Integrating NVIDIA Proprietary Graphics Driver into Clear Linux ISO

Hello Clear Linux Community,

I’m a Linux newbie who’s been distro-hopping to find the perfect fit for my hardware, and Clear Linux has come out on top. It stands out in boot and shutdown times, I’m intrigued by its stateless design, and the fact that it’s a rolling distro meets my needs perfectly. However, I hit a stumbling block when I discovered that Clear Linux does not officially support NVIDIA’s proprietary graphics driver. As I am using a NVIDIA 40 series graphics card, this has posed a bit of a challenge.

To my relief, a fellow Clear Linux user, @marioroy , has a GitHub project that provides a way to install the NVIDIA proprietary graphics driver on Clear Linux. You can find the project here: GitHub - marioroy/nvidia-driver-on-clear-linux: NVIDIA driver installation on Clear Linux.

However, I was wondering if it’s possible to go a step further: could I create a Clear Linux ISO with the NVIDIA proprietary graphics driver already integrated? This would certainly streamline the installation process for me and potentially others who find themselves in a similar situation. Additionally, it could be useful to have the installer in this ISO install the proprietary graphics driver during the installation process itself, eliminating the need for manual installation post-setup.

Is this feasible, and if so, how might I go about it? I’m open to all suggestions and am grateful for any help you can provide. I understand I might have to use some additional scripts or modify some existing ones, but I’m willing to put in the work to make it happen.

Thanks in advance for your guidance!

As a user with an NVIDIA 40 series graphics card, I feel that my hardware options are constrained. I understand and respect the philosophical principles guiding the decisions of the Clear Linux development team. I’m aware of the open-source preference, but the reality for many of us is that NVIDIA’s proprietary drivers often provide better performance, especially for those of us interested in graphics-intensive tasks or gaming.

Moreover, not officially supporting these drivers puts an additional burden on users who aren’t familiar with navigating the Linux environment or those who simply wish for a smoother setup experience. While I found a potential solution through Marioroy’s GitHub project, not everyone might be so fortunate or comfortable with such a workaround.

In an ideal world, the choice of whether to use open-source or proprietary drivers should be left to the user. By officially supporting the NVIDIA proprietary graphics driver, Clear Linux would not only be more inclusive of varying hardware configurations but also become more user-friendly, particularly for those new to Linux.

I hope that the Clear Linux team will reconsider its stance on this issue. I feel it’s an area where the distro’s otherwise impressive approach could be improved, and I believe it’s something that could benefit the community as a whole.

I want to add another perspective to my previous post about the lack of official support for NVIDIA’s proprietary graphics driver in Clear Linux. In my journey through distro-hopping, I’ve observed several other distros, such as Manjaro, Endeavour OS, Garuda, and Nitrux, that offer seamless integration of proprietary drivers. This is a feature that significantly improves the user experience, especially for those with specific hardware configurations.

These distros have managed to strike a balance between upholding the principles of open-source software and acknowledging the reality that many users depend on proprietary drivers for optimal hardware performance. This approach ensures they cater to a broader range of user needs and hardware setups. Their method of handling proprietary drivers allows users to choose the best driver for their hardware, whether that is open-source or proprietary, and often this choice is presented in a user-friendly way during the installation process itself.

Clear Linux, with its state-of-the-art performance optimizations, innovative stateless design, and a commitment to rolling releases, has the potential to be an excellent choice for a wide range of users. However, the decision not to officially support NVIDIA’s proprietary graphics driver could be a significant barrier for many potential users. This decision may result in Clear Linux losing ground to other distros that offer more flexibility in terms of driver support.

I hope this feedback provides another perspective on this issue. I believe that a re-evaluation of this policy could make Clear Linux an even stronger contender in the wide array of Linux distros available to users today.

I will stop my moaning now.

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I agree with @Indy the process of integrating proprietary Nvidia drivers is an argues process, although doable. Nvidia graphic adapters are so ubiquitous, gaming desktop, laptops. Now AI workstation are coming out with Nvidia GPU’s. I believe Clear Linux community would grow, if a more open stance on allowing proprietary Nvidia drivers to be integrated into Clear Linux distribution.

I came to Clear Linux because AMD of all companies recommended this distribution for
getting the best performance out of their newest processors. It boots fast, does not seem to have fallen victim to “bloatware” phenomena of other operating systems and Linux distribution.

Thank you for the thoughtful reply, @sbharveyCL . Your insights resonate with my sentiments regarding NVIDIA’s proprietary drivers and their potential to expand the Clear Linux community.

Clear Linux’s performance and security optimizations, particularly for Intel architecture, along with its stateless design and modern, modular OS features, are indeed commendable. However, it’s worth revisiting certain aspects of its stated goals and how they relate to user expectations and needs.

