Why nvidia drivers sometimes don’t build when new kernel is introduced.

Some users may have the misconception that as soon as a new kernel package is introduced then the existing nvidia kernel modules should automatically, right away work with the new kernel. By now we all should realize this does not work this way. Why?

nvidia driver releases are designed to work up to a specific kernel version and often need to be patched to work with later kernel versions. Be aware that nVidia is closed source so these patches are mostly provided by nVidia or other kernel hackers. Whatever the source of the patches they are not usually available until after a new kernel is released. It is therefore inevitable that in some instances there will be a delay between the time when a new kernel is released by OpenMandriva and when a new nVidia driver package can be made available.

So what should nVidia proprietary driver users do?

1. Pay attention when you update your system so you know when a new kernel version is available. Then:
a. either don’t install it until the nvida drivers for that kernel are ready OR:
b. install the new kernel but continue to boot in to the previous one with working nvida driver until drivers for new kernel are available.

2. Be patient and realize that OpenMandriva developers are a Community of some of the hardest working all volunteer (and part time) folks you would ever want to meet.

And 2 more points worthy of consideration from bero (Bernhard Rosenkranzer):

Indeed… I’d like to make sure 2 extra points are pointed out:

1.The best fix is to not support a company that is rabidly anti-Linux. If you’re buying new hardware, look for something with an AMD or Intel GPU, both of those will do much better. Also email nvidia support and tell them to open their drivers, support nouveau, or be boycotted next time.

2.If you want to keep your old hardware (let’s not waste electronics), there is a supported driver and it’s called nouveau. It’s not perfect, but certainly good enough these days unless you’re playing ultra high-end games every day.

Note on spelling: nVidia is meant to refer to the company/organization. All lower case nvidia is meant to refer to any nvidia driver software.

And thanks to itchka (Colin Close) for the wording in the 2nd paragraph that explains why nvidia driver patches are sometimes not available for latest kernel.