It's Recommended To Avoid Using The Open-Source NVIDIA Driver On Linux 6.3

Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 14 June 2023 at 01:48 PM EDT. 56 Comments
It's recommended to avoid using the open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" graphics driver on the current stable Linux 6.3 series as there is a serious bug present that could cause varying issues to your system.

There aren't too many active users of the Nouveau driver stack currently due to the best open-source support being with the GeForce GTX 600/700 series graphics cards while the GeForce GTX 900 series and newer is limited to running to the low boot clock frequencies due to signed firmware / PMU issues. Additionally, the Nouveau Vulkan driver is still in early stages of development, the transition to using the NVIDIA GSP firmware with the RTX 20 series and newer remains ongoing, and other issues that leave the NVIDIA proprietary driver what's widely used when dealing with NVIDIA GPUs on Linux. But many still will run Nouveau initially on clean Linux installs until getting around to deploying the packaged NVIDIA Linux graphics driver. The warning though is to currently avoid using Nouveau on Linux 6.3.

There is a use-after-free issue within the Nouveau DRM kernel driver and it can cause corruption of kernel memory. Use-after-free issues are also a potential security vulnerability but it's possible this corrupted kernel memory could lead to file-system corruption or other system issues.

Nouveau driver usage

Nouveau developer Karol Herbst at Red Hat has recommended as a result that those running Nouveau on Linux 6.3 downgrade to the Linux 6.2 kernel series. Or eventually this issue is likely to be resolved in a future Linux 6.3 point release once addressed.

This Nouveau bug report that's been open the past month is what's tracking this open issue.

This isn't the first nasty bug for Nouveau in the mainline kernel. One that comes to mind a decade ago with Nouveau was the open-source NVIDIA driver filling up entire hard drives due to wild logging that could generate nearly 120GB of logs out-of-the-box in around two hours of use.
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