I always seem to have grief with Nvidia drivers and have often had to re-install Ubuntu: is there a better way to remove them? When I first installed the drivers, the display came up on 640 by 480. I managed to set 2 screens to 1024 by 780 which was usable, but then Ubuntu recommended installing proprietary drivers (nvidia-current-updates 295.40-ubuntu1). After doing this and re-booting it shows LAPTOP and offers only 640 by 480 on a single screen.

  1. Is there any way to revert to the original driver?
  2. Is there any way to find out if the new drivers work before installing them? - For years I have been hoping that it would be all fixed in the latest release… I always seem to fall for this!
  • most solutions involve using the terminal. What if you only have GRUB at your disposal? Oct 18, 2014 at 21:48

6 Answers 6

sudo apt-get purge nvidia-current

If you type that into the terminal, it will remove the propriatry drivers and go back to the stock drivers. I was having a similar issue and reformed the other day to figure out that the issues seem to be from the latest propriatary drivers. Once I uninstalled it and rebooted, everything was back to normal. Hope it helps!


to uninstall NVIDIA,then install Ubuntu Desktop

sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia-*
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
sudo rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf
echo 'nouveau' | sudo tee -a /etc/modules
  • Thanks a bunch! NVidia drivers are crashing on Lenovo P50 and that causes login failure. I would suggest --reinstall for 2nd line and 3rd line is probably not required? Apr 9, 2016 at 21:39

I recently installed the 310 drivers from NVidia and it also crashed my system. I found this link helpful:


The following is from the above link:

First solution Press the key combination Ctrl + Alt + F1 to enter the emergency terminal. Log in with your username and password and type:

sudo apt-get install linux-source
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-3.5.0-17-generic

Now uninstall the current driver:

sudo apt-get remove nvidia-current

If it does not, try the command:

sudo apt-get remove nvidia-current-updates


sudo apt-get remove nvidia-experimental-304


sudo apt-get remove nvidia-experimental-310

reinstall now (yes, it looks like a joke almost mockingly):

sudo apt-get install nvidia-current-updates

If everything is successful, type:

sudo reboot

And when you restart you should have solved!


In my Case I am on a Desktop and my NVIDIA graphics card failed permanently... So I bought an ATI graphics card and could not boot into Ubuntu. To get my machine able to boot into Ubuntu I had to go to the Recovery Console, Make it Read/Write and remove the NVIDIA drivers. You might have to hold Shift down while booting to get the GRUB option for Recovery Console. I used the following commands after Dropping to a Root Shell Prompt from the Recovery Console:

mount -n -o remount,rw /
apt-get purge nvidia-current
rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf
reboot now

In my case, this was not enough, since I installed 'NVIDIA-Linux-x86-310.44', previously. I believe it is the main reason why it breaks my unity-3d when the normal updated occur, something between the drivers and the compiled kernel was probably out of sync.

I did all the remove stuff:

Log on as my usual user, then do a 'sudo -i', this way I do not have to enter my password all the time and did :

 apt-get remove nvidia-current-updates
 apt-get remove nvidia-current
 shutdown now -r

Login directly from the console as my usual user, redo a 'sudo -i', went to the subdirectory where I downloaded 'NVIDIA-Linux-x86-310.44.run' file. And reinstalled using 'sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-310.44.run', I answered to recompile. For sure I has numerous number of errors. But at the end it works and gave me back my unity-3d.

André Desnoyers

Good luck to others who had the same issues lately.


to uninstall NVIDIA

sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia-*

then install Ubuntu Desktop

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
sudo rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf
echo 'nouveau' | sudo tee -a /etc/modules

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