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Every time I update Linux (Debian 11) headers or drivers, Blender loses contact with my graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce 1060)

What gives?

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1 Answer 1

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It was a NVIDIA issue not syncing with Linux updates and disconnecting Blender's ability to find anything NVIDIA/CUDA related.

To fix:

Part I:


Part 2:

  • Now it gets tricky: Disable the default nouveau driver:
    $ sudo echo blacklist nouveau > /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-nvidia-nouveau.conf
    $ sudo update-initramfs -u
  • Reboot to multi-user runlevel. #This will disable the GUI after reboot!!!
    $ systemctl set-default multi-user.target
    $ systemctl reboot

NOTE WELL: When you restart your computer, everything you do will be from the command line.


  • From command line (or Safe Mode), navigate to directory where you downloaded the NVIDIA run file:
    $ sudo bash NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-your.version#.run
  • During installation, you'll be asked questions, say YES to everything and install NVIDIA driver. After reboot, SCREEN SHOULD START UP USING YOUR GRAPHICS CARD.
  • Remind your computer to use the GUI every time it starts up:
    $ systemctl set-default graphical.target
    sudo reboot

Part 3:

NVIDIA is good to go, but Blender still won't recognize your GPU because CUDA needs to be downloaded with nvidia-cuda-toolkit.

  • Download/Install CUDA Debian Installer from CUDA docs
  • Reboot the system to load the NVIDIA drivers
  • Set up the development environment by modifying the PATH and LD_LIBRARY_PATH variables.
  • From Debian Wiki, install nvidia-cuda-toolkit picking up any missing pieces:
    $ apt install nvidia-cuda-dev nvidia-cuda-toolkit
  • Update everything with $ sudo apt update
  • Reboot computer: $ systemctl reboot
  • Open Blender, check Edit --> Preferences --> System, and it should now recognize your GPU.
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