How to install a Nvidia display driver in Ubuntu

In my last post we discussed getting your wireless network working in Ubuntu. Next up, how to set up your Nvidia display driver, and how to instantly tweak the basic graphics performance of your new installation.

Nvidia drivers don’t seem to be open source like many other drivers for Ubuntu. all that means is that they don’t share their source code in the way that Ubuntu developers need to be able to make things better, more usable and all that other stuff they like to do. Even if I’m wrong about the statement I just made there, Nvidia drivers are referred to as “NVIDIA closed source binary drivers”. That sounds a bit frightening. It might explain why your Nvidia doesn’t have a driver installed and ready to go when you first boot Ubuntu. Either way, installing a driver is easy and not at all frightening.

How to install your Nvidia driver

Go to System>Administration>Hardware drivers

I’m afraid you’re going to have to ignore all that “risk” business if you want to trick up your Ubuntu installation…

Click on the “Enabled” check box and follow the instructions…

Eventually you’ll see this message. Time to restart your computer.

When you’ve restarted your machine, it’s time to start thinking about putting your new driver to good use. We’re going to install Compiz in the next post, but in the meantime let’s at least get the default visual effects set up correctly:

Go to System>Preferences>Appearance and select the “Visual effects” tab and select Extra

Your machine will instantly “feel” more responsive and you’ll notice the full use of your graphics card is being utilised. Try moving a window – fun, isn’t it! In the next post I will talk you through installing compiz and setting up the cube desktop.



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3 thoughts on “How to install a Nvidia display driver in Ubuntu

  1. Insane says:

    I have a toshiba laptop. I was using vista before ubuntu, and i didnt have Nvidia. So is it a good idea to get Nvidia for ubuntu?

  2. Pingback: How to set up your wireless network in Ubuntu

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