There seem be be several options to install CUDA on Ubuntu 20.10: It is pre-bundled with 20.10, there are various installers at the official NVIDIA page, etc.

Question: What is a recommended way to install CUDA 11.X on Ubuntu 20.10, and how do I verify the installation?

2 Answers 2


Install the NVIDIA driver

This might be an optional step, but it is always good to first remove potential previously installed NVIDIA drivers:

sudo apt-get purge *nvidia*
sudo apt autoremove

Next, let's install the latest driver:

sudo apt install nvidia-driver-455

After this, we need to restart the computer to finalize the driver installation. Next we can verify whether the drive was succesfully installed:


This should contain the following or similar:

NVIDIA-SMI 455.28 Driver Version: 455.28

Install CUDA Toolkit

Next we can install the CUDA toolkit:

sudo apt install nvidia-cuda-toolkit

We also need to set the CUDA_PATH. Add this

export CUDA_PATH=/usr

at the end of your .bashrc and run

source ~/.bashrc

Now your CUDA installation should be complete, and


should indicate that you have CUDA 11.1 installed.

Test the CUDA toolkit installation /configuration

One of the best way to verify whether CUDA is properly installed is using the official "CUDA-sample". Ubuntu does not package them as part of "nvidia-cuda-toolkit" but we can download them directly from NVIDIA's github page:

wget https://github.com/NVIDIA/cuda-samples/archive/v11.1.tar.gz
tar xvf v11.1.tar.gz 
cd cuda-samples-11.1

For whatever reason, NVIDIA did not chose to include a modern build system (e.g. cmake), but ships a plain old Makefile instead. If just running "make" does not work for you, carefully read the error messages and see whether e.g. some required dependencies are not installed.

In order to help the build process a little, it might be advisable to specify the compute architecture of your GPU.

  1. You can find out your GPU by running nvidia-smi. Mine is a Quadro RTX 3000.
  2. Next google your GPU to find out the corresponding compute architecture. For the Quadro RTX 3000, it is "turing", version 7.5.
  3. Specify the architecture version when running make, e.g.
make SMS="75"

If the compilation was succesful, you can try out one of the samples. For instance:


You should see the following or similar output:

M: 4096 (16 x 256)
N: 4096 (16 x 256)
K: 4096 (16 x 256)
Preparing data for GPU...
Required shared memory size: 64 Kb
Computing... using high performance kernel compute_gemm_imma 
Time: 6.030176 ms
TOPS: 22.79
  • This all is great, but the first command (sudo apt purge *nvidia*) will fail. Use apt-get instead.
    – N0rbert
    Nov 1, 2020 at 8:40
  • Thanks, corrected.
    – B0rk4
    Nov 2, 2020 at 14:07
  • 2
    You might want to quote the "*nvidia*" so any files in your current working directory with "nvidia" in their names do not mess up the command.
    – ubfan1
    Nov 6, 2020 at 17:16
  • 2
    This installs nvcc of a lower version than the rest of the installation. This is not without problems, e.g. github.com/NVIDIA/cuda-samples/issues/57 where the older nvcc can't compile the newer (v11.2) code. Feb 2, 2021 at 7:26
  • 7
    sudo apt install nvidia-cuda-toolkit installs cuda 10.1 on Ubuntu 20.04. Not Cuda 11
    – rob
    Apr 30, 2021 at 8:47

since all of the explanations i found so far were not satisfying, here are the steps i came up with to install the latest nvidia driver (465) with cuda 11.3

first you have to uninstall all cuda and nvidia related drivers and packages

sudo apt-get purge nvidia-*
sudo apt-get purge cuda*
sudo apt autoremove



then (if not already done) disable nouveau as described here: https://askubuntu.com/a/951892/634048 and reboot again

download cuda and install.

wget https://developer.download.nvidia.com/compute/cuda/11.3.1/local_installers/cuda_11.3.1_465.19.01_linux.run
sudo sh cuda_11.3.1_465.19.01_linux.run

Follow the post-installation instructions found on the CUDA Toolkit Installation Guide for Linux. This involves updating the PATH and environment variables:

export PATH=/usr/local/cuda-11.3/bin${PATH:+:${PATH}}
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/cuda-11.3/lib64\

IMPORTANT if you need 32bit support - there are several applications only running with 32-bit drivers (like steam)

opt out of installation of nvidia drivers for cuda installation and install drivers from here: https://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/171980/en-us also check if driver is compatible for your model! (in general that should be the case)

sudo sh 'NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-465.19.01.run' 

and opt in for 32-bit support when asked


I did NOT test it for any other versions than 20.04, but it should work for 18.04 to 21.04

  • 2
    Thanks for the input, it works well! However 11.4 version is out already, so would be good to remove version-specific advice from your post. And there are some more install methods except runfile, which could be found here developer.nvidia.com/cuda-downloads. Also adding export variables to ~/.bashrc prevents them from being lost upon reboot
    – fiction
    Jul 27, 2021 at 9:36
  • As of August 2021, version 470 does not work reliably on Ubuntu (by my own experience), so I think the 465 recommendation is appropriate. Here's a link to install instructions for all versions in case people need to downgrade: developer.nvidia.com/cuda-toolkit-archive Aug 7, 2021 at 6:13
  • Awesome thanks man ! This worked for me but removing my existing nvidia display drivers install meant that my second monitor stopped displaying signal. and I had to do the additional steps make sure nvidia-prime is installed (sudo apt install nvidia-prime) switch to nvidia (sudo prime-select nvidia) remove stray blacklist files (sudo rm /lib/modprobe.d/blacklist-nvidia.conf /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-nvidia.conf) update the initrd (sudo update-initramfs -u) reboot Context: Laptop with dual integrated AMD and dedicated Nvidia, connected Nvidia directly to external monitor. Mar 27, 2022 at 18:10
  • I was having trouble installing cuda 11.3 which turned out to be outdated version for my kernel 5.13.0-40-generic. I had to downgrade my kernel to 5.8.18. You can find the compatibility of kernel and cuda in system-requirement section here docs.nvidia.com/cuda/archive/11.3.1/…
    – user_3pij
    May 9, 2022 at 22:25
  • In the last, don't forget to remove the latest kernel
    – user_3pij
    May 9, 2022 at 23:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .