How to Install Nvidia Drivers on Ubuntu: Step-by-Step Guide


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To Install Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu and other Linux distros is a breeze with this simple guide. In this article, you will learn how to download and install the correct graphics driver packages for your system, ensuring that you get the best performance out of your GPU.

Do you have an Nvidia graphics card on your computer? That’s fine until you need to install Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu or other Linux distributions, which is especially important if you’re a gamer. Unlike Windows, Nvidia drivers for Linux desktops are difficult to find and installing the latest drivers on your Linux desktop can be a time-consuming process.

Fortunately for Linux users, there is a third-party graphics drivers PPA that maintains up-to-date Nvidia drivers for installation.

The PPA is currently in testing but you can nonetheless get working drivers from here.

Install Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu

In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to install latest Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu and other Linux distros in a few steps. I’ll also see how to remove it should things not work out as expected.

​1. Determine the latest version of Nvidia driver available for your graphics card

Nvidia PPA

a. Visit the graphics drivers PPA homepage here and determine the latest versions of Nvidia drivers available which is ‘nvidia-390’ as of March 1, 2021.  

b. Verify that your graphics card is capable of running the latest drivers. You can search on this link to determine if your graphics card is supported by a driver version. Don’t be so particular about the version part after the dot (after, just make sure you’re supported on the main version 390.2.

Remove older Nvidia driver

​If your graphic is supported, you can go ahead and remove all previously installed Nvidia drivers on your system. Enter the following command in the terminal.

sudo apt-get purge nvidia*

3. Add the graphics drivers PPA​

Let us go ahead and add the graphics-driver PPA –

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers
sudo apt-get update

4. Install (and activate) the latest Nvidia graphics drivers. Enter the following command to install the version of Nvidia graphics supported by your graphics card –

sudo apt-get install nvidia-390

5. Reboot your computer for the new driver to kick-in. You can check your installation status with the following command

lsmod | grep nvidia

If there is no output, then your installation has probably failed. It is also possible that the driver is not available in your system’s driver database. You can run the following command to check if your system is running on the open source driver nouveau. If the output is negative for nouveau, then all is well with your installation.

lsmod | grep nouveau

6. Prevent automatic updates that might break the drivers. You can do this in 2 ways –

a. By removing the graphics-drivers PPA from your software sourcesThis will depend on your distro. On Ubuntu, go to your software sources, and then other sources and remove all instances of the graphics-driver PPAs.

b. Or by blocking minor version updates. Enter the following command

sudo apt-mark hold nvidia-390

Uninstall nvidia drivers from Ubuntu​

Are you running into issues with the new drivers, you can easily remove it.

a. Remove the graphics-drivers PPA as indicated in the step above.

b. Enter the following command to completely remove the driver

sudo apt-get purge nvidia*

c. Reboot your PC for the open-source nouveau drivers to kick-in.

Upgrading nvidia drivers in Ubuntu

Once you add ppa to your system and install drivers, you’ll automatically receive updates once they’re made available in the PPA. So keep updating system to get the latest updates.

sudo apt update 
sudo apt upgrade

Install Nvidia drivers In Fedora

If you are using Fedora 29, Fedora 28 or Fedora 27 then follow this tutorial. If you are using any other version, try it out and let me know if it worked or not. I have not tested it on older versions of Fedora.

For Ubuntu or derivatives, it was very easy to install through PPA. But in Fedora, we will download binary files and install Nvidia drivers. So you must download the correct drivers for your graphics card otherwise, it will not work.

Check your Nvidia graphics card –

lspci |grep -E "VGA|3D"

This command will show your machine’s graphics card information.

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GP107 [GeForce GTX 1050 Ti] (rev a1)

Download Nvidia drivers

  • Make the setup file executable
chmod +x
  • Update system and reboot
dnf update
  • Install dependencies
dnf install kernel-devel kernel-headers gcc make dkms acpid libglvnd-glx libglvnd-opengl libglvnd-devel pkgconfig
  • ​Disable open-source Nouveau drivers

Edit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf & at last, past the following line to disable nouveau drivers –

blacklist nouveau
  • Edit grub file /etc/sysconfig/grub

​Type ‘rd.driver.blacklist=nouveau’ at the end of ‘GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”…”‘.

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=" rhgb quiet rd.driver.blacklist=nouveau" 


grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg 


grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/efi/EFI/fedora/grub.cfg

Uninstall open-source Nouveau drivers

dnf remove xorg-x11-drv-nouveau
  • Create initramfs
backup old initramfs

mv /boot/initramfs-$(uname -r).img /boot/initramfs-$(uname -r)-nouveau.img 

create new initramfs

dracut /boot/initramfs-$(uname -r).img $(uname -r)
  • Reboot system
systemctl set-default

Install Nvidia drivers in Fedora


Now follow the simple setup to install and configure Nvidia drivers in the fedora system.​

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you should be able to successfully install Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu and enjoy better graphics performance and stability. Remember to keep your drivers up-to-date to take advantage of the latest features and improvements.

With the Nvidia drivers installed, you can now fully unlock the power of your Nvidia graphics card and enjoy a smoother, more responsive computing experience. So, go ahead and install Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu today!

Thanks for reading, hope you find this tutorial useful. Share your thought with us in the comments.

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