I have a workstation with NVIDIA GeForce GT 210 graphics card & Ubuntu 10.4, and am having rather annoying problems trying to get them working together. (On other machines and earlier Ubuntu versions I've been a pretty happy NVIDIA user though.)

First of all, simply using the NVIDIA driver automatically suggested by "Adminstration -> Hardware drivers" didn't work at all. Based on this answer, I tried with drivers straight from NVIDIA, and got it working for a while. But now (perhaps due to reboot, or apt-get upgrade) I'm out of luck again.

There now seems to be a conflict with the Nouveau driver. I've tried removing it:

  • apt-get --purge remove xserver-xorg-video-nouveau (as suggested here) and reboot

  • I've also tried modprobe -r nouveau but it gives FATAL: Module nouveau is in use.

But when trying to (re-)execute NVidia's installer (NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-256.53.run) it keeps complaining about Nouveau. I'm starting to run out of ideas, so any help would be welcome!

  • Did you try 210 on 11.04? How did it go? [I could not comment for some reason, so I had to log a new "answer entry"] Jun 26, 2011 at 12:06
  • Nope, haven't upgraded that particular Ubuntu box to 11.04 (yet).
    – Jonik
    Jul 1, 2011 at 10:23

4 Answers 4


Seems that once I got over this problem, I was able to switch to using a newer kernel (automatically installed by apt-get upgrade: 2.6.32-21 to 2.6.32-25), and with that kernel the Nouveau module was no longer in use (probably due to removing the xserver-xorg-video-nouveau package?).

Then, after installing appropriate linux-headers packages, the NVIDIA installer agreed to proceed and it rebuilt the kernel module and took it into use.

Then some dual-monitor configuration, and everything seems to be pretty smooth, finally. Whew. :-)

(Problems with the non-NVIDIA drivers included: 1) for VGA output the image was in the wrong place horizontally; you couldn't get it right even by manually adjusting the monitor 2) colours (or contrast) for DVI and VGA output were very different. There's only one DVI output in the card so I need to use VGA for the other monitor.)

I'm not sure if anyone will face exactly the same kind of mess that I did, but, to recap, for anyone else with the same or similar graphics card:

  • You can get NVidia GeForce GT 210 to work just fine on Ubuntu 10.04.
  • Get the drivers directly from NVIDIA (as described here), but before installing them, get rid of Nouveau completely.

Edit: Removing Nouveau drivers

I had to set up my machine all over again (due to the system disk, an Intel X25-M SSD, breaking down and having to be replaced...), this time bypassing any eCryptfs problems, so now it's a bit clearer to me how exactly you can remove and disable the Nouveau drivers (to be able to install NVIDIA ones):

  1. apt-get --purge remove xserver-xorg-video-nouveau
  2. As described in this answer: edit /etc/default/grub and add the line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="nouveau.modeset=0"
  3. sudo update-grub
  4. Reboot

After that, you should be able to install NVIDIA drivers without conflicts with Nouveau.

  • Have kernel updates gone smoothly since? Have you had to reinstall each time? If so, did you try the backported drivers per Jorge Castro's suggestion? Jan 28, 2013 at 19:20
  • (Haven't touched that installation lately but) I think I had to reinstall after kernel updates. I sort of got used to it, as running NVIDIA's script was quick and painless. Nope, didn't try those.
    – Jonik
    Jan 30, 2013 at 20:28

The Ubuntu X team maintains a set of backported drivers here. You should try installing those otherwise you'll have to reinstall the drivers every time you get a kernel update.

  • Thanks; I'll consider switching to those later. Not right now though, as I just got it working perfectly after having wasted too much time already (this is my work machine and I'm paid for developing software, not tweaking my OS). Also, having to reinstall the drivers for every kernel version might even be tolerable — at least I can decide when to do that, and can be pretty confident it will work.
    – Jonik
    Sep 30, 2010 at 20:13
  • Yeah I'll talk to Oli later about updating that answer, the PPA is set up so you don't have to go through the pain you just did. Sep 30, 2010 at 23:08

I had similar problem. try this :

  1. Removed nouveau using synaptic.
  2. Download the nVIDIA driver
  3. Reboot , in the grub menu , select "recovery mode"
  4. Go to Run level 3 by typing telinit 3
  5. install nvidia : sudo sh
  6. I had to blacklist nouveau in sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf add this line blacklist nouveau

this worked for me.

I tried this for GT 230

  • Thanks. I've got it working already as documented in this answer. But maybe this is useful for others later on.
    – Jonik
    Nov 25, 2010 at 8:08

I have a 210GT that has worked with zero problems in 10.04 through to 11.04 so far using the nvidia-current driver from the rpeository. In order for the drivers to work properly you may need yo create a new /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. to to that, open a terminal and type:

sudo nvidsia-xconfig

Running the above command will backup the old xorg.conf file. Once the new file has been created, all you have to do is reboot.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.