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Precompiled Benefits

Below is a preview of packaging improvements for the NVIDIA driver on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8

  1. For supported RHEL kernel releases (see below), driver packages are provided that implement an alternative to DKMS. The new approach does not require gcc to be installed anymore, nor does the EPEL repository need to be enabled. The source files for these driver kmod packages are compiled in advance and then linked at installation time, hence these are called "precompiled drivers".

  2. Using Modularity, the tech preview repository provides multiple update streams of the driver packages. Only updates on the selected stream will be considered. Update streams correspond to either all precompiled driver updates on specific driver branches (e.g., drivers with major version equal to "440").

  3. Stale .ko files are cleaned up via a dnf plugin.

Support Matrix

Pre-installation Actions

DKMS (non-supported kernels)

Note: This is only needed for special circumstances such as custom kernels.

Package Manager Installation:

Select an installation stream

Choose only one stream from the three options below:

  1. latest always updates to the highest versioned driver (precompiled)

    $ sudo dnf module install nvidia-driver:latest
  2. <id> locks the driver updates to the specified driver branch (precompiled)

    $ sudo dnf module install nvidia-driver:<id>

    note: replace <id> with the appropriate driver branch. For the tech preview, valid values are 440.

  3. latest-dkms always updates to the highest versioned driver (non-precompiled)

    $ sudo dnf module install nvidia-driver:latest-dkms

    note: this is only recommended for unsupported kernels.

Switch streams

To switch to another stream, first remove the driver packages

$ sudo dnf remove nvidia-driver

Then reset the module stream

$ sudo dnf module reset nvidia-driver

Now the driver can be installed from an appropriate stream. Refer to the "Select an installation stream" section above for the steps to do so.


The purpose of launching a tech preview is to gauge interest and receive customer feedback.