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This guide will help you configure the proprietary nvidia module under Ubuntu 12.10. I will not be covering the open source nv module included with Xorg because its configuration is normally handled automatically by Ubuntu.
NVIDIA provide their own license for their driver. You will need to read and accept this license before proceeding. You can read this license here.
You should run a full update for your installation of Ubuntu to ensure you have all the latest packages installed before proceeding.
There appears to be some sort of bug in Ubuntu 12.10 which causes the headers files not to update when there is a kernel update. Type the following into the terminal to fix this issue:
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic
Without this a kernel update will cause your nvidia driver to stop functioning.
Ubuntu 12.10 includes the NVIDIA driver which makes installation quite easy. Here is how:
1. Launch the Software Sources program. Click on Dash Home (the Ubuntu button on the top left of the screen), type sources and then click on Software Sources.
2. Click the Additional Drivers tab.
3. Now enable the NVIDIA driver. You may have a few NVIDIA options here, it's best to select the recommended option.
Like many things in Ubuntu this is nice and easy.
If you are unable to launch the GUI and are forced to install the driver from the text console follow these instructions.
1. Type in the following commands:
sudo apt-get install nvidia-current sudo nvidia-xconfig
Again this is fairly easy. Please note that this will install version 304.43 of the NVIDIA driver. If you have an older graphic chip and this newer driver doesn't support it you can replace nvidia-current with nvidia-173. Version 304.43 of this driver support all current NVIDIA chips from the 6 series and up while version 173 supports the 5 series. Cards older than the 5 series are no longer supported.
Normally after installing the nvidia driver with the steps above your xorg.conf file should have automatically been updates to use the newer driver. If this did not happen or for some reason it has reverted then enter the following command:
This will switch you back to the nvidia driver.