The guide works for 12.04 LTS and 14.04 LTS as well.
For the test I took one of the latest Nvidia drivers released by official Nvidia.
Download the driver from Nvidia official Source.
Download link #1
Download link #2
it'll be named something like nvidia-304.119.run for example.
before going to do anything backup your current nvidia configuration simply run:
it'll automatically backup your current configuration and create a new config file.
Disable conflicting software (recommended!) to avoid any problems during installation. Open or create the /etc/default/linux-restricted-modules-common file with an editor, in Ubuntu use:
gksudo gedit /etc/default/linux-restricted-modules-common
and paste or replace a line:
Done! Now remove what is installed:
TTY terminal (Ctrl+Alt+F1) and remove and purge your current configuration doing next commands:
sudo /etc/init.d/lightdm stop
(or whatever display manager installed on your system xdm for Xubuntu kdm for Kubuntu for example)
sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r`
or find the right ones for your platform with command
uname -r for example:
sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`3.8.0-36-generic`
(if it says already the latest installed or something like that go next)
sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia*
(removes nvidia-common for some might need to
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop to bring it back manually, wasn't necessary for me)
sudo rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf
(removes xorg configuration)
After you finish with this one, you should also blacklist the nouveau driver by editing this file:
sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-nouveau.conf
…and add these lines at the end:
options nouveau modeset=0
alias nouveau off
alias lbm-nouveau off
And you can also disable the Kernel Nouveau by typing these lines in a terminal window:
echo options nouveau modeset=0 | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/nouveau-kms.conf
and after that:
sudo update-initramfs -u
or you can remove nouveau from the system:
sudo apt-get remove --purge xserver-xorg-video-nouveau
(WARNING! removes open-source video driver from the system! the step is optional, I did this to prevent all conflicts with Nvidia do this at your own risk or leave it alone if you're not sure)
Before continuing you can also install
dkms on the way.
(*DKMS is a framework designed to allow individual kernel modules to be upgraded without changing the whole kernel. It is also very easy to rebuild modules as you upgrade kernels.)
sudo apt-get install dkms
Next when all is done, let's install the driver. Navigate to the location where you downloaded driver at, for example:
and make it executable and run:
sudo chmod +x nvidia-304.119.run
(don't forget to install with a root privileges using
sudo otherwise it won't continue)
Yes (commonly) during installation pop ups and at the end of installation wizard you'll be asked if you want Nvidia to configure and activate driver for you? Click
Now you have to bring back the Display Manager:
sudo /etc/init.d/lightdm start
sudo sevice lightdm restart
When logged in do not run
sudo nvidia-xconfig as it's already been configured just run
The driver works basically on all Nvidia video cards including old ones.
If for any reason after reboot you are not able to login or get stuck during boot make sure you followed all the steps if you did and still got problems login to
Recovery Mode press and hold Shift enter
Recovery Mode and start
Failsafe boot for some reason your
xorg.conf maybe named differently even when you run
sudo nvidia-xconfig it names itself for example
XF86Config it's actually good working configuration and if needed you can just simply rename it:
sudo /etc/init.d/lightdm stop (just to be sure)
sudo mv /etc/X11/XF86Config /etc/X11/xorg.conf
And reconfigure it with:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
(Do mention though, if you're using different point releases let say 14.04.2 running this command will return
no package installed or etc... you'll have to make sure if any is installed in this case it be
xserver-xorg-lts-utopic so you'll have to run
sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg-lts-utopic instead.)
sudo /etc/init.d/lightdm start
now you should be at the login screen, enter your initials and when logged in run:
gksudo nvidia-settings (just to be sure)
it didn't work!?
When trying to start X, if you get an error about nvidiactl (you will need to see the X log), try the following:
sudo update-rc.d -f nvidia-kernel remove
If you want to go back to the Restricted Manager method after performing the above instructions, do this:
sudo update-rc.d nvidia-kernel defaults
If the installer fails, go through the following checklist:
Was Xorg already properly configured for the nv driver?
Did you disable the loading of Ubuntu provided NVIDIA drivers using
DISABLED_MODULES="nv nvidia_new" in
/etc/default/linux-restricted-modules-common? This is a common cause of driver mismatch errors on manual installations due to conflicts with the Ubuntu provided NVIDIA binary driver.
You may need to remove the file
Did you remove the
Did you read the log found in
/var/log/nvidia-installer-log for errors that can guide you?
Did you check the output of
Did you install the kernel headers (and possibly source package)?
Did you check the NVIDIA readme found on their site to make sure your card is supported with that version of driver?
Sometimes it might not work, e.g. with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, currently there are incompatibilities that may occur with newer
linux-image kernels to some video cards and after reboot you might be left with a blank screen.
What you can do then is try this:
Solution 2 (by Takkat)
How do I make Nvidia driver working after the kernel update in 14.04?
When you have manually installed Nvidia driver in 14.04, if the kernel got updated then do not reboot after an update otherwise you will boot to a blank screen.
What shoud I do?
If the workaround with
dkms didn't succeed, you will need to re-install the driver. Launch a
console Ctrl+Alt+F1 and type:
sudo service lightdm stop
navigate to nvidia
.run file location using
cd command and re-install nvidia driver press always
Yes when prompted. After installation has been finished, type:
sudo service lightdm restart
Login to your account, open a terminal Ctrl+Alt+T and type:
sudo nvidia-xconfig (only if xorg.conf is missing)
sudo update-initramfs -u -k all
Done. You should login as normal now.