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Ubuntu 16.04 nvidia-304 proprietary driver installed and updated via the Nvidia ppa (for GT 620)

The system was running fine for 6 months but recently broke (not possible to get past login screen) with an nvidia-304 update failing to build. any advice on how to fix this would be very much appreciated

apt purge nvidia* && apt install nvidia-304

.........
[output truncated for clarity]
Loading new nvidia-304-304.137 DKMS files...
First Installation: checking all kernels...
Building only for 4.15.0-24-generic
Building for architecture x86_64
Building initial module for 4.15.0-24-generic
Error! Bad return status for module build on kernel: 4.15.0-24-generic (x86_64)
Consult /var/lib/dkms/nvidia-304/304.137/build/make.log for more information.
Setting up nvidia-opencl-icd-304 (304.137-0ubuntu0~gpu16.04.1) ...
Setting up nvidia-settings (396.24-0ubuntu0~gpu16.04.1) ...
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.23-0ubuntu10) ...
Processing triggers for initramfs-tools (0.122ubuntu8.11) ...
update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-24-generic


tail -20 /var/crash/nvidia-304.0.crash 
      nvl->rc_timer.data = (unsigned long) nv;
                   ^
 cc1: some warnings being treated as errors
 scripts/Makefile.build:332: recipe for target '/var/lib/dkms/nvidia-304/304.137/build/nv.o' failed
 make[3]: *** [/var/lib/dkms/nvidia-304/304.137/build/nv.o] Error 1
 Makefile:1552: recipe for target '_module_/var/lib/dkms/nvidia-304/304.137/build' failed
 make[2]: *** [_module_/var/lib/dkms/nvidia-304/304.137/build] Error 2
 NVIDIA: left KBUILD.
 nvidia.ko failed to build!
 Makefile:261: recipe for target 'module' failed
 make[1]: *** [module] Error 1
 makefile:59: recipe for target 'module' failed
 make: *** [module] Error 2
DKMSKernelVersion: 4.15.0-24-generic
Date: Fri Jul  6 23:06:48 2018
DuplicateSignature: dkms:nvidia-304:304.137-0ubuntu0~gpu16.04.1:/var/lib/dkms/nvidia-304/304.137/build/nv.c:3032:5: error: implicit declaration of function ‘init_timer’ [-Werror=implicit-function-declaration]
Package: nvidia-304 304.137-0ubuntu0~gpu16.04.1
PackageVersion: 304.137-0ubuntu0~gpu16.04.1
SourcePackage: nvidia-graphics-drivers-304
Title: nvidia-304 304.137-0ubuntu0~gpu16.04.1: nvidia-304 kernel module failed to build


tail -20 /var/lib/dkms/nvidia-304/304.137/build/make.log
/var/lib/dkms/nvidia-304/304.137/build/nv.c:3032:5: error: implicit declaration of function ‘init_timer’ [-Werror=implicit-function-declaration]
     init_timer(&nvl->rc_timer);
     ^
/var/lib/dkms/nvidia-304/304.137/build/nv.c:3033:28: error: assignment from incompatible pointer type [-Werror=incompatible-pointer-types]
     nvl->rc_timer.function = nv_kern_rc_timer;
                            ^
/var/lib/dkms/nvidia-304/304.137/build/nv.c:3034:18: error: ‘struct timer_list’ has no member named ‘data’
     nvl->rc_timer.data = (unsigned long) nv;
                  ^
cc1: some warnings being treated as errors
scripts/Makefile.build:332: recipe for target '/var/lib/dkms/nvidia-304/304.137/build/nv.o' failed
make[3]: *** [/var/lib/dkms/nvidia-304/304.137/build/nv.o] Error 1
Makefile:1552: recipe for target '_module_/var/lib/dkms/nvidia-304/304.137/build' failed
make[2]: *** [_module_/var/lib/dkms/nvidia-304/304.137/build] Error 2
NVIDIA: left KBUILD.
nvidia.ko failed to build!
Makefile:261: recipe for target 'module' failed
make[1]: *** [module] Error 1
makefile:59: recipe for target 'module' failed
make: *** [module] Error 2
0

Never did find an answer to this one except that it was a fairly wide-spread issue. Purging the nvidia drivers so as to fall back on the open source nouveau drivers got the system back up and running

  • Another option is to use the kernel provided by linux-generic package. – jarno Sep 10 '18 at 17:53

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