How to Install Nvidia Drivers on Ubuntu

How to Install Nvidia Drivers on Ubuntu?


The well-known video card manufacturer Nvidia successfully supports GNU/Linux distributions. Of course, a significant drawback of such drivers is the closed source code, which makes it impossible to fully understand what is really going on inside this software. However, video cards in GNU/Linux work quite stably and on free drivers. There is also a nice graphical interface for managing the video adapter. This article describes how to install Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu.

Graphical Method

Regardless of the desktop environment used, Ubuntu has the following utility: Software & Updates. It is ideal for identifying and installing the right driver.

Run this program through, for example, Dash Search.

install nvidia drivers ubuntu

Next, open the Additional Drivers tab. Here we will see a list of available drivers for some computer nodes, such as Wi-Fi, CPU, etc. We are interested in the information block for the video card.

You see the image on the screen since the free nouveau driver is installed by default. For Nvidia video cards, it contains significant limitations in games and 3D programs, so you need to install an alternative component, proprietary or open source. It will be marked in brackets with the corresponding word. Select it and click “Apply Changes”.

ubuntu nvidia drivers

Confirm this action, if necessary, by entering the password and wait for the operation to complete.

Please note that this list differs depending on the model of the video adapter. This may include stable and test versions. If any driver is suggested as recommended, then you should try installing it. In most cases, the driver auto-detection system works successfully.

How to Install Nvidia Drivers through Terminal

As expected, the terminal has more options for installing the driver than graphically, but this is a bit more painstaking and complicated (a bit) process.

Starting with Ubuntu 18.04, the Nvidia driver of the stable new version is available in standard repositories.

First, you need to find out which driver versions are available, and then download the target package.

Install ubuntu-drivers-common package:

sudo apt install ubuntu-drivers-common

Run the ubuntu-drivers utility with the list parameter:

ubuntu-drivers list

nvidia linux driver

A list of drivers available for installation will be displayed. Usually, the version with the highest number fits your video card without any problems. You can install the driver by its name with the exact version or combine this with the previous command by installing the newest driver:

sudo apt install $(ubuntu-drivers list | tail -1)

You can also do an auto-installation by trusting the driver selection utility:

sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall

Confirm the download of the necessary components and wait until the operation is completed, then restart the computer.

You can also download the script from the Nvidia official website by selecting the exact version of the video card. But before that, you should make sure that the system does not have installed drivers of other versions. To do this, input:

sudo apt purge nvidia*

Indicate the data of your device on the video card selection page. After that, press “SEARCH”.

ubuntu nvidia

After that, a suitable driver will be selected. Download it with the corresponding button.

ubuntu 18.04 nvidia drivers

Confirm the agreement.
update nvidia drivers ubuntu

After downloading, open the terminal and go to the directory with the location of this script, give it the right to execute the command:

chmod +x NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-XXX.XX.run

where XXX.XX is the version number.

Now execute the file:

./NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-XXX.XX.run

You may have to do this operation in a virtual terminal. To do this, go to one of them (for example, to the third) by pressing Ctrl + Alt + F3.

Follow the instructions during installation to complete the process correctly.

install nvidia drivers on ubuntu

This completes the installation of the Nvidia driver in Ubuntu.

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