I have the problem that I installed (Ubuntu 12.05) the Nvidia CUDA drivers 285.05.33 and everything worked fine

but after an update of the kernel via the update manager


uname -v 
**Linux zfmgpu 3.2.0-24-generic #38-Ubuntu SMP Tue May 1 16:18:50 UTC 2012 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux**

I have the problem that on boot I only see corrupted graphics. I tried to reinstall the driver (which builds the kernel module) which worked but -> I can only boot the new kernel and have lightdm start perfectly by setting "nomodeset" in the GRUB menu. Without this I see corrupted graphics output and it does not start.

What can I do to correct this? I am not a pro! I am a bit lost what I can do

Can somebody explain why I need this "nomodeset" which was previously also not in the grub menu...

The modules which are loaded are:

Module                  Size  Used by
vesafb                 13844  1 
snd_hda_codec_hdmi     32474  4 
ip6table_filter        12815  0 
ip6_tables             27864  1 ip6table_filter
iptable_filter         12810  0                                                                                                                       
ip_tables              27473  1 iptable_filter                                                                                                        
x_tables               29846  4 ip6table_filter,ip6_tables,iptable_filter,ip_tables                                                                   
snd_hda_codec_analog    97987  1 
rfcomm                 47604  0 
bnep                   18281  2 
nvidia              11936165  40 
bluetooth             180104  10 rfcomm,bnep
parport_pc             32866  0 
ppdev                  17113  0 
snd_hda_intel          33773  4 
snd_hda_codec         127706  3 snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_codec_analog,snd_hda_intel
snd_seq_midi           13324  0 
snd_rawmidi            30748  1 snd_seq_midi
snd_hwdep              13668  1 snd_hda_codec
snd_pcm                97188  3 snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec
nouveau               774571  0 
snd_seq_midi_event     14899  1 snd_seq_midi
snd_seq                61896  2 snd_seq_midi,snd_seq_midi_event
snd_timer              29990  2 snd_pcm,snd_seq
snd_seq_device         14540  3 snd_seq_midi,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq
ttm                    76949  1 nouveau
snd                    78855  18 snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_codec_analog,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_rawmidi,snd_hwdep,snd_pcm,snd_seq,snd_timer,snd_seq_device
drm_kms_helper         46978  1 nouveau
drm                   242038  3 nouveau,ttm,drm_kms_helper
soundcore              15091  1 snd
i2c_algo_bit           13423  1 nouveau
i7core_edac            28102  0 
snd_page_alloc         18529  2 snd_hda_intel,snd_pcm
mxm_wmi                12979  1 nouveau
edac_core              53746  1 i7core_edac
video                  19596  1 nouveau
asus_atk0110           18078  0 
mac_hid                13253  0 
wmi                    19256  1 mxm_wmi
lp                     17799  0 
parport                46562  3 parport_pc,ppdev,lp
firewire_ohci          41000  0 
firewire_core          63558  1 firewire_ohci
usbhid                 47199  0 
crc_itu_t              12707  1 firewire_core
r8169                  62099  0 
hid                    99559  1 usbhid

Maybe that helps somebody! What is nouveau?

  • Where are the Nvidia Cuda drivers from Gabriel?
    – wojox
    May 22, 2012 at 13:06

2 Answers 2


Nouveau is a attempt to replace the NVIDIA obfuscated driver and put it in the kernel. No modeset tells the kernel, not to attempt to set the screenmode. Nouveau would have to do that. However, my experience with an NVIDIA 690 is that nouveau starts to panic at my card and the boot system hangs. A sign to me, that nouveau is still not mature, because the 690 has been around for a while now.

About the driver: nouveau is a kernel component that you can not deactivate through ' additional drivers / restricted drivers' because these drivers are the ones you use for X windows.

what I did, is I added NOMODESET in the list of kernel parameters in grub, permanently. When the system boots the kernel checks this setting and reacts accordingly.

For Ubuntu 12.04 the setting is stored in /etc/default/grub . You add it to the line titled GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT. If the line says:


you would change it to:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash nomodeset"

After adding NOMODESET to this line you should run sudo update-grub to allow grub2 to see it the next time you boot.

  • Very old question! But let me add that I need NOMODESET because of getting the common GPU lockup: switching to software fbcon error. (NV44A) This is simply not the way to go, but merely a poor workaround. It's on the nouveau developers to fix these GPU lockup errors. It's not a h/w problem, as it works perfectly with the proprietary driver. Even in 2015, nouveau is still so horribly broken. Oct 2, 2015 at 14:11

Nouveau is an open source driver for Nvidia graphics.

nomodeset tells the kernel not to start up whatever graphic kernel driver it plans to use early in the boot process.

You say you reinstalled the driver, I assume you mean the Nvidia driver.

I would guess that, without specifying nomodeset, one kernel module sets up to run your video and then the other driver is loaded when you start X and they fight over who is running your graphics hardware.

If you downloaded the driver directly you might be better off taking it back off and installing the Nvidia driver from the Ubuntu restricted repository, if possible.

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