NVIDIA module already loaded in kernel

Problem

I was trying to install the latest NVIDIA graphics driver on a machine. When I ran the installer, it would complain like this:

An NVIDIA kernel module nvidia appears to already be loaded in your kernel

Solution

I tried to remove the module:

$ sudo modprobe -r nvidia

But, the kernel complained that the module was being used.

I tried to see which process was using this module:

$ lsof /dev/nvidia*

This showed that no process was using the module. This was surprising.

This is what worked for me in the end. I added a blacklist nvidia line to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf and rebooted the machine.

I then invoked the NVIDIA driver installer with the --uninstall option. Another reboot later, I found that the module was no longer in the kernel.

I was able to install the NVIDIA driver after that.

Tried with: Ubuntu 14.04

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