I recently purchased a new Dell XPS 14, I was dual booting Windows 8 with Ubuntu 12.10. Initially, I had problems with getting the NVidia drivers to work correctly. When I reboot after the driver installation the Ubuntu dash doesn't appear, just the wallpaper. I'm aware that this is a current issue and I have read other peoples solutions and still can't successfully get the proprietary drivers to work. I've tried installing Linux-source and Linux-headers and reinstalling the drivers several times. No solution that I could find seemed to have worked. Here is a list of the hardware I'm running.

Intel core i7 3517U CPU
NVidia GeForce 630M 1GB dedicated graphics
500GB HDD with 32GB mSATA

I am really not sure why this doesn't work, any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

  • Which of the proprietary drivers did you try? nvidia-current? – wolfv Nov 24 '12 at 9:04
  • I tried both nvidia-current and nvidia-current-updates – Blake Nov 24 '12 at 10:10
  • maybe make sure that nomodeset is not active in grub. You can start grub by pressing shift while booting. and then press e to edit the boot entry, and see that nomodeset is not in any line. (just a random guess) alternatively you could try one of the two experimental drivers (both are actual »releases« from nvidia. particularly the 310 brings many speed improvements. – wolfv Nov 24 '12 at 19:13
  • I have tried nvidia 310 the latest driver, but it continually crashes ubuntu 12.10. So does nvidia-current. I have a nvidia 560 gtx ti video card with amd phenom II processor. The only way I can stop the crashes is to reinstall 12.04. Rob – user91119 Nov 28 '12 at 18:02
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    @user91119 for your case I recommend reading askubuntu.com/questions/61396/… specially the part about Nvidia 313 and 319. I have the same video card so this will fix A LOT of issues you and I have. For Blake, please read also read the answer provided there. If you have tried everything in there then point it out here so I can go deeper. Also since you have a Laptop with a 630M I would suggest the 313 or 319 Nvidia drivers – Luis Alvarado Apr 17 '13 at 2:05

I looked up your laptop, it seems to support the low-power Intel graphics as well as the high-power nvidia graphics.

You can confirm if your laptop has both intel and nvidia by running lspci | grep VGA

Try purging all nvidia stuff and then forcing the intel driver to be used? Afterwards, install nvidia-331 (or latest) and Bumblebee using Xorg-Edgers PPA.

Bumblebee is a program that allows you to invoke the nvidia driver only for applications of your choosing, otherwise the intel driver runs as default.

More info on my answer here: Lenovo Y510P and SLI GT750M not working


I am having the same issue, here is an excerpt from my question I posted that will keep you from having to reinstall everytime but doesnt solve the problem unfortunately:

I got past this by booting to recovery, going to root terminal, and typing the following:

rm -Rfv ~/.compiz-1
rm -Rfv ~/.config/compiz-1
reboot now

This gets me back to the login screen but at a much reduced resolution and no Unity. I can play around with the different drivers here by right clicking the desktop, hittng change background, hitting All Settings, Software sources, and then Additional drivers, however all end up either the same or with just a black screen no mouse.

The only way at this point I can get unity and 1080p back is too hit CTRL + ALT + F1 and type:

sudo apt-get purge nvidia*
sudo reboot now

At this point, compiz no longer crashes and all works great for my minimal purposes. However, thats a lot of work to do everytime I want to boot into Ubuntu. When its working, additional drivers says it is using an ALTERNATIVE driver. All the other drivers fail and it always defaults to one of them on reboot.


The Nvidia drivers can be made to work by installing the CUDA Toolkit. The first step is to uninstall all existing nvidia drivers and reboot:

sudo apt-get purge nvidia*
sudo init 6

After reboot install the nvidia-cuda-toolkit:

sudo apt-get install nvidia-cuda-toolkit

For a Switchable graphics card install the bumblebee before installing the toolkit.

sudo apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia

The toolkit will download the correct drivers for your card while installation.

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