I'm going to be installing Ubuntu 15.10 soon after a break from Linux for a while. I would like to know if nomodeset is still required on newer Ubuntu releases and newer nVidia GPUs. I have a GTX970.

Also, would be better to install the proprietary driver from nVidia, or choose the driver from "Additional Drivers", or use the edgers PPA and grab the latest one from there?

  • 3
    nomodeset is a temporary solution in case a system does not boot without a proprietary driver. This is not to be used permanently. If your systems does boot, nomodeset is not needed at all. – Pilot6 Mar 18 '16 at 10:47

You should use the parameter nouveau.modeset=0 instead of nomodeset.
Install the Ubuntu system and the proprietary NVIDIA drivers in this way :

Boot from the Ubuntu DVD/USB installation media you had created before.

Highlight the option 'Try Ubuntu without installing' and press the E key.
Add nouveau.modeset=0 to the end of the linux line - press F10 to boot.

Install the Ubuntu operating system - when finished reboot the computer.

Highlight the Ubuntu entry in the GRUB boot menu and press the E key.
Add nouveau.modeset=0 to the end of the linux line - press F10 to boot.

On the login screen press Ctrl+Alt+F1
Enter user name and password - execute :

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nvidia-352
sudo reboot  

Generally it is recommended to use the NVIDIA drivers from the official Ubuntu repositories.
But as you have very new graphics hardware, you can install the latest official NVIDIA drivers.
The xorg-edgers PPA does not provide the drivers anymore and was replaced by GPU Drivers.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nvidia-361
sudo reboot  

After the installation adding the parameter nouveau.modeset=0 is not necessary anymore.

  • 2
    What does the nouveau.modeset=0 parameter actually do? I used it before having installed the drivers in Ubuntu 18.04, but if I remove it, the system (Dell XPS 15 9560) freezes at login. Also, I do not have the feeling that the graphics card is intensely used as the effects stutter a bit and there is nothing to be set within the Ubuntu drivers. – Socrates Sep 5 '18 at 4:14
  • 2
    @Socrates nouveau.modeset=0 disables the nouveau drivers when booting the system. :) – cl-netbox Sep 5 '18 at 7:33
  • On my system nomodeset works, but nouveau.modeset=0 does not let me boot. What's the difference, and why do you recommend the latter? – Elliott B Nov 9 '18 at 21:35
  • @ElliottB nomodeset disables more features than the nouveau drivers for the NVIDIA GPU and nouveau.modeset=0 disables only the nouveau drivers for making use of the NVIDIA GPU. :) – cl-netbox Nov 10 '18 at 10:44

I had the same problem with my Xubuntu 18.04 version that runs on Nvidia GPU. I tried to installed the latest Nvidia-390 and nvidia-prime drivers and updated my driver installs as these solutions show [1] [2], and I added nouveau to the block list, but none of these worked. So what I did is that I added the parameternouveau.modeset=0 to grub.cfg file in \boot\grub\ directory. I added the line after every "linux..." line, for instance:

menuentry 'FAILSAFE' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
    set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='(hd0,msdos8)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 36286167-4eba-4a1e-a202-155c6baafa01
    linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.37-12-generic root=UUID=36286167-4eba-4a1e-a202-155c6baafa01 ro vt.handoff=7 quiet splash nouveau.modeset=0
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.37-12-generic

So, I believe you have to add this parameter in all the script. I tried this solution and Nvidia GPU driver stopped crashing.

Another approach as described here

Execute sudo nano /etc/default/grub and add the parameter nvidia-drm.modeset=1 to the line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT. Save the change you've made and run sudo update-grub.
Restart the Ubuntu operating system, and now, everything should work properly - right as expected.

  • Adding nouveau.modeset=0 to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT key in /etc/default/grub and then running sudo update-grub should achieve the same effect you described with a lot less effort. I think this is the more idiomatic approach, as well. – drmuelr Feb 7 at 4:11
  • What's the difference between "adding nouveau.modeset=0" and "adding nvidia-drm.modeset=1"? "adding nouveau.modeset=0" worked for me to solve the problem of booting to a blank screen. But my second monitor is no longer detected. Also, I wonder if "adding nouveau.modeset=0" would prevent my computer from using Nvidia GPU? which I don't want unless I have to. – Yu Shen Feb 18 at 17:33
  • 1
    The sloution of "adding nvidia-drm.modeset=1" works completely for me. The second monitor is also detecetd and working as expected. – Yu Shen Feb 18 at 17:48

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