nVidia driver and software updates


I have been running SuSE 11.0 for a while now and most initial problems are solved. Yesterday I allowed the system to perform software updates (all those that were available) and immediately after that I could not start X.

I had to run the nVidia binary again to regain access to X, but when I restarted the machine I saw for a brief moment, among the many system boot messages, something like “kernel tainted by nVidia”.

I am not experiencing any problems at the moment but I would like to know if this means I did something wrong.

Also, I will try to avoid software updates in the future because I don’t know which of them made X unusable.

Any advice?

Tainting means that nvidia driver is not GPL and linking it to kernel “taints” it. You can ignore it, it’s just a notification.

The fact that you had to re-install the nvidia drivers (usually) means there was a kernel update. Since the drivers are built to a specific kernel, if it changes the driver modules have to be re-built.

There will be security fixes in the kernel from time to time. I do NOT recommend that you skip those. As long as you know there is a kernel update, then you also now to re-install the drivers when you reboot for the new kernel.

Many thanks for both replies. I understand now what tainting means and will keep an eye on kernel updates.