But otherwise, check the supported chipsets in driver releases. Ubuntu doesn't use the very latest nvidia driver because they need to test them. This can mean that if your hardware is very new, the used driver wont work.
To find this out, find out what version Ubuntu ships in Synaptic (The
nvidia-glx-185 package ships nvidia version
195.36.24) and compare that with the relevant page on nvidia.com. Here is the information on 195.36.24. Look under supported products and you'll see what hardware it supports. If yours is in there, awesome. If it's not then we have a problem.
In cases like this you have to go straight to the source and download the latest nvidia driver from nvidia. I personally get mine from the Linux Forum on NvNews (nvidia's forum). They don't package their installers as debs, they're just executables.
Once downloaded you need to:
- Go to a TTY (Control+Alt+F1)
- Log in
sudo stop gdm to kill X
sudo sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-256.44.run (but replace this with the actual file)
- Assuming that goes well, it should build, install and load the kernel driver so just
sudo start gdm to get back into X
Note: Ubuntu's driver will automatically rebuild the nvidia kernel module when it updates its kernel (security updates, etc). Unless you want to get involved in some serious scripting trickery, the manually installed one wont. So after kernel updates you'll likely be dumped at a low-resolution screen with a prompt on what to do next. Click exit to prompt (or the one that sounds like that) and do what you did starting from point 2.
Note on that Note: I recommend you never use the low graphics mode as it can disturb your desktop settings. Just get out of X, reinstall the driver and get back into X with full hardware capabilities.