Thursday, February 12, 2009

upgrade nvidia drivers on ubuntu 8.10

So, you have an nvidia graphics card and you want to enjoy the high resolution and smooth graphics that comes with nvidia. You want to see the eye-candy graphics on kde 4.2. Firstly when you install ubuntu, you might not get the nvidia drivers enabled by default. So get and install the default driver available with your ubuntu version install "envyng".

$ sudo apt-get install envyng-qt

Now this is an utility that installs the stable version of nvidia drivers compatible with your version of ubuntu. To install the driver run the program

$ envyng -t

Follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver. You would probably get driver version 177.82. for nvidia. Once the process is complete, restart the computer. Now you should be getting better graphics.

There are people like me who are not satisfied with the latest stable version of driver. To upgrade to the latest version of driver first download it from the nvidia website.

For 64 bit ubuntu you can go to:

And for 32 bit ubuntu you can go to:

For my 64 bit ubuntu 8.10, i could see that the latest version available was "180.29". Go inside the directory and see the available drivers RUN 13650 KB 02/06/2009 08:48:00 PM RUN 13652 KB 02/06/2009 08:48:00 PM RUN 20453 KB 02/06/2009 08:48:00 PM

Why are there 3 drivers instead of one. Well, what nvidia does is that it compiles a basic driver and then keeps on adding more stuff into it. So basically you should download the latest "pkg#" version of driver. In our case it is

So, now you have the latest driver with you and you want to install the driver.

Switch to a console. Press "CTRL-ALT-F1".
Login using username and password
Kill all gdm/kdm sessions

$ sudo killall kdm

Firstly lets remove the old driver

$ sudo apt-get remove nvidia-177-kernel-source nvidia-177-modaliases nvidia-glx-177 nvidia-glx-177-dev

That should clean up the system of old drivers. Now run the new driver.

$ chmod a+x
$ sudo ./

It opens up a blue screen and you got to answer tons of questions. Also try to remain connected to the internet cause it might try to download kernel-modules for your driver. If it fails to do so, it will compile the modules. Let the script also modify your xorg.conf file (it will ask your permission to do so).

Once everything is done, simply reboot.

And enjoy kde 4.2 eyecandy with latest nvidia drivers.


Noel said...

Jayant, your guide is good. I tried this in gnome and was not able to get a better resolution. The max I could go was 800x600.

Jayant Kumar said...

which nvidia card do you have ?
What driver did you try installing ?

I also had a similar issue but that was because i had not uninstalled the older version of the driver. But once i uninstalled everything and reinstalled the new driver, it started working

Vapaeso! said...

I tried your Guide... Because I have a 32 bit machine the file I needed to install is slightly different by name.

Also, when I began the Driver Install it said I was still running X Server.

Any ideas? Thanks ahead and great guide btw.

Vapaeso! said...

Nvm I figured it out. Thanks.

Noel said...

Hi Jayant,

i ran "lspci" and it gave me the following as the vga card:

00:0d.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation GeForce 6150SE nForce 430 (rev a2)

In fact it was using a commercial driver first, which I had to uninstall. After that I followed your guide faithfully and uninstalled all traces of old drivers but still no luck :(.


Noel said...

Hi Jayant,

I downloaded and used the following driver from NVidia:

With Regards,

Jayant Kumar said...

Please check the readme for this driver and figure out if there are any bugs in your driver. I have checked and the version that you have downloaded supports your graphics card

Please let me know which flavor of linux are you using and what version.

Noel said...


Thanks. I don't see any bugs.

I believe, I am using the exact same driver which you are mentioned in your post. i.e. and it runs on Ubuntu 8.10 Server 64bit (Intrepid), running in gnome.

Jayant Kumar said...


I had used a desktop version of ubuntu (kubuntu 8.10 64 bit to be exact). But it should run on ubuntu 8.10 64 bit server as well.

Can you send me your xorg.conf file. You can find it in the /etc/X11 directory. Also you run dmesg & cat /var/log/messages and check for display related errors.

Noel said...

Jayant, this is my xorg.conf

# xorg.conf (X.Org X Window System server configuration file)
# This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using
# values from the debconf database.
# Edit this file with caution, and see the xorg.conf manual page.
# (Type "man xorg.conf" at the shell prompt.)
# This file is automatically updated on xserver-xorg package upgrades *only*
# if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xorg
# package.
# Note that some configuration settings that could be done previously
# in this file, now are automatically configured by the server and settings
# here are ignored.
# If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated
# again, run the following command:
# sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

Section "Device"
Identifier "Configured Video Device"

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Configured Monitor"

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Default Screen"
Monitor "Configured Monitor"
Device "Configured Video Device"

Jayant Kumar said...

That is strange. You do not have Nvidia related config in your Xorg.conf.

My Xorg.conf has


Section "Device"
Identifier "Device0"
Driver "nvidia"
VendorName "NVIDIA Corporation"


Try running nvidia-xconfig. It should update the Xorg.conf and then restart your X server/machine.

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem. But I deleted xorg.conf and "dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg" (I think" and then It generated a right xorg.conf file.

I have 1280x1024 Gnome running without acceleration. In Nvidia Server settings it doesn't detect my graphic card and I have no Compiz effects neither Avant Bar.