I was trying to install the latest driver for my graphic card which is a nVidia GT525M

I opened Software & Updates and I found many options :

  • Using NVIDIA binary driver - version 331.38 from nvidia-331 (proprietary, tested)

  • Using NVIDIA legacy binary driver - version 304.117 from nvidia-304-updates (proprietary)

  • Using NVIDIA legacy binary driver - version 304.117 from nvidia-304 (proprietary)

  • Using NVIDIA legacy binary driver - version 331.38 from nvidia-311-updates (proprietary)

  • Using X.OrgX server - Nouveau displary driver from xserver-xorg-video-nouveau (open source)

Which one is the correct (read latest) one to download for my system

Also, what is the difference between all of these drivers?

  • See askubuntu.com/q/66548/158442 for answer one of your questions.
    – muru
    Sep 21, 2014 at 21:16
  • Also, did you make a typo in the fourth driver? 331.38 from nvidia-311?
    – muru
    Sep 21, 2014 at 21:19
  • personaly I always install Using X.OrgX server - Nouveau displary driver from xserver-xorg-video-nouveau (open source) because other drivers cause some lag and freeze my system. Sep 22, 2014 at 4:40

3 Answers 3


To install just check one of them, you will see a bar in the lower right conner, when it's done the driver is installed.

As MrVavkadii said, the highers numbers are newer, in your case, 331.38.

You have all these option cuz sometimes they don't work so you have mirrors to download them from.

Binary driver is the normal one. Legacy binary driver is the ones that nVidia don't have avaible in the site to download anymore. Xorg driver is the one made to be compatible to your OS, while it is opensource and made by users.

Proprietary are the ones made by nVidia Proprietary (tested) is the one that will most of the times work at your system, so is the first choice you should make. Open source means you can see and edit the driver.

Still newbie, but I had the same question some days ago and searched for info... If someone see that I'm saying **** please say.

  • So I don't need to download the driver from nVidia website ? because on there website there is version 343.22 while in ubuntu itself the latest version is 331.38 ?
    – MChawa
    Sep 23, 2014 at 11:05
  • These will not make big difference and it's more safe to just install the ones there. A couple of days ago I tried to install from other places, but it's complicated and ended messing up with my desktop, I had to format the PC to it work again. Probably there's a better way to install newer drives, but I suggest you to keep it at that window, at least for now.
    – Huskell
    Sep 23, 2014 at 15:12


304 and 311 are version number. Higher number = newer driver.

Proprietary means that the drivers are written by nVidia developers. Open Source means that the drivers are written by the community (by developers of course, but not hired by nVidia).

What to choose?

If you are sure that you have reasons to use proprietary drivers (not everybody does, the base drivers provided by Ubuntu can achieve a lot), I recommend you use (in that order):

1) Proprietary: written by nVidia for Linux, that's your first choice IF you have reasons to use it...

2) Tested: Ubuntu can say "those work"

3) Most recent: The more the driver is new, the more it will be effective (in theory)

In this case, I would use the 1st one Using NVIDIA binary driver - version 331.38 from nvidia-331 (proprietary, tested)

  • Nitpick: NVidia devs can contribute to the open source nouveau drivers, even as representatives of NVidia. I know that AMD devs do this, and NVidia do so too. It's "Propietary" because the source is not available and all anyone outside Nvidia sees is a binary blob.
    – muru
    Sep 21, 2014 at 21:24
  • Alright , so I don't have to download drivers from nVidia website ? because there it says that the latest version is 343.22 ?
    – MChawa
    Sep 21, 2014 at 21:47

If the top of the list does not work properly (from experience), try the next one down the line until you find one that works. Or you could work up the line from the bottom? Nvidia 9 series, 8 series, 7 series, 6 series, 5 series and 4 series was my experience (different option of drivers than yours?)? edit: This was Ubuntu 12.

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