The issue is now solved!!! I can now render with the GPU, there are no lags in the view-port, everything is smooth and now I can say the switch from Windows to Linux is a success - at least from the point of view of a Blender Artist :).
Now… where did things go wrong? I guess there were multiple wrong decisions taken by me.
I’m still a novice when it comes to Linux, but for the fellow artists trying to make a similar switch I think you might find the following useful:
Make sure the “Compute capacity” of your GPU card is at least 2.0 …I had an old card - the GeForce series but it was luckily above 2.0 . You can check yours here.
One thing I forgot to mention in the original post was the edition. It was Linux Mint 18.2 Cinnamon. Which is supposedly, as I found out from other people online, not really fit for Blender GPU rendering (and Blender in general). I might be wrong but after I switched to Xfce things worked and are now apparently faster.
32-bit just doesn’t work. So I switched to a 64-bit Mint installation and that may be one of the reasons things started working (as jensverwiebe and YAFU mentioned, thnx :)). I have a legit explanation as far as my knowledge goes - the CUDA Toolkit is no more available for Linux 32-bit installations. Since nVidia users CUDA extensively, things should not work naturally.
Finally, make sure you are using the recommended drivers for your card, because by default Linux selects the open source drivers (which I don’t have much knowledge about) which may result in some bugs. You can change this in the Driver Manager.
A little side note:
And a little tip for Mint Xfce users, who are having trouble using the <Alt> key for Blender functions, go to Settings>Window Manager Tweaks in Linux and in the Accessibility tab you can simply change the "Key used to grab and move windows: " to anything other than <Alt>… for example: <Super>. This is the simplest solution and works for Xfce users but I’m not sure about other editions. I had a hard time getting this to work, so I hope it helps some of the users out there [ especially those who have broken the middle-mouse-button like me :)].
Thanks to all those who contributed in this discussion. Without your suggestions, I would have got frustrated and switched back to Windows agian. Thanks once again!
------------- THE INITIAL ISSUE ------------
I have been using Blender for a long time now. But I recently moved to Linux Mint 18.2 from Windows 7. I have a pretty old graphics card: GeForce GT 610
I installed the latest drivers compatible with my card using a *.run file. It seemed to have installed fine.
I enabled GPU in blender 2.79 RC 2 and I could see my card in the list. Everything was fine till this point.
But when I try to render using GPU, the render gets cancelled and I get this error: CUDA error at cuModuleLoad: Invalid kernel image
I know some other people also had this issue but I couldn’t find any good solutions for me so far.
Please let me know if you know any way to get this thing to work. I really want to get back to creating artworks with Blender.
OS: Linux Mint 18.2
Blender:2.79 RC 2
Card: GeForce GT 610
Error: CUDA error at cuModuleLoad: Invalid kernel image
Thanks in advance,