I have a Full install USB flash drive.
I want the drive to work on most computers.
Is it OK to install Nvidia graphics drivers to suit my home computer.
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
I did some testing and the result was quite interesting.
I installed a basic Lubuntu 18.04.1 LTS 64-bit system in a Sandisk Extreme 16 GB in BIOS mode in an old computer from 2008 with built-in nvidia graphics. This computer has an M2N-VM DV motherboard, an Athlon-64-X2-4400+ CPU and a GeForce 7050 PV / nForce 630a graphics chip.
I know that in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS it needed nvidia proprietary graphics to work well, and that in recent versions it works well with the free linux driver 'nouveau'.
I tested the oldest two available proprietary drivers in 18.04.1 LTS as well as the newest available proprietary driver. None of them worked but the system defaulted to a VGA screen, 640x480.
So I stayed with the newest driver,
apt-cache policy nvidia-384 nvidia-384: Installerad: 390.48-0ubuntu3 Kandidat: 390.48-0ubuntu3 Versionstabell: *** 390.48-0ubuntu3 500 500 http://se.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu bionic/restricted amd64 Packages 100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
which is good for my Dell Precision M4800 laptop.
Then I shut down, and moved the USB pendrive to some computers with Intel graphics and one computer with Radeon graphics. An Intel driver and a radeon driver were seleced automatically for the graphics in those cases.
The proprietary nvidia graphics driver caused problems only in a computer with an nvidia chip, that does not work with that driver. Other kinds of graphics chips/cards work well.
I created small files when running in the different computers in order to keep record of the test data, for example
bash -c 'apt-cache policy nvidia-384;sudo lshw|head;sudo lshw -C display' > dell-m4800.txt $ cat dell-m4800.txt nvidia-384: Installerad: 390.48-0ubuntu3 Kandidat: 390.48-0ubuntu3 Versionstabell: *** 390.48-0ubuntu3 500 500 http://se.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu bionic/restricted amd64 Packages 100 /var/lib/dpkg/status tester-system-product-name beskrivning: Bärbar dator produkt: Precision M4800 (Precision M4800) tillverkare: Dell Inc. version: 01 serienummer: 6KH5Q12 bredd: 64 bits förmågor: smbios-2.7 dmi-2.7 smp vsyscall32 konfiguration: boot=normal chassis=laptop sku=Precision M4800 uuid=44454C4C-4B00-1048-8035-B6C04F513132 *-core *-display beskrivning: VGA compatible controller produkt: GK107GLM [Quadro K1100M] tillverkare: NVIDIA Corporation physical id: 0 bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0 version: a1 bredd: 64 bits klocka: 33MHz förmågor: pm msi pciexpress vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom konfiguration: driver=nvidia latency=0 resurser: irq:32 memory:f4000000-f4ffffff memory:e0000000-efffffff memory:f0000000-f1ffffff ioport:e000(storlek=128) memory:f5000000-f507ffff *-display beskrivning: VGA compatible controller produkt: 4th Gen Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller tillverkare: Intel Corporation physical id: 2 bus info: pci@0000:00:02.0 version: 06 bredd: 64 bits klocka: 33MHz förmågor: msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom konfiguration: driver=i915 latency=0 resurser: irq:29 memory:f5400000-f57fffff memory:d0000000-dfffffff ioport:f000(storlek=64) memory:c0000-dffff
You can see that this Dell can use the nvidia driver for the nvidia card and the intel i915 driver for the built-in graphics chip.
The corresponding results from all the tested computers can be extracted from the files via the following
grep command line,
$ grep konfiguration *.txt|grep latency dell-m4800.txt: konfiguration: driver=nvidia latency=0 dell-m4800.txt: konfiguration: driver=i915 latency=0 HP-Compaq-Pro-6305-SFF_AMD-A6-6400B-APU-w-Radeon.txt: konfiguration: driver=radeon latency=0 lenovo-i3.txt: konfiguration: driver=i915 latency=0 M2N-VM_DV_Athlon-64-X2-4400.txt: konfiguration: latency=0 NUC6i3SYH-i5.txt: konfiguration: driver=i915 latency=0 toshiba-i5.txt: konfiguration: driver=i915 latency=0
You find no driver reported in the output for the computer with the M2N-VM DV motherboard and an old nvidia chip, that defaults to 640x480 VGA graphics with the proprietary driver. (In order to get good graphics in that computer, I must remove the proprietary driver, so that it can use the built-in nouveau driver and produce good graphics.)