The fact that Clear Linux is a rolling-release Linux distribution might seem contradictory considering its target audience of IT professionals, DevOps, and AI specialists who typically value stability over bleeding-edge updates. A rolling release model, while innovative, might introduce potential instability in server environments that require maximum uptime and predictability.

Moreover, the prevalence of NVIDIA GPUs in the AI and machine learning field, and the significant use of CUDA libraries, necessitate the support of NVIDIA’s proprietary drivers, even in a server context. Despite the open-source preference, it seems indispensable to provide this support to meet the needs of a large segment of Clear Linux’s target audience.

Furthermore, it’s also worth considering the potential of expanding Clear Linux’s footprint in the desktop OS space, specifically targeting the rapidly growing community of Linux gamers. Given the high performance and optimization of Clear Linux, it could offer a unique selling point to this audience. However, this would likely require a more open stance towards proprietary drivers, which are often essential for optimal gaming performance. Expanding into this area could significantly increase Clear Linux’s user base and create a more diverse community around this unique distro.

In essence, Clear Linux’s unique focus and the effort to maintain a primarily open-source ecosystem is noteworthy. Still, it seems that a more flexible approach regarding proprietary drivers could better align the distro with its users’ practical needs, particularly those involved in AI, machine learning, and gaming.

Farewell for Now, Clear Linux!

Well, it’s been a wild ride with the ups and downs of this whole NVIDIA driver saga. After contemplating all your helpful inputs and wrestling with the quirks of Clear Linux, I’ve decided it’s time for a change.

I’ve found myself a new digital abode, a mysterious and enchanting place where NVIDIA’s proprietary drivers are greeted with open arms! This dashing new distro doesn’t shy away from the driver dilemma, and needless to say, my GPU is now purring like a contented cat.

There’s not a trace of flathub to be seen here; instead, we have native binaries that’s charming in its own right and a user repo too. But most importantly, the community is vibrant and lively, always ready to lend a hand when wrestling with the challenges that inevitably crop up in the world of Linux.

While I’m excited about this new journey, I’m going to deeply miss the active and passionate users in this forum, too many to individually mention. The vibrant discussions, the exchange of ideas, and the constant drive for improvement have made this a memorable place.

That being said, I don’t intend to spill the beans on which distro it is! Let’s just say I’ve moved on to a land where I’m free to pursue my computing dreams without the shadow of driver compatibility looming over me. LOL!

So, for now, Clear Linux, we part ways. And yet, who knows what the future holds? Maybe one day, when NVIDIA drivers have found their rightful place in the Clear Linux world, we might meet again!

Until then, keep innovating, keep being awesome, and most importantly, keep the community spirit alive.

Yours with a touch of mischief, a dash of humor, and a heartfelt goodbye,


Farewell! Thanks for joining us on this journey, and sorry it didn’t align with your heart’s desires. Yes, we live in the hope that one day all hardware vendors will publish their drivers openly.

Wishing you all the best on your endeavors.

Of course you’re always welcome back.

I want to apologise to all of you for my tantrum above. I am sorry. Thank you for wishes @pixelgeek and @Businux .

With my frustrations with other distros, I am back to the beloved Clear Linux for good. Under the hood performance optimisations for intel hardware in Clear Linux is what made me comeback which were noticeable while using other distros. I am going to find solutions for all the quirks I find with Clear Linux which will take me on a journey of learning Linux basics.

With a copy of ‘How Linux works’ by Brain Ward, Clear Linux Desktop will be my daily driver determined to give up Windows for good. I am hoping that @marioroy will keep the ‘Clear Linux Nvidia scene’ moving! :smiley:



We may not have a dedicated user support team, but we do have some great community members that can help out on a lot of the issues that people encounter…


I’m still using Clear Linux on a really old netbook from 2014, and it has been pretty stable since a long time, I had issues in the past, but honestly, it has been pretty long since CL updates broke something for me.

One day I will try it on my main desktop, I’m a bit scared of the NVIDIA things breaking too often, but we will see!

A lot of issues were resolved – too many to list here. This is the root cause which had broken NVIDIA installation in the past.

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Nice! Yeah I kind of remember that, you are our hero with NVIDIA drivers lol!

By the way, how are the NVIDIA drivers behaving with CL? Is the setup with your scripts stable enough or tend to break from time to time due to kernel or OS updates? I would try it myself on my desktop, but I’m a bit busy with lots of personal stuff to go there and troubleshoot in case something goes wrong, also I can’t be working in some projects and find a random day my PC not being able to boot due to the drivers or something like that. My netbook works fine because it runs well with the open-source drivers, but I’m worried if it’s viable to use the NVIDIA drivers in CL like a daily driver.

Thanks for all your work!

