"nvidia" Kernel Module REFUSES to Unload, No Matter What

So, while trying to go back to my old single-GPU passthrough VM that I used daily for about a year then stopped in 2022, I realized that something had broken.

I spent days trying to troubleshoot it, and then I realized that the actual problem is the nvidia kernel module. It will NOT unload.

Even when I reboot, SSH into the system, kill SDDM, unload the other nvidia kernel modules (nvidia-modeset, nvidia-drm, and nvidia-uvm), and then try to unload nvidia, I always get the “module is in use” error.

Even trying to use modprobe -rf or rmmod -f.

I do NOT have it in my initramfs/mkinitcpio.conf. I completely removed it.

Even checking lsof /dev/nvidia0 gives zero output once I’ve killed everything.

And yes, I’m even unbinding the vtconsoles and efi framebuffer. I’ve done everything.

lsmod | grep nvidia shows that no other modules are depending on it:

nvidia              62525440  5

I created an nvidia-bug-report.log.gz while in a TTY after unloading the other modules and killing SDDM, and running lsof /dev/nvidia0 and getting no output:

nvidia-bug-report.log.gz (2.5 MB)

No it hasn’t been solved

nvidia-persistenced is not running by any chance, is it?

No, I have never enabled nvidia-persistenced