Nvidia driver vs the Nvidia DKMS

Ok so today I had run an update and then rebooted my system, when I did, I was unable to do anything other than get to the TTY so suspecting it was a video driver issue I rolled the dice and replaced NVIDIA DKMS(I have been using this one for many months without issues until today) with regular NVIDIA, and it worked I can now boot into my system again. So my question is what is the difference and is there a reason to be on one vs the other?


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You install nvidia driver if you’re only using the mainline kernel (aka linux kernel package)
You install nvidia-lts driver if you’re only using the LTS kernel (aka linux-lts kernel package)

If you’re using more than one kernel on your system like linux or linux-lts or linux-zen in any combination, then you have to use nvidia-dkms driver package.

The first two I mentioned are drivers built for only that specific kernel. The nvidia-dkms driver is overall the most versatile if you’re using more than one kernel. Also note, it is a good idea to also download the kernel headers as well with whichever kernel or kernels you’re using, aka linux-headers or linux-lts-headers or linux-zen-headers which will help to properly ensure no issues compiling modules when getting rebuilt during updates. DKMS packages are (re)built for each kernel on package- or kernel upgrade via a pacman hook.