I am on Ubuntu 17.10 and have both an intel and Nvidia GTX 1060 card (the latter usually selected), with driver version 387.22.

I have noticed the following entries in my /var/log/syslog:

  • Nov 22 18:46:36 [machine name omitted] systemd[1]: Starting NVIDIA Persistence Daemon...
  • [some unrelated entries]
  • Nov 22 18:46:36 [...] systemd[1]: Started NVIDIA Persistence Daemon.
  • [some unrelated entries]
  • Nov 22 18:46:36 [...] systemd[1]: Stopping NVIDIA Persistence Daemon...
  • Nov 22 18:46:36 [...] nvidia-persistenced: PID file unlocked.
  • Nov 22 18:46:36 [...] nvidia-persistenced: PID file closed.
  • Nov 22 18:46:36 [...] nvidia-persistenced: The daemon no longer has permission to remove its runtime data directory /var/run/nvidia-persistenced
  • Nov 22 18:46:36 [...] nvidia-persistenced: Shutdown (1115)
  • Nov 22 18:46:36 [...] gdm3: GdmDisplay: display lasted 1.202396 seconds
  • Nov 22 18:46:36 [...] systemd[1]: Stopped NVIDIA Persistence Daemon.

The weird part is that those entries (and a few related I might be omitting here) are occurring continuously, multiple times and sometimes within the same timestamp.

That sounds suspicious to me - why is the daemon continuously started and stopped this way and wouldn't that severely impact on performance?

I'm asking because I am still clueless as per why my machine performs so poorly (especially with regards to gaming) in 17.10, compared to 17.04 - see related question.

Obviously the desktop and dependencies are prime suspects here, not so much the driver version (as I recall seeing the exact same with a previous version).


  • Is the above reflecting a normal behavior, and if not, how to investigate/fix it?
  • Could that relate to performance issues when running demanding applications, such as games?


Interestingly, if I log on with the old Unity desktop, these log entries do not seem to occur. Performance also seems a lot snappier from a pure desktop perspective (although it might be my imagination), but the gaming performance is quite the same.

2 Answers 2


Although this is an old problem, I've still encountered it myself on Kubuntu 18.04 and nvidia driver 390. Namely, the nvidia-persistence daemon spams the screen during boot (sometimes, not always). Thus, my solution circumvents the standard nvidia daemon startup on system boot by using a separate systemd service.

Like stated before, it seems to be a misconfiguration of starting the nvidia-persistence daemon. More precisely, the udev rules seem to be the problem for me. Thus, I modified /lib/udev/rules.d/71-nvidia.rules and commented out the actions under power-off and power-on. Like mentioned in other answers, you may also comment out the lines for loading and unloading.

Now the daemon does not start on power-on. Consequently, we have to schedule the start of the daemon manually. We can achieve that by copying /lib/systemd/system/nvidia-persistenced.service, e.g.

sudo cp /lib/systemd/system/nvidia-persistenced.service /lib/systemd/system/nvidia-persistenced-manual.service

Now modify /lib/systemd/system/nvidia-persistenced-manual.service to look something like this:

Description=NVIDIA Persistence Daemon

ExecStopPost=/bin/rm -rf /var/run/nvidia-persistenced


To enable the service, execute

sudo systemctl enable nvidia-persistenced-manual.service

and if the old service is still enabled, run

sudo systemctl disable nvidia-persistenced.service

This way, the daemon will start on system startup. Feel free to modify the line ExecStart=/usr/bin/nvidia-persistenced to e.g. include --verbose or --user [...].

Keep in mind, that in my default way, the daemon is running with root permissions. If you do not want this, make sure to run the daemon with the --user argument.

Altogether, this is not a perfect solution, but it was able to fix the bug on my system.

  • 2
    This solved the problem for me on Ubuntu 18.04
    – delf
    Sep 1, 2019 at 19:19
  • 1
    Awfully sorry for coming back this late - I overhauled the system back then and forgot all about this issue. I can't verify it works for me anymore but at least it did so for one user and the answer's well explained so I'm going to accept. Many thanks
    – Mena
    Jan 27, 2021 at 11:24

The entries are caused by an unnecessary configuration file from the Nvidia package:

  • Run the command nvidia-smi from the shell, you must see somewhere on the left top "Persistence-M On".
  • You can test if your Nvidia drivers work ok without "Persistence-M".
  • Go to /lib/systemd/system/ . Here you will find a file called nvidia-persistenced.service. Rename or move.
  • Go to /lib/udev/rules.d/
  • Open as root the config file 71-nvidia.rules
  • Comment out # the actions under power on and power off and loading and unloading.
  • Restart and check.

Thanks to void75, forums.linuxmint.com

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