2 Ways to Install Nvidia Driver on Ubuntu 18.04 (GUI & Command Line)

This tutorial will be showing you 2 ways to install Nvidia graphics card driver on Ubuntu 18.04. The first method uses graphical user interface (GUI); The second method is done from the command line interface (CLI). Ubuntu comes with the open source nouveau driver which is included in the Linux kernel for Nvidia cards.  However, this driver lacks 3D acceleration support. If you are a gamer or need to work with 3D graphics, then you will benefit from the better performance of the proprietary Nvidia driver.

Note: Before installing the proprietary driver, I recommend disabling secure boot if you are using UEFI firmware. If secure boot is enabled, you might encounter problems after installing Nvidia driver. This tutorial also assumes that you are running Ubuntu 18.04 with x.org display server.

How to Install Nvidia Graphics Driver on Ubuntu 18.04 From Graphical User Interface

First, go to system settings > details and check what graphics card your computer is using. By default, your integrated graphics card (Intel HD Graphics) is being used.

ubuntu 18.04 nvidia 390 driver

Then open softare & updates program from you application menu. Click the additional drivers tab. You can see what driver is being used for Nvidia card (Nouveau by default) and a list of proprietary drivers.

ubuntu 18.04 nvidia-drivers 430

As you can see nvidia-driver-430 and nvidia-driver-390 are available for my GeForce GTX 1080 Ti card. So I select the first option to install nvidia-driver-430. Your mileage may vary. There might be some other drivers for your particular card. Click Apply Changes button to install the driver.

install nvidia driver ubuntu 18.04 LTS

After it’s installed, reboot your computer for the change to take effect. After that, go to system settings > details, you will see Ubuntu is using Nvidia graphics card.

nvidia driver ubuntu 18

If you want Ubuntu to use Intel graphics card, open Nvidia X Server Settings from application menu. Click PRIME Profiles tab on the left pane, and then select Intel card on the right pane.

ubuntu 18.04 nvidia prime profile

To switch back to Nvidia card, simply select NVIDIA in PRIME Profiles.

How to Install Nvidia Driver on Ubuntu 18.04 From the Command Line

First, open up a terminal window and check which driver is being used for Nvidia card with the following command.

sudo lshw -c display

You can also use video instead of display as the class name.

sudo lshw -c video

By default, the open source nouveau driver is being used for Nvidia card.

nvidia driver ubuntu 18.04

Next, run the following command to list available driver for your Nvidia card from the default Ubuntu repository.

sudo ubuntu-drivers devices

ubuntu 18.04 nvidia driver devices

As you can see, there are 3 drivers available for my GeForce GTX 1080 Ti card. Two are proprietary (non-free) drivers, which is recommend by Ubuntu. The other is the default open-source Nouveau driver. There may be some other drivers for your Nvidia card. To install the recommended driver, run the following command.

sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall

ubuntu 18.04 sudo nvidia-drivers autoinstall

This will install some 32 bit packages as indicated by the i386 suffix. If you want to install a particular driver, run the following command.

sudo apt install nvidia-driver-version-number

For example:

sudo apt install nvidia-driver-430

After the driver is installed, we need to run the following command to reboot the computer, in order to enable nvidia-prime, which is technology to switch between Intel and Nvidia graphics card.

sudo shutdown -r now

Now the proprietary Nvidia driver is being used.

sudo lshw -c display

ubuntu 18.04 nvidia 390

You can check which card is being used now with following command:

prime-select query

ubuntu 18.04 nvidia prime

If you want to use Intel graphics card, run the following command:

sudo prime-select intel

To switch back to Nvidia card, run

sudo prime-select nvidia

Notice that you may need reboot for the change to take effect.

Install the Latest Version Of Nvidia Drivers via PPA

Update: Canonical now includes the latest version of Nvidia drivers in Ubuntu LTS repository. The information in this section is for archive purpose only. You can ignore it.

Nvidia website maintains a page for it’s latest driver for Unix/Linux platforms. On this page you can see the latest version of Nvidia drivers. At the time of this writing, the latest version is 430.40. Clicking the version number will take you to a page where you can see changelogs and whether you card is supported or not.

