I recently installed Ubuntu GNOME 14.04.1 on my new laptop with an Ralink RT3290 wireless device and an NVIDIA GeForce 820m graphics card. My problem is that the drivers to none of these devices are shown in the additional devices. Might I have installed things wrong or is this a bug in the distro or anything else? I have been able to install nvidia drivers by CLI, and WiFi is also working, but should I be worried that none of them are showing in the application?


The Additional Drivers tool in Ubuntu only shows devices, for which there is a proprietary driver, i.e. a driver, which source code is kept secret by its producer.

This tool doesn't show drivers that you installed manually, but proprietary drivers that are available, and lets you choose from them.

For your RT3290 (I got the same), there is no proprietary driver. There is an open source driver on their website, but it only works for older Linux versions. So your best (and in my experience not bad) chance is to keep the preinstalled rt2800pci driver and keep using it as a default.

If you, like me, got the version with Bluetooth, don't even try. The module you'd need is called rtbth. After applying various patches, I managed to set it up in DKMS, only to learn that the driver doesn't work properly. You can find Bluetooth devices and they can find you, but you can't pair with them. So if you need Bluetooth, get a Bluetooth USB Dongle, like I did.

Now to your Graphics Card: There certainly IS a proprietary driver for most nVidia chips. It is indeed strange that the card doesn't show up. As you pointed out, it bay be a bug, that the combination of your card and the proprietary nVidia driver is not detected automatically, and is therefore not shown.

  • My laptop has dual graphics, meant to be using Optimus. Could that be a reason? I checked the supported devices for a few drivers available and found that nvidia-331 supports the 820m, but nvidia-current (304) does not. Does the tool only show if nvidia-current works? – Ajinkya Dahale Oct 4 '14 at 22:44
  • It should also show up if nvidia-331 was available, I think. I assume your card isn't even used/detected atm. Check with lspci | grep VGA and see whether there is anything nVidiaish, ant not only your embedded chip. If your card isn't listed, see wiki.ubuntu.com/Bumblebee – s3lph Oct 4 '14 at 22:50
  • Indeed it is not listed, unless you also look for 3D. I used bumblebee and it is working, for now at least (haven't played any games yet), though they seem to have limited the rendering to 60 fps. – Ajinkya Dahale Oct 4 '14 at 22:54
  • Yes, some drivers limit the FPS, my fglrx also does it. I think it just gets limited to the monitor refresh rate, any higher FPS is useless, because the screen couldn't keep up with it... – s3lph Oct 5 '14 at 12:47
  • A reasonable preference, but absolutely crippling when you're using GPU for computations or rendering, which I also need it for. – Ajinkya Dahale Oct 5 '14 at 14:56

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