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I am investigating updating to an NVIDIA binary driver for a GTX 860M card on Ubuntu 14.04 running KDE. I am following the directions at NVIDIA Binary Drivers HOWTO but my system is not cooperating with the directions there. First off, the "Additional Drivers" UI does not show any restricted drivers available. But if I try to troubleshoot to see what drivers are in use through the CLI with ubuntu-drivers devices command, the command does not output anything. Specifically, when I run ubuntu-drivers devices I would expect something like this:

vendor   : NVIDIA Corporation
modalias : pci:something here
model    : GTX 806M or something like that
driver   : xserver-xorg-video-nouveau - distro free builtin
driver   : whatever binary drivers nvidia has available here...

but instead what I get is:

root@hades:~# ubuntu-drivers devices
root@hades:~# 

If I do a ubuntu-devices debug then I do get output from the command -- a page or two of data that I can not make any sense of, but does not include anything related to vga (although there is some wmi stuff in there).

I believe that I am running the nouveau driver as xrandr --listproviders shows

Provider 0: id: 0x6b cap: 0x9, Source Output, Sink Offload crtcs: 4 outputs: 8 associated providers: 1 name:Intel
Provider 1: id: 0x3f cap: 0x4, Source Offload crtcs: 0 outputs: 0 associated providers: 1 name:nouveau

and lspci | grep -i vga shows

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 4th Gen Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 06)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GK104M [GeForce GTX 860M] (rev a1)

but I am not sure what drivers to use at this point. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • chooks
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I believe what you're experiencing is a bug. I don't know the specifics, but other people with Optimus and your particular video card experience similar issues. See here for instance: https://devtalk.nvidia.com/default/topic/731416/-337-12-beta-gm107m-geforce-gtx-860m-ee-no-devices-detected-/

Seeing as lspci sees your video card, I believe installing the proper driver will work. The nvidia 340 driver has been suggested to work with your setup, and can be installed from the xorg-edgers PPA on Ubuntu 14.04 with: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install nvidia-340

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  • Note that xorg-edgers is a development version and may stop working without notice - e.g. avoid updating as long as you have a working version: unless you're ready/capable to handle any kind of trouble by this fact. – Hannu Nov 20 '14 at 20:27
  • Also note that the "nouveau" driver may be a problem when you attempt to use the proprietary drivers. You may well need to "Blacklist" it. – Hannu Nov 20 '14 at 20:29
  • Good things to keep in mind. My practice is to snapshot / and backup /boot before doing experiments like this, so I'll try to make sure my entire vacation isn't spent cursing X/Nvidia/Low-beer-supply :) – chooks Nov 20 '14 at 22:25

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