Configuring a NVIDIA graphics chip for Ubuntu 8.10


Bill Giannikos


This guide will help you configure the proprietary nvidia module under Ubuntu 8.10. I will not be covering the open source nv module included with Xorg because its configuration is normally handled automatically Ubuntu.

Licensing Issues

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.


While this guide is mainly focused to laptop users there isn't any difference for desktop users.


You should run a full update for your installation of Ubuntu to ensure you have all the latest packages installed.

Installing the NVIDIA driver from within the GUI

Ubuntu 8.10 includes the NVIDIA driver which makes installation quite easy. Here is how:

1. Launch the “Restricted Devices Manager” program from the menu System → Administration → Restricted Devices Manager

2. Enable to NVIDIA driver

3. Reboot

Like many things in Ubuntu this is nice and easy.

Installing the NVIDIA driver without the GUI

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:

sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx-177
sudo nvidia-xconfig

2. Reboot

Again this is fairly easy. Please note that this will install version 177.80 of the NVIDIA driver. If you have a older graphic chip and this newer driver doesn't support it you can replace “nvidia-glx-177” with either “nvidia-glx-173”, “nvidia-glx-96” or “nvidia-glx-71”. Version 177 of this driver support all current NVIDIA chips for the 6 series and up, version 173 supports the 5 series, version 96 supports the 4 series and older cards with the 71 driver.


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:

sudo nvidia-xconfig

This will switch you back to the nvidia driver.


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Promita, 2009/05/24 15:33

Currently i am considering purchasing a preloaded linux laptop ?
What would you recommend ?
thank you

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configuring_a_nvidia_graphics_chip_for_ubuntu_8.10.txt · Last modified: 2009/02/12 04:32 by billg
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