NVIDIA taints kernel

[ 3.397568] nvidia: loading out-of-tree module taints kernel.
[ 3.397577] nvidia: module license ‘NVIDIA’ taints kernel.
[ 3.397578] Disabling lock debugging due to kernel taint
[ 3.415910] nvidia: module verification failed: signature and/or required key missing - tainting kernel
[ 3.550850] nvidia_uvm: module uses symbols from proprietary module nvidia, inheriting taint.

I don’t know what taints actually is… Can any one help me fix this bug along with the meaning of the problem in my nvidia

In the context of the Linux kernel, tainted basically means it is not supported by the community/upstream. And as soon as you load some external, third-party, proprietary module, such as Nvidia official driver, Linux community can’t basically guarantee or support things as they are outside of their realm.

The only way would be I guess to either use Nouveau driver or that Nvidia decides to open-source and upstream their proprietary drivers to the Linux kernel.

So in that sense a question is a bit misguided.

Would you mind sharing the reasoning on why removing this message would be important to you?


@Ivan I am very very sorry for creating such a childish topics but I just wanted to be aware if that is really of an issue… This laptop has a lot of sentimental values to me so does Fedora and Nvidia… I just Want to become a good user and contribute to the linux committee … and wanted to be aware of any problems I encounter… I have formatted my entire laptop losing huge data after being unknown to the solution… Next time I ever encounter any problems I just want to solve that with no more regret… :disappointed:

I really sound like a black sheep in the community… I don’t mean to hurt any one

Have a great day @masteroman

@superadmin you are not a black sheep and IMHO you didn’t hurt anyone.
Your question was a legit question. And as far as I know, it is not the first time that someone asked about what “tainted kernel” means.


As far as I remember “tainted” originally refers to the GPL, in the sense that 3rd party modules which are not GPLed crash with the license terms…

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Asking questions will never make you the “black sheep”, rather it indicates curiosity and a willingness to learn.

A very good definition of “tainted kernel” was found here.

When the kernel is tainted, it means that **it is in a state that is not supported by the community** . Most kernel developers will ignore bug reports involving tainted kernels, and community members may ask that you correct the tainting condition before they can proceed with diagnosing problems related to the kernel. In addition, some debugging functionality and API calls may be disabled when the kernel is tainted.

**In most cases involving proprietary drivers, you can safely ignore the taint condition** , but some scenarios which cause the kernel to become tainted may be indicative of serious system problems.

The feature is intended to identify conditions which may make it difficult to properly troubleshoot a kernel problem. For example, the loading of a proprietary module can make kernel debug output unreliable because kernel developers don't have access to the module's source code and therefore cannot determine what the module may have done to the kernel. Likewise, if the kernel had previously experienced an error condition or if a serious hardware error had occurred, the debug information generated by the kernel may not be reliable.

**The kernel may become tainted for any of several reasons** , including (but not limited to) the following:

* The use of a proprietary (or non-GPL-compatible) kernel module—this is the most common cause of tainted kernels and usually results from loading proprietary NVIDIA or AMD video drivers
* The use of *staging* drivers, which are part of the kernel source code but are not fully tested
* The use of *out-of-tree* modules that are not included with the Linux kernel source code
* Forcible loading or unloading of a kernel module (such as forcibly inserting a module not built for the current version of the kernel)
* The use of an SMP (multiprocessor) kernel on certain unsupported uniprocessor CPUs, primarily older AMD Athlon processors
* Overriding of the [ACPI](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Configuration_and_Power_Interface) DSDT, sometimes needed to correct for power-management bugs (see [here](https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/DSDT) for details)
* Certain critical error conditions, such as [machine check exceptions](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine-check_exception) and [kernel oopses](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_kernel_oops)
* Certain serious bugs in the system firmware (BIOS, UEFI) which the kernel must work around

Each of these conditions is represented by a particular flag in the kernel. **Some Linux vendors, such as SUSE, [add additional taint flags](http://www.novell.com/support/kb/doc.php?id=3582750)** to indicate conditions such as loading a module that is not supported by the vendor.

More information is available in the [kernel documentation](https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/v4.10/admin-guide/tainted-kernels.html).

hello @computersavvy will that be a problem then?
I had loaded the nvidia drivers and I feel really annoying to see this on my screen…
I don’t know what severe damage this could cost?

API calls may be disabled when the kernel is tainted.

How would I know if the API call is disabled or not…
And What exactly is api call… api is application programming Interface but API call does not seems like it mean Calling upon a interface…

Can you tell me more about kernel debug output… I didn’t get it much?

I agree with the others that you’re not a “black sheep,” nor do I think @masteroman was really challenging the validity of your question. In my experience, at least in IT forums, it’s not uncommon for folks to ask follow up questions like he did, so we can make sure we understand exactly what you’re asking so we can give relevant answers.


That was indeed the case. Unfortunately forum posts don’t share emotions, so things can sometimes sound harsh. That was obviously not my intention, just trying to understand the question and the reasoning a bit better. Otherwise we all might be answering the wrong question or trying to solve The XY Problem

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The oops on the screen is seldom a problem. It is just an informative message, but if you want the details you click on that message box and you can see more.

I don’t do kernel debugging since I seldom see a problem that affects my use.

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