Nvidia Ubuntu Driver for Windows4 min read
If you have an Nvidia graphics card in your system, it is important to install the correct driver. Fortunately, installing the Nvidia Ubuntu Driver is easier than ever before.
Nvidia’s new open-source drivers are designed to make it easier for Linux users to run their GPUs. However, there are some limitations.
Detecting Your Graphics Card:
Graphics cards are an essential part of any computer that enables it to process images, videos, and games. In Linux, there are a few ways to determine which graphics card is installed on your computer.
The first way is to look for a text line in the /devices file that describes the graphics card you are using. If there is a “[VGA controller]” line, then it means that it is an NVIDIA card.
Another method to detect your graphics card is by running the lshw command, which lists the hardware installed on your computer. This list can include PCI, VGA, and other types of hardware, so it’s a good idea to run this before trying any other methods.
Depending on your hardware, you can also make use of PRIME offloading to switch between an integrated Intel card and a discrete NVIDIA or AMD graphics card.
This technology saves battery life on hybrid graphics systems by automatically switching between the two based on the demand of your applications.
Installing the Driver:
If you’ve got a new Nvidia card and you want to use it on Ubuntu, you can install the Nvidia driver. It’s as easy as updating any other software in Ubuntu.
You can do it via the terminal or by using the Software Updater on your desktop. Either way, you’ll need to have an active Internet connection.
The driver will be installed in a new kernel module. You’ll need to reboot the computer after installation.
Another option is to install the driver through the Nvidia PPA (Nvidia Official ppa). These drivers work great with most cards.
However, if you have an older card or you’re planning to do some serious gaming with your graphics card, I would recommend installing the official Nvidia drivers from the Nvidia site. They’re fast, do a great job and they have lots of updates.
Verifying the Driver Installation:
After you’ve installed the Nvidia Ubuntu Driver, there are some ways to verify that it’s working. These include running a command-line utility that can tell you about your GPU device state and checking the driver’s version and kernel module version to make sure they match.
The most notable example is the Nvidia-semi command line tool, which can be used to query the status of your GPU device.
The nvidia-smi command also has a few other tricks up its sleeve, such as the ability to detect your GPU’s CUDA capabilities and display them on your screen.
The nvidia-smi utility can be a bit of a pain to run if your Linux system is old and you don’t have root access. However, it’s the best way to get a quick glimpse of how well your GPU is working on your system.
If you’re using a modern Linux distribution, it’s definitely worth giving it a try. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at the level of performance your machine is capable of.
Removing the Driver:
If you don’t like the proprietary Nvidia Ubuntu Driver or you want to switch to using Nouveau, you can uninstall it from your system. The process is easy, and it only requires a few steps.
First, log on to the instance as root. If you don’t have sudo configured, use the instructions in the sudo wiki page to enable it.
Once you have access to the root user, run the following command. This purges all NVIDIA packages except the nvidia-common package, which contains ubuntu-desktop as a dependency.
Then, reboot the instance. When the instance boots again, the open-source Nouveau driver is loaded.
This is a safer option than manually installing the non-free Nvidia drivers on your Linux system. However, it does come with some risks. That’s why I don’t recommend it.
The best option is to install the drivers by means of a PPA. That has a good reputation and is maintained by able and trustworthy developers.