Unix Drivers NVIDIA archive

The driver included in the default Ubuntu repository can be outdated but more stable. If you would like to install the latest version, you can add a PPA maintained by Ubuntu Team.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa

Notice that you don’t need to manually run sudo apt update after adding PPA on Ubuntu 18.04. This operation becomes automatic on Ubuntu 18.04. Now you can run:

sudo ubuntu-drivers devices

The newest version becomes the recommended driver.

ubuntu nvidia driver ppa

Now you can run the following command to install newest version.

sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall

This PPA is still considered testing. Sometimes you might encounter dependency problems like below.

ubuntu 18.04 nvidia driver ppa

If you prefer stability over bleeding-edge, you can quit installing it. But if you are willing to take risk, you can upgrade the libraries by running the following command.

sudo apt upgrade

Then re-run the install command.

sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall

If there are still dependency problems, you can manually install them. For example, I saw the following error message.

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 nvidia-driver-396 : Depends: xserver-xorg-video-nvidia-396 (= 396.24.02-0ubuntu0~gpu18.04.1) but it is not going to be installed
                     Depends: libnvidia-cfg1-396 (= 396.24.02-0ubuntu0~gpu18.04.1) but it is not going to be installed

I ran this command to fix the issue.

sudo apt install libnvidia-cfg1-396 xserver-xorg-video-nvidia-396 nvidia-driver-396

Once the newest version is installed, reboot your computer.

sudo shutdown -r now

Help Files

You can find the help files by running the following command.

dpkg -L nvidia-driver-390

Repalce 390 with your driver version number.

How to Uninstall the Proprietary Nvidia Driver on Ubuntu 18.04

If for some reason you don’t want the proprietary driver any more, you can remove it by running the following command.

sudo apt purge nvidia-*

sudo apt autoremove

To remove Nvidia driver PPA, run:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa

I hope this tutorial helped you install Nvidia driver on Ubuntu 18.04 desktop, either from GUI or from command line. As always, if you found this post useful, then subscribe to our free newsletter to get more tips and tricks. Take care.

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25 Responses to “2 Ways to Install Nvidia Driver on Ubuntu 18.04 (GUI & Command Line)

  • Hi,

    Thanks for this tutorial, can I ask, is it possible to switch the graphics cards without rebooting.

    So if I have gimp running using the Intel card, but then I want to run Davinci Resolve for 3D work,
    do I need to switch cards and reboot, or can I set a profile that opens Davinci Resolve using the Nvida drivers?

    Also I’m assuming this would be fairly similar if running CentOS.

    Thanks in advance,

    • Gert Kruger
      1 year ago

      I have a NVIDIA Corporation GP107 [GeForce GTX 1050] card and ubuntu 19.04 installed (18.10 gave the same issue). I tried many proposed solutions, including the one above. Nothing worked.

      I finally found a solution for this Nvidia driver issue (on ubuntu 18 and 19). See instructions at the top at https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread…nvidia+drivers, it worked for me!

  • Christopher
    2 years ago

    Thank you very much for this clear method how to set Nvidia. I really appreciate your effort. For nabs like is essential to get this kind of support you are doing. This and many other things make me glad for dumping the Windows out of the windows.
    With regards Christopher

  • Nice, thank you! I had an issue running nvidia caused by my intel config being in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d. After I deleted it everything work like a charm

  • Doug D.
    2 years ago

    Hello, My disks are encrypted. I used the graphical user interface to install a new driver. I did not disable secure boot as I now see you had suggested. Now, I cannot unlock my startup drive when I restart the machine. Do you have any suggestions for reverting back to the old driver? I am using a Nvidia K620. Thank you.

  • Hi, It’s a bit old post but maybe you can help.
    I did as you describe but in details the system still tells me I’m using the intel card even if prime-select query tells me I’m set for nvidia.
    Furthermore my lshw -c display keeps saying my system uses nouveau instead of the nvidia driver (even if I set nouveau as blacklist in modprobe.d)
    Any idea?

    • Nouveau is blacklisted automatically if you install and enable the Nvidia proprietary driver, as can be seen in the file /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-graphics-drivers.conf.

      blacklist nouveau
      blacklist lbm-nouveau
      alias nouveau off
      alias lbm-nouveau off

      Maybe you need to restart your computer to see the changes.

