I have successfully installed Blender 2.92 in the latest distro of Linux Mint (I am a new Linux user) but I am finding adding CUDA support overly complex. I am willing to strip out all the drivers, CUDA support, etc and start over if necessary. I am just having a problem filtering through the different sequences suggested according to different distros. I have tried many different approaches and several different package management approaches but none have been successful. I am also finding the recommendations from the Nvidia site really confusing. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
It’s been a long time since I used Mint (been on Arch for years), but have a look at https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=336117, and in particular, the final post.
The distribution should have a driver manager application from which to install the nvidia driver.
If you don’t find driver manager, then you open the package manager and search for the package with the words “nvidia-driver”. It usually has this format “nvidia-driver-XXX” (XXX is the version). So you see what is the latest version available on the distro and you check to install that package (then it will download and install all the necessary packages automatically). Then you make sure that it has finished installing the packages, and you reboot the system.
Regarding Blender, packages installed from repositories usually do not contain precompiled CUDA Kernel. It is recommended that you download official Blender for Linux, you extract the package to a new folder. After entering that folder you execute there (double click) “blender” file.
I found a working way to make sure the proprietary NVIDIA drivers can be loaded. I found a conflict between the default nouveau drivers and installing the NVIDIA drivers, both with the driver installer in Linux Mint and the terminal. I found that any LIVE USB installation method reinstalls the nouveau drivers in a way that conflicts with any NVIDIA installs I tried. The workaround that worked for me was to put the ISO on a DVD and install from it. Since it is not a traditional LIVE install, the nouveau driver is not in conflict with the proper NVIDIA installs, and the NVIDIA X server app is installed properly. This allows for CUDA activation in Blender.
I am still having some render problems in Blender that work properly in Windows, but I will be addressing them separately.