It’s been great for the most part. The last few issues were due to CL itself (e.g. all users were affected; AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA graphics). It doesn’t appear the CL team have automated launching the GUI environment and capture a screenshot to determine if success.

For NVIDIA users, there is the possibility of the bleeding-edge native-kernel not yet supported by the NVIDIA driver (e.g. modules not building). For that reason, the recommendation is to select the LTS kernel during OS installation and never worry about it.

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Cool! Looks promising. I will definitely give it a shot on my desktop with it’s GTX 1070 this weekend if I get enough free time. To bad that currently Clear’s documentation is down, because there was a guide there to do dual-boot with Windows.
If I get DaVinci Resolve working on Clear, I will probably be capable of fully replacing Windows. I really hope I get it working!
(Probably will handle photoshop and illustrator with a Virtual Machine though)

I recommend installing CL to an external USB device before replacing your OS.

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Hi @Dapal. I wrote my sentiments in this post after trying Pop OS Nvidia specific iso and yearned for a Clear Linux Nvidia specific iso!! I think it will never happen, and I respect the development team for their stance and their philosophy that sums up to the funny word ‘Ngreedia’. LOL!

I find Clear Linux is the smoothest Linux distro for my PC as a daily driver. I had to use the text installer and boot into the shell to run @marioroy 's scripts. Then I get the glorious Wayland GUI spanning my three monitors. I don’t even have to ssh to the PC to copy and paste complex commands because I can just type them. The steps are so simple that you can remember them.

git clone
cd nvidia-driver-on-clear-linux
bash ./pre-install-driver update
bash ./pre-install-driver
bash ./install-driver latest
sudo reboot

With my limited knowledge of Linux, I think you will not have an issue during installation as GTX 1070 is noveau driver supported. Unlike me, you will be able to use the GUI installer. However, my guess is that to run Davinci Resolve, you will need to install the proprietary driver with CUDA. This is a breeze as highlighted above. You can do it from memory when you fresh install clear linux a few times!!

By the way, I will install Davinci Resolve myself and let you know.

And, I created a local version of the Clear Linux documentation from;

It did not compile on Clear Linux because the bundled Sphinx version appears older than required as I understand. It compiled fine on Pop OS and I have the HTML version in the DATA drive for reference.

An interesting idea for you or anyone reading this; how about setting up a Llama 2 chatbot to use Clear Linux Documentation to answer questions? :wink:

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@Dapal you probably not going to like the steps required but I managed to get Davinci Resolve run in Clear Linux. As I had to do it with trial and error, some of these bundles may not be needed. These are the steps I had to do.

sudo swupd bundle-add os-clr-on-clr-dev os-testsuite-0day qt-basic-dev

Download the Davinci Resolve Linux installation file. I have the
Then you install with following commands;

chmod +x
sudo ./

It seems Davinci Resolve has included some old libraries that needs replacing. Copy them from CL /usr/lib64/

sudo cp /usr/lib64/libglib* /opt/resolve/libs/

I had to get the other up to date libraries from this rpm package.

Extract it to your download directory and copy the files to Davinci Resolve libs directory;

rpm2cpio ./gdk-pixbuf2-2.42.10-2.fc38.x86_64.rpm | cpio -idmv
cd ~/Downloads/usr/lib64
sudo cp -r * /opt/resolve/libs/

Then run Davinci Resolve!

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Yep, good Idea, I will do that for testing purpouses, thanks!

Just a last question, but let’s assume that I install the native kernel instead of LTS, and the NVIDIA drivers are not compatible with some kernel update after a time… will “fixing it” be as simple as booting with the LTS kernel?

Yeah, I think the reason they don’t support the NVIDIA drivers out-of-the-box is due to them being closed-source. If I’m not mistaken, cards like the ones from AMD should work out-of-the-box because it’s open-source drivers and built in in the kernel via amdgpu I think.
I think that’s the same reason they don’t ship the distro with, say, Google Chrome, due to copyright things I think.

I’m glad to read all of that, makes me think that the situation with NVIDIA drivers isn’t as dark as I was expecting then!

That could be interesting! Right now I don’t know much about chatbots, but once I get the time I can try to learn a bit.
Also thanks for pointing out where the documentation is, I found what I needed!

Thanks a lot for the guide on how to make it work! You probably saved me hours of pain and despait not knowing what to do lol!! I’m really grateful. Also I did read the guide on dual-booting, and it’s better than I was expecting, because it seems that the BIOS can detect two different boot partitions on the same drive, meaning I don’t have to add some weird bootloader entries, just autoboot into Clear Linux… and if I want to use some Windows application that doesn’t work in Wine… press F12 at boot, and go to Windows! (better than having to set up a Virtual Machine, I heard GPU acceleration is not the best…)