Mint is the ability to easily select a refresh rate.

User avatar
trytip
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3800
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:20 pm

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by trytip » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:52 am

KaOS Linux and Mageia 7 have options to boot the live usb in nvidia non-free mode. but you will never see bleeding edge software in ubuntu. if you don't see it in ubuntu you will not see it in mint. mint depends way too much on ubuntu
Image

Yfrwlf
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:46 pm

Re: Include the latest NVIDIA (and AMD) graphics drivers for a better out-of-the-box experience

Post by Yfrwlf » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:37 pm

trytip wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:52 am
KaOS Linux and Mageia 7 have options to boot the live usb in nvidia non-free mode. but you will never see bleeding edge software in ubuntu. if you don't see it in ubuntu you will not see it in mint. mint depends way too much on ubuntu
But since Mint is based on Ubuntu currently, and because adding a PPA is the current fix for that issue on Ubuntu, making that easier for new users to do is one way to improve Mint.

Post Reply

Return to “Suggestions & New Ideas”