Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm planning on installing nVidia proprietary drivers on my Ubuntu 10.10.
Historically this always ends-up with me being left with no graphical interface. No ability to revert - and reinstalling the whole system.

So now, before trying this anew, I wish to backup all relevant config files.
I'll try 1 or 2 methods. I'll list each one's commands.
I'll appreciate if anyone can tell me how to backup the relevant file, or what's the reverse of this operation.
10x, David

Method I - as described here:

  1. apt-get --purge remove xserver-xorg-video-nouveau
  2. As described in this answer: edit /etc/default/grub and add the line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="nouveau.modeset=0"
  3. sudo update-grub
  4. Reboot
  5. Install original drivers downloaded from nVidia site.

Method II - as described here:

  1. sudo apt-get purge nvidia*
  2. [possibly 'sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf' adding 'vga16fb' 'nouveau'
  3. sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx-185
  4. sudo modprobe nvidia
  5. sudo lsmod | grep -i nvidia
  6. sudo nvidia-xconfig
share|improve this question

For the first method, you'll need to backup /etc/default/grub, eg with

sudo cp /etc/default/grub /etc/default/grub.backup

If you edit the grub file, you'll need to run sudo update-grub. Nouveau can be reinstalled with sudo apt-get reinstall xserver-xorg-video-nouveau. Uninstall instruciton for nVidia's original driver should be included in the download, probably something similar to sudo make uninstall.

For the second method, you'll need to remove the edit from the blacklist file and run sudo apt-get purge nvidia-glx-185 to uninstall nVidia driver.

share|improve this answer
Please accept this answer, so this question won't show as unanswered in the frontpage. – papukaija Mar 16 '11 at 3:04

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.