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How to install NVIDIA video drivers in Elementary OS

First, download driver.

http://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/82252/en-us

To be able to install your nvidia driver you have to remove your previous video driver with this code in a terminal window:

sudo apt-get remove nvidia* && sudo apt-get autoremove

After you finish with this one, you should also blacklist the nouveau driver by editing this file with either:

sudo vim /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-nouveau.conf

And add these lines at the end:

blacklist nouveau
blacklist lbm-nouveau
options nouveau modeset=0
alias nouveau off
alias lbm-nouveau off

If, by any chance, there is no blacklist-nouveau.conf present in /etc/modprobe.d/, you can save your file as blacklist-nouveau.conf when prompted.

And you can also disable the Kernel Nouveau by typing these lines in a terminal window:

echo options nouveau modeset=0 | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/nouveau-kms.conf

and after that

update-initramfs -u

Now you can reboot your computer, and when you get to the login prompt, press Ctrl+Alt+F1 to exit to the terminal console. Login with your username and password.

Go to the directory where you saved your nvidia driver using the command cd in the terminal console. Eg. cd nvidia considering that you are already in your user home directory after you login. You can use command dir to be able to see your exact driver's name.

To stop your display manager or the X server, you can type in the console this code:

sudo stop lightdm

Or

sudo lightdm stop

If you are not using lightdm as your default display manager (DM), replace lightdm with your default display manager, which can be either kdm or gdm or whatever your display manager is.

You should get a message in the terminal console saying --> lightdm stopped/waiting

And now you can finally install the nvidia driver using a code similar to this one:

sudo sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64.....run    (for Ubuntu 64bit)  
sudo nvidia-xconfig

to save your new nvidia configuration in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

You might need to install some extra software packages if nvidia installer gives an error and prompts for missing dependencies:

sudo apt-get install dkms fakeroot build-essential linux-headers-generic

But you need to install all these missing packages only if nvidia-installer can't do the job by itself.

willhs commented Feb 9, 2016

This didn't work for me. Couldn't install DKMS module and on next startup got black screen

Faiz7412 commented Mar 7, 2016

I agree with @willhs
I am facing black screen too after following this guide. And now I can't even access other ttys with alt+ctrl+f1

Worked great for me; note that you don't need to run nvidia-xconfig if you choose the option to create a config in the installer :)

Thanks, it works.

Thank you! Works great!
No need to run 'sudo nvidia-xconfig' because it is run automatically at the end of the installation.

dylanett commented May 6, 2017

To properly shutdown X before the installer would run I had to run
sudo service lightdm stop

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