Manually installing NVIDIA drivers in Ubuntu Linux

Turns out that if you patch your kernel up to and including Gutsy (7.10), the restricted drivers manager doesn’t always work properly and you may lose your GL effects in the desktop.Whether this is the cause or not, you can manually install the latest drivers from NVIDIA by doing the following:

  1. Download the latest driver from NVIDIA. At the time of posting, my graphics card was a GeForce Ti 4200 which fits in their legacy class. The legacy drivers that support 1.0-96xx series work for that card, and the Linux Drivers Portal Page on the NVIDIA site has a link to the latest driver.
  2. Make sure you have the linux-restricted-modules-`uname -r` installed, as well as build-essential and the relevant linux-source (e.g. linux-source-2.6.22).
  3. Kill gnome with sudo /etc/inid.d/gdm stop.
  4. Navigate to wherever the downloaded driver file is and run chmod a+x NVIDIA-Linux-x86-xxxx.run and sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-xxxx.run
  5. Choose the defaults from the installation app that runs.
  6. OPTIONAL: (I read that you need to do this, but after I rebooted, it changed it to “nvidia-legacy” anyway) Add “nv nvidia” to the DISABLED_MODULES line in /etc/default/linux-restricted-modules-common. This is to stop the restricted drivers app getting confused.
  7. Restat Gnome (/etc/init.d/gdm start).
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