If your ubuntu laptop or desktop has a Nvidia GPU and you’re not seeing the drivers for it, here’s how to add it to your system.
Did you buy yourself a new laptop running Linux or Ubuntu? Well, if it has an Nvidia graphics card on board, you’re ready to unlock extra power for gaming and other tasks that the CPU alone isn’t capable of. But if you find that your system isn’t properly reading your GPU, you’ll want to ensure that it has the proper Nvidia drivers. You can do so using the GUI in Ubuntu, or by using the terminal and by running a few commands.
How to install Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu with the GUI
If you’re coming from Windows, you’re probably familiar with how the device manager works. Ubuntu has a similar feature that can be used to manage drivers. It’s accessible from the update manager. You can use this to update or check for the driver being used.
- Press the Super key or the Windows Key on your keyboard.
- Search for Update Manager and click on the top result.
- Click on Settings at the side of the window.
- Click on Additional Drivers.
Under Additional Drivers, you’ll want to choose an Nvidia driver that’s listed for your system. There might be proprietary drivers from Nvidia itself or open-source drivers. We suggest picking the Nvidia one, by making sure it’s highlighted, then clicking Apply Changes. You’ll be prompted to enter your password. Once the download is complete, you can restart your system to use the driver.
How to install Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu with the terminal
If you’re a more advanced Ubuntu user, we suggest installing Nvidia drivers with the terminal. We’ll run you through identifying the GPU, and the other steps needed. Note that there are alternative methods, including using apt, which involves manually installing packages, but it’s suggested by the folks who maintain Ubuntu to stick to this method only, since it is simpler.
- Open a terminal window.
- Type the following command: sudo ubuntu-drivers list
- You’ll see a readout of drivers. Look for the nvidia-driver-###, where ### is the number of your driver.
- Type the command: sudo ubuntu-drivers install to automatically install the drivers.
- If you want to manually install the driver, type the command: sudo ubuntu-drivers install nvidia:###, where you replace ### with the driver number you saw earlier.
Once complete, you’ll have to enter a password and reboot your system. You can confirm the driver was installed properly by typing the command nvidia-smi. That should show you which processes are using the Nvidia GPU. You also can type nvidia-settings into the terminal to open the Nvidia settings hub to see GPU usage and driver versions.