Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fixing Broken NVIDIA Drivers in Ubuntu

Once I got Ubuntu installed I ran into a few issues with the NVIDIA drivers. One of top suggestions people have when starting Ubuntu for the first time is switching to the newest graphics driver. By default the system is set to use the Nouveau driver and for me it worked great without any issue. However when I would switch to any of the other drivers, upon reboot, the login screen would come up a very low resolution and unity wouldn’t pop up at all. I was able to right click the desktop and choose “change desktop background” to get into the settings and change it back, but I couldn't figure out why none of the other drivers worked. After a bit of research and playing around I have discovered a fix to the problem. I needed to install the kernel headers in order to make it work. I opened the terminal and entered the following:

  • sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

After I entered my password the headers were installed and I switched to the NVIDIA driver and rebooted. This has fixed the issue and I can now successfully use all the NVIDIA drivers.