There are several questions floating around about getting Ubuntu LTS working with Nvidia 960M cards. Given that there's no definitive answer, I want to offer the following: after testing several distros, Knoppix and Kali both worked without any problems.

So, my questions:

  1. What is different about Ubuntu that Nvidia drivers don't work out of the box?
  2. More importantly, is there an easy way (for an end user) to import whatever's working into Ubuntu 16.04?

Edit: Here's what I tried:

  1. Purged nvidia-* and reinstalled 364 drivers.
  2. Got login loop, followed answers here (chown, chmod, rm .Xauthority, and /tmp)
  3. Reinstalled xorg and unity.
  4. Went to NVIDIA website and found the latest driver version that works with my card (opted for the Long lived branch).
  5. Purged nvidia* (no dash, following a tip in a comment), and reinstalled 367 drivers.
  6. Purged nvidia*, reinstalled 370 drivers. Currently stuck at login loop, after following instructions from 2.
  • 5
    First question is off-topic. Second question: askubuntu.com/questions/760934/… Oct 22, 2016 at 17:45
  • Right, forgot to link that one too—been staring at questions too long. Anyway, I tried that, then got the login loop, tried the answer linked about that, no luck. Already done clean installs several times. Will try reinstalling Xorg and Unity...
    – Khashir
    Oct 22, 2016 at 18:02
  • No dice, unfortunately: followed the instructions all the way through, read comments, followed further linked answers, dead end.
    – Khashir
    Oct 22, 2016 at 18:21
  • Solved it, it's not on the cited answer, but this one: askubuntu.com/questions/758972/… Note that I didn't do what the comments said, just followed the answer step by step.
    – Khashir
    Oct 25, 2016 at 2:10

2 Answers 2



This is not a recommended practice at all on Linux! Instead, please remove existing drivers and then just use your package manager: sudo apt install nvidia-current or use the Additional Drivers menu.


Basically, there are two main steps to solve this: first, install Ubuntu, then get your graphics working properly.

Update: I installed system updates last night and the system would not boot. Not sure if the update process went well, or gave an error somewhere. Anyway, in hindsight, I think it would be better to update first, then follow these steps. If that doesn't work, then no system update =P. Today I tried purging and redoing these steps, and no dice.

Update 2: Decided to try Elementary OS, to see if out of the box drivers worked. No luck, same problems, and same solution: followed the steps from "Getting decent graphics" (below), and everything worked until I ran system update.

Update 3: Got it working with Yakety Yak, including latest system updates. See instructions below.

Update 4: YY broke, replicated procedure in 16.04 and it worked, see below.

Installing Ubuntu

  1. When you boot to the USB for the first time (Grub), press e to edit boot options
  2. At the end of the line that starts with linux, add nomodeset, then press F10.
  3. You'll have to install with 800x600 resolution (hopefully not worse than that). It's doable, since you can move windows around, or press Enter to advance through dialogs.

Getting decent graphics in 16.04 and 16.10

  1. Install all updates from the Software Centre.
  2. Open Unity Launcher, type Additional Drivers and run that.
  3. Pick the Nvidia driver that appears, click Apply.
  4. Finally, remove nomodeset from grub.cfg using the instructions here (note that the instructions explain how to add it permanently, so, adjust accordingly).
  5. Restart.

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