ok I had 2 separate ubuntu installs fall apart first showing video card driver issues then in one case progressing to kernel panic, in less than 48 hours. My main laptop still cannot run low latency kernel and only works with generic one. is there a linux/nvidia driver issue going on or am I very very unlucky?

Proprietary Nvidia drivers need to built against the kernel and will work, but complain of a mismatch with the kernel module, then be erratic.
I compile on Gentoo, so this is generic observation rather than Ubuntu specific. So if the upgrade path gets broken, or no reboot to switch to a matching kernel , you could easily get issues. Not sure if Ubuntu uses the Nvidia drivers or Nouveau, which may or may nit be similar.
I would hope that the package manager would keep everything in sync

I think what you are describing is exactly the issue. Ubuntu uses both nouveau and nvidia proprietary. On low latency kernel system threw me to nouveau out of nowhere. Switching it back to proprietary driver is where kernel panic started. problem so far seems to be happening with both 18.04 and 19.10 on low latency. and a screen resolution issue happened on 18.04 at which point I didn't wait around to see if it would escalate

anyhow thanks very much for sharing this.

NVIDIA vs Nouveau 

@CreatureOfTheHill @eylul

You could check your apt logs to see if the kernel and/or driver was upgraded recently, and if so try to downgrade to a previous working version? On Debian Buster I have `/var/log/apt/history.log` but I don't know if unattended upgrades would go there too (I don't have that enabled).

NVIDIA proprietary drivers are not compatible with realtime kernels (not sure if this is for technical or legal reasons).

The Nouveau driver is not very good (I've had some shaders just display the wrong things), but it does improve slowly over time, at least on older hardware that NVIDIA hasn't locked down by requiring signed firmware or some such hostile nonsense. Without the correct signature the device is locked in the lowest power mode or so, which is usually non-performant.

I still use the NVIDIA proprietary driver on my laptop (which is old enough that Nouveau can enable higher power states) because of the shader bugs, and it makes me sad.

I bought AMD for my last machine because of these issues (free/libre drivers working great there), but this doesn't help you right now.

NVIDIA vs Nouveau 

@mathr @CreatureOfTheHill I was in a hurry, but after I finish grading i'll definitely look around to see. Not sure it will be possible as I had to do a fresh install but it is at least worth checking.

realtime kernel is a different case and what little I know about them is that they have compatibility issues. I never had issue with the low latency kernel through in 5+ years I have used it (and performance hit is not really noticeable to this casual gamer)

NVIDIA vs Nouveau 

@mathr @CreatureOfTheHill I wish I could use nouveau as well but while it has improved quite a bit I do still need the abilities the proprietary driver has both for gaming and art purposes...

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