23
Oct
09

Installing nvidia drivers in Ubuntu

Image representing NVidia as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

This is a problem for most users and it can get a little difficult to find a proper solution to it. So, if you have an nvidia graphics card or an nvidia chipset, this is what you need to do to install the drivers on Ubuntu: (A suggestion: copy the following on a piece of paper so that you can follow the instructions)

Step 1: Visit the official NVIDIA drivers page. The link to the page is here: NVIDIA Download Drivers

From there select your product type, product series and OS and download the driver. Personally I feel you should download the driver to a separate folder so that you can use it later in case a new kernel is released by Ubuntu. As for me, I created a folder called “Drivers” under /home/user_name and saved the downloaded driver files there.

Next comes the part where you need to quit the default desktop and enter the command line (okay, dont freak out, its simple enough! Honest!)

DONT DO THIS NOW, AS YOU WONT BE ABLE TO READ THE REST OF THE PAGE. COPY THE INSTRUCTIONS ON A PIECE OF PAPER.

Step 2:

Press “ctrl+alt+F1

As soon as you press the three keys you will be taken to a command line interface and you will be asked to enter your username and password. You’ll have to enter your Ubuntu username and password there.

Step 3: Next type the following exactly as mentioned:

cd Desktop
sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop

Modify the following command according to the location where you have saved the NVIDIA file (“user_name” is obviously your username, so do replace that, also I’m assuming that you have saved the downloaded driver to the Drivers folder):

sudo sh /home/user_name/Drivers/NVIDIA

(press TAB after that and the rest of the file name will appear)

Follow the instructions after typing the following command (its easy dont worry! Just press “Yes” and “Accept” everywhere if you arent very sure/use the recommended option) and the drivers will be installed.

Step 4: Finally type the following:

sudo reboot

Your computer will reboot and when it starts you’ll find your Drivers already installed. You can find your NVIDIA driver settings under System > Settings > NVIDIA X server settings.

Thats it! đŸ™‚

P.S. – There’s of course an easier way out. Go to System > Administration > Hardware Drivers and install the recommended nvidia driver. What this does is basically installs the latest version of nvidia available at the time of the release of that particular Ubuntu distro. So, if there’s a critical update to the drivers, or if a new version is released, you wont get it. The above procedure installs the very latest drivers on your system irrespective of your version of Ubuntu.

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