As outlined in yesterday's extensive article about NVIDIA's new open-source Linux kernel GPU driver, currently for consumer GeForce RTX GPUs the driver is considered of "alpha quality" while NVIDIA's initial focus has been on data center GPU support. In any event with having lots of Turing/Ampere GPUs around, I've been trying out this new open-source Linux kernel driver on the consumer GPUs. In particular, I've been curious about the performance of using this open-source kernel driver relative to the default, existing closed-source kernel driver. Here are some early benchmarks.
Looking at the license information from modinfo nvidia will tell whether you are using the open-source (MIT/GPL dual licensed) driver or not.
My testing of the NVIDIA 515.43.04 beta driver while opting for the open-source kernel driver has been going well. I've tried several different GeForce RTX GPUs while for this article I am benchmarking with the high-end GeForce RTX 3090.
The quick primer on opting to use this open-source kernel driver with the closed-source driver components is passing the -m=kernel-open argument to the NVIDIA driver installer. This will build the open-source kernel driver for your system rather than using the default binary modules. In addition to that though, you need to set the NVreg_OpenRmEnableUnsupportedGpus=1 module option so this "alpha quality" driver will load for the consumer/workstation GPUs. With these two alterations made, the NVIDIA Turing/Ampere GPUs should successfully initialize with the open-source kernel driver build.