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NVIDIA Drivers on Ubuntu

I'm using a desktop that I got from System76 with an NVIDIA graphics card. Installing the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu wasn't simple, so here are the steps that I've gotten to work across multiple installations.

First remove any existing NVIDIA packages:

sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia*
sudo apt-get autoremove

Next blacklist the nouveau driver. Without this step, the driver can re-appear after an update and cause problems. Create the blacklist file:

sudo vi /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-nouveau.conf

And add the following lines:

blacklist nouveau
blacklist lbm-nouveau
options nouveau modeset=0
alias nouveau off
alias lbm-nouveau off

Next create a file to disable the nouveau kernel mode setting:

sudo vi /etc/modprobe.d/nouveau-kms.conf

And add the following line:

options nouveau modeset=0

Then apply the settings:

sudo update-initramfs -u

Now download the driver from the NVIDIA website for your specific graphics card. Afterward, reboot and press CTRL+ALT+F1 at the login screen. That will bring up a true TTY terminal. Pressing CTRL+ALT+F7 will return you to graphical mode.

From the terminal, enter the following commands, replacing the filename of the driver with the one you downloaded:

sudo apt-get install dkms build-essential
sudo service lightdm stop
cd ~/Downloads/
sudo chmod u+x NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-352.63.run
sudo ./NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-352.63.run

You'll be asked to accept the license, then shown the "distribution-provided pre-install script failed" warning. Ignore this and continue. Allow the script to register the kernel module sources with DKMS when prompted. The kernel modules will be built and another warning will appear about the 32-bit compatibility libraries. This can also be ignored.

The script presents a message about the libvdpau and libvdpau_trace libraries and then installs the drivers. The script will ask to run the nvidia-xconfig utility. Select "Yes" here (note that "No" is the default).

That completes the installation. Restart your system and the drivers should be working correctly:

sudo shutdown -r now

For more details after installation, check the log file at: /var/log/nvidia-installer.log

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