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How To Unload Nvidia from Kernel in Ubuntu: Troubleshooting “Module nvidia is in use” Error

Ubuntu 17

In this article, we will delve into the process of unloading the Nvidia driver from the kernel in Ubuntu. We will also address the common error message “Module nvidia is in use” and provide troubleshooting steps to resolve this issue.

Quick Answer

To unload Nvidia from the kernel in Ubuntu and troubleshoot the "Module nvidia is in use" error, you can try removing Nvidia-related packages using apt-get --purge remove "*nvidia*" or the Nvidia uninstaller script. If that doesn’t work, you can forcibly remove the module using rmmod -f nvidia. If you encounter the error message, it’s best to reboot your system and investigate further if the module is still loaded.

Understanding the Nvidia Module

The Nvidia module is a piece of software that allows your computer’s operating system to communicate with your Nvidia graphics card. It’s loaded into the kernel, the core part of your operating system, to function seamlessly. However, there may be instances where you need to unload or remove this module, such as when updating your drivers or troubleshooting software conflicts.

Checking if Nvidia Module is in Use

Before proceeding with the unloading process, it’s crucial to check if the Nvidia module is currently in use. This can be done using the lsmod command, which lists the status of modules in the Linux Kernel.

To do this, open your terminal and type:

lsmod | grep nvidia

If the Nvidia driver is listed in the output, this indicates that the module is currently loaded and in use.

Attempting to Unload the Nvidia Module

If the Nvidia module is in use, you can’t directly unload it. You can attempt to remove it using the apt-get command, which is a powerful command-line tool used for handling packages in Ubuntu.

sudo apt-get --purge remove "*nvidia*"

This command will attempt to remove all Nvidia-related packages. The --purge option is used to remove the configuration files as well.

Alternatively, you can use the Nvidia uninstaller script:

sudo /usr/bin/nvidia-uninstall

Forcibly Unloading the Nvidia Module

If the above commands fail to unload the Nvidia module, you may need to forcibly remove it. This can be achieved using the rmmod command, which is used to remove a module from the Linux Kernel.

sudo rmmod -f nvidia

The -f option is used to forcefully remove the module. However, please note that forcibly removing a module can cause system instability and should be done with caution.

Troubleshooting “Module nvidia is in use” Error

If you encounter the error message rmmod: ERROR: ../libkmod/libkmod-module.c:793 kmod_module_remove_module() could not remove 'nvidia': Resource temporarily unavailable, it means that the Nvidia driver is still in use and cannot be unloaded.

In such cases, the best course of action is to reboot your system. After rebooting, you can check if the Nvidia module is still loaded by running the lsmod | grep nvidia command again. If it’s still loaded, you’ll need to investigate further to identify the process or module that’s using the driver.

Conclusion

Unloading the Nvidia driver from the kernel in Ubuntu can be a complex process, particularly if the module is in use. However, with careful use of the lsmod, apt-get, and rmmod commands, it’s possible to manage this task effectively. Always remember to proceed with caution when forcibly removing modules to avoid causing system instability.

For more information on managing modules in Ubuntu, you can visit the Ubuntu documentation.

Can I unload the Nvidia driver from the kernel in Ubuntu?

Yes, you can unload the Nvidia driver from the kernel in Ubuntu using the steps mentioned in this article.

Why would I need to unload the Nvidia driver from the kernel?

There are several reasons why you may need to unload the Nvidia driver, such as updating your drivers or troubleshooting software conflicts.

How can I check if the Nvidia module is currently in use?

You can use the lsmod command followed by grep nvidia to check if the Nvidia module is currently loaded and in use.

What should I do if the Nvidia module is in use?

If the Nvidia module is in use, you can attempt to remove it using the apt-get command or the Nvidia uninstaller script. If that doesn’t work, you may need to forcibly remove it using the rmmod command.

What should I do if I encounter the “Module nvidia is in use” error?

If you encounter this error, it means that the Nvidia driver is still in use and cannot be unloaded. In such cases, the best course of action is to reboot your system and check if the module is still loaded after rebooting.

Is it safe to forcibly remove the Nvidia module?

Forcibly removing a module can cause system instability, so it should be done with caution. It’s always recommended to proceed with caution and only forcibly remove the module if necessary.

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