Appropriate use of loader.conf(5) for kernel modules

There's a FreeBSD recommendation to use /boot/loader.conf for nvidia (with the latest driver for NVIDIA).

Is this use of loader.conf appropriate (with FreeBSD 13.0-RELEASE), or somewhat archaic?

AFAIK, you should use kld_list="nvidia-modeset" on rc.conf instead.
Also, you can use /boot/loader.conf.local instead of /boot/loader.conf, so you can make the .local yours and let the loader.conf alone.
On one hand, <> (Chapter 3) for 470.86 (the latest production branch) states:

… your /boot/loader.conf file will be updated to automatically load the NVIDIA kernel module on boot, as well as the Linux ABI compatibility module should you not have it compiled into your kernel.

On the other hand, <> for NVIDIA Quadro K1100M (GK107GLM) recalls that things were "better" with nvidia-modeset_load set to no in /boot/loader.conf
  • so I question the sanity of NVIDIA's Chatper 3.


Staff member
The installer from NVidia itself installs a whole bunch of useless entries in loader.conf. Use the port/package: x11/nvidia-driver. It has the proper procedure in its pkg-message.
Two thoughts. The nvidia driver fom the nvidia site might be unknown to the freebsd package manager pkg, as such uninstall might be problematic.
Also to remove entries from loader.conf you sometimes have to boot into single user mode which is an annoyance.