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As expected, Nvidia drivers have reduced my customizations. I can't login to Unity 3D session. I can't find any content to help me to uninstall the driver and I don't know what to do as I have never uninstalled them before.

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About the unity, do "unity --reset" – Nick Bailuc Mar 9 '14 at 17:49
up vote 82 down vote accepted

For Ubuntu 12.04

Commands can be executed to terminal. You can open a terminal with Ctrl + Alt+T keys combo.

If you remove --purge the nvidia driver you will be OK. No need to blacklist something, but sometimes maybe a force-load of the nouveau module needed.

First uninstall completely the driver.

Search what packages from nvidia you have installed.

dpkg -l | grep -i nvidia

except the package nvidia-common all other packages should be purged.

If you want to be sure that you will purge everything related to nvidia you can give this command

sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia-*

the asterisk in the end means (Purge everything that begins with the name nvidia-)


above command will also remove the nvidia-common package and the nvidia-common package has as a dependency the ubuntu-desktop package.

So after above command you should also give the installation command for ubuntu-desktop package

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

Also sometimes the nouveau driver get blacklisted from nvidia driver. With purge command it should UN-blacklisted. If you want to be sure that nouveau will be load in boot, you can force-load it by add it to /etc/modules

echo 'nouveau' | sudo tee -a /etc/modules

Last , search for the xorg.conf file and remove it as well

sudo rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf

In summary

sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia-*
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
sudo rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf
echo 'nouveau' | sudo tee -a /etc/modules

Although all above commands not needed, this is my way to completely purge the nvidia driver and use the open source nounveau.

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Worked like a charm. Thanks! This was exactly what I needed. – VedVals Oct 25 '12 at 14:43
Your recipe just solved for me a similar problem that kept me last night fiddling with my computer until 3 am. Not enough thanks. – Jorge M. Treviño Feb 22 '13 at 18:46
Yes indeed it worked as a charm!! – alvas Apr 27 '13 at 6:43
thanks, this was effective on ubuntu 13.10 – bsautner Oct 25 '13 at 12:53
This answer is still helping out! Fixed my Lubuntu 13.10. Thanks! – travisw Feb 3 '14 at 15:02

I just used the nvidia-uninstall.

sudo nvidia-uninstall

In my case I got the driver directly from the nvidia website.

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To uninstall nVIDIA driver, open terminal by pressing (Ctrl+Alt+T) then type:

sudo apt-get purge nvidia-current
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what if you only have access to GRUB? – Matt O'Brien Oct 18 '14 at 21:49
@MattO'Brien one thing you could try is append init=/bin/bash to your Linux boot line from within GRUB. that would boot you up to the command line where you can do the rest. Alternatively, try appending novideo or novga to image line/root fs line instead. – Jamieson Becker Mar 24 '15 at 20:31

protected by Community Mar 9 '14 at 19:46

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