How to fix the “failed to initialize nvml: driver/library version mismatch” error

Drivers are an extremely important part of being able to run any sort of hardware on your system. Nvidia drivers are software installed on the system for the purpose of helping to smoothly operate the Nvidia graphics card and help the system access this hardware. In this article, some light will be shed on what can cause this error as well as how we can fix them.

Why Does “failed to initialize nvml: driver/library version mismatch” Occur?

In this section, the possible reasons and solutions for the error will be demonstrated. If you shift your focus to the error statement clearly indicates that there exists an issue between the kernel module and the library. The issue is that their versions are mismatched. This difference in version will invoke the error whenever the Nvidia driver is being utilized.

What Methods are used for resolving “failed to initialize nvml: driver/library version mismatch”?

There is an extremely simple method using which this error can be fixed. The following section will demonstrate what these possible fixes to this issue are.

Solution: Remove the Module and Load a New One

To resolve this problem, remove the module and load a new Nvidia module. Follow the steps below closely to achieve this.

Step 1: Check Kernel Version

Step number 1 involves checking the kernel version. Run the code below to know which Nvidia kernel version is being executed on the system currently:

$ nvidia-smi

Alternatively, the command below can also be used to check the version:

$ modinfo nvidia

Check out the sample snippet below:

Step 2: Remove the Nvidia Driver

Once the kernel version is known, the current driver will be removed from the system using the command given below:

$ sudo apt purge nvidia*

Look at the following example:

Step 3: Reinstall the Correct Driver

The final step is to reinstall the driver with the correct version. The perfect version to utilize is also the kernel driver version. For instance, in this case, use the following command to install:

$ sudo apt install nvidia-driver-470 nvidia-settings nvidia-prime

The snippet below shows the installation of the correct driver:

Through this method, the error should be fixed since now the kernel and driver version should match appropriately.


To fix this Nvidia error, the kernel version of the system needs to be checked and match the corresponding Nvidia driver version. If there is a problem with that then the correct version can be installed after purging the previous version from the system. This post has demonstrated the reason for the error and also stated the solution to fix it.