Linux - Background on Kernal Interfaces

Updated 09/29/2021 09:52 AM

Linux - Background on Kernal Interfaces


The NVIDIA kernel module has a kernel interface layer which must be compiled specifically for the configuration and version of the kernel you are running. NVIDIA distributes the source code to this kernel interface layer, as well as a precompiled version for many of the kernels distributed by some popular distributions.

When the installer is run, it will determine if it has a precompiled kernel interface for the kernel you are running. If it does not have one, it will check if there is one on the NVIDIA ftp site (assuming you have an internet connection), and download it.

If a precompiled kernel interface is found that matches your kernel, then that will be linked[1] against the binary portion of the NVIDIA kernel module. The result of this operation will be a kernel module appropriate for your kernel.

If no matching precompiled kernel interface is found, then the installer will compile the kernel interface for you. However, first it will check that you have the correct kernel headers installed on your system. If the installer must compile the kernel interface, then you must install the kernel-sources package for your kernel.

[1] NOTE: installation requires that you have a linker installed. The linker, usually '/usr/bin/ld', is part of the bin utils package; please be sure you have this package installed prior to installing the NVIDIA driver.

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