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After a recent update (regular automatic system updates only) - probably affecting the NVidia driver - I can't open the GUI any more (either on system startup or by manually calling startx). This is what happens when I try startx:

NVIDIA: API mismatch: the NVIDIA kernel module has version 304.88,
but this NVIDIA driver component has version 304.108. Please make
sure that the kernel module and all NVIDIA driver components
have the same version.

Fatal server error:
no screens found

enter image description here

I'm running Ubuntu 12.04.3 LTS. I have tried several things, including:

But got the exact same message in every case. In the end, I managed to "kinda" restore things to how they were (installing nvidia-current and removing unnecessary packages) and after selecting "Previous Linux versions" on GRUB I got the GUI working on the last stable version.

What should I do from now? Stop updating my system and stick to the working version? Try to upgrade my nvidia driver somehow? Wait until a later update fixes things? I have zero experience with drivers on Linux and would really appreciate if someone at least helped me understand what is happening...

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Try this solution:… – darent Jan 3 '14 at 19:47
I'm having the same exact problem – Gopherkhan Jan 4 '14 at 4:46

From the virtual console, try to purge all the nvidia packages and xorg.conf file,

sudo apt-get purge nvidia*
sudo rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf
sudo service lightdm restart

Because the error screen clearly says using the config file : /etc/X11/xorg.conf.Config file was automatically created after installing nvidia drivers.Values in that file maybe inproper.So removing that file allows you to get back the GUI login prompt.

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Also good thing to do is removing old DKMS modules: sudo rm -rf /var/lib/dkms/nvidia-304/. – Danatela Mar 12 '14 at 3:42
@Danatela i think sudo apt-get purge nvidia* command will remove dkms modules which are related to nvidia. – Avinash Raj Mar 12 '14 at 3:45
It does, but sometimes fails. I was encountered with such situation twice on 13.04. – Danatela Mar 12 '14 at 3:56

I have the same proble, this fixed:

sudo jockey-text -e xorg:nvidia_304

And then restart.

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