Solving the "NVRM: API mismatch" Problem on Arch Linux

2014-06-04*
arch, linux, nvidia

Sometimes when you do a system upgrade on Arch, Xorg will die on a reboot and you’ll get this kernel error (available with dmesg):

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NVRM: API mismatch: the client has the version XXX.XX, but
NVRM: this kernel module has the version YYY.YY.  Please
NVRM: make sure that this kernel module and all NVIDIA driver
NVRM: components have the same version.

. This is usually the case when you upgrade your linux package, followed by upgrading your nvidia package. The problem is that the new kernel image references your older nvidia package (when it executed mkinitcpio -p linux before nvidia got upgraded). There are two possible solutions:

  1. Simply remake your kernel image against your newly upgraded nvidia package. Run mkinitcpio -p linux again, and reboot.
  2. In the alternative, downgrade to your previous set of nvidia drivers, located in /var/cache/pacman/pkg/.

Hope this helps someone out there. =)