In the "Software & Updates" window, on the "additional drivers" tab I have X.Org X Server -- Nouveau" driver selected, but thre are two others called "NVIDIA driver metapackage from nvidia-driver-390" and "NVIDIA driver metapackage from nvidia-driver-396".

All three are labelled "open-source".

What are the differences? Why choose one over the other?


1 Answer 1


The difference I can think of is that NVIDIA drivers are made by NVIDIA, which should be your GPU designer, while X.Org Nouveau drivers are made by the community, with no particular graphics card on their focus.

I would expect NVIDIA drivers to work better on NVIDIA hardware, because the chip designer should know better its own chip than the team behind Nouveau drivers, but unless you play games or use other graphically demanding applications you shouldn't notice much difference. In fact, Nouveau drivers lack the reclock support NVIDIA drivers have in newer GPUs.

You can read more information about this topic in this other question.

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