  • Hey,
    thanks for the tutorial, however it doesnt quite work for me. So after

     sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall 

    I get stuck with the same depencies missing set of errors and upgrading through

     sudo apt upgrade 

    or manually installing the missing dependencies didn’t really help and I couldn’t get past that point.
    any suggestion as to what to do next ?


    • Hi Abmo,

      Is this the issue you encountered?

      The following packages have unmet dependencies.
      nvidia-304 : Depends: xorg-video-abi-11 but it is not installable or
      xorg-video-abi-12 but it is not installable or
      xorg-video-abi-13 but it is not installable or
      xorg-video-abi-14 but it is not installable or
      xorg-video-abi-15 but it is not installable or
      xorg-video-abi-18 but it is not installable or
      xorg-video-abi-19 but it is not installable or
      xorg-video-abi-20 but it is not installable or
      Depends: xserver-xorg-core
      E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

      Did you find a solution?



      • Vance Ayres
        8 months ago

        Dan, did you find a solution for your problem? I have the exact same problem with an old GeForce 7300 LE trying to use 304.137.

  • nshiell
    2 years ago

    I had problems, this is how I fixed it for me:

  • I desperately needed the UNinstall via commandline help found here to recover my machine after enabling the nvidia driver resulted in a black screen after login… thanks for including methods usable at the recovery console!

    • Stephen
      2 years ago

      I have had to install Nvidia drivers a 3rd way many many times. Install build-essentials (apt-get install build-essentials). Download latest linux driver from Nvidia.com and extract the file. If you plan on using steam- install that next before proceeding. example: apt-get install steam . Reboot into grub recovery (hold shift key during boot). If you get that far choose–>enable networking (because it changes your drive from read only to read/write, or you can drop to root shell and do it manually. Go to the directory where the nvidia driver that you downloaded and type ./name_of_nvida_file.run

      With your blank screen it can be fixed by adding nomodeset into the grub file located in /etc/default
      nano /etc/default/grub
      Look for GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT= and add nomodeset between the ” “.
      Your line might look like this GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet nomodeset”

      Make sure to run update-grub from command line before rebooting.

  • Excellent tutorial. Very thorough.

  • Hi –
    Any way to make Nvida GeForce 1050 Ti to run my 4K attached monitor at 60Hz instead of 30Hz? Using the latest stable Nvida driver on Ubuntu 18.04.

  • Iqbal Ahmad
    1 year ago

    Thank you so much for such a complete guide, fortunately this configuration works very well with Ubuntu 18.04/18.10 but doesn’t work on Ubuntu 19.04.
    Couple of times i repeated these steps, installed and uninstall and repeated but it isn’t working.
    Please Help me sort it out.


  • MatthieuBalondrade
    10 months ago

    Hey guys,

    you should also mention for those who use secure boot that when you reboot after a driver has been installed, you will enter a blue screen for secure boot EFI and don’t click on “reboot” directly but on “Register MOK” and enter the password that you had to give during driver installation.

    If not you’ll see nvidia driver installed but not working because it’s a third party driver not registered in secure boot, ubuntu will not pick your nvidia card and still run the Graphic integrated (in my case Intel haswell mobile 4th gen).

  • fernandus
    8 months ago


    I have GTX 1650 and I did installed by GUI, After restarting I cant find GeForce in settings details. On checking NVIDIA X server settings under prime profile I can see NVIDIA performance mode enable.

    So I tried by Command Line after reboot I did lshw -c display under configuration I cant see the driver=nvidia

    this is my first installation dont know that i am using my NVIDIA Graphics.

  • Works great with Ubuntu 18.04 and Nvidia Quadro NVS 450.
    Thank you!

  • andrew grassetti
    5 months ago

    Very helpful comment!

  • Anurag Priyadarshi
    4 months ago

    Nice post! Helped me in fixing my bug on AWS.
    “NVIDIA-SMI has failed because it couldn’t communicate with the NVIDIA driver”

  • Thanks so much for this writeup. I followed the CLI instructions to setup my Nvidia Quadro P2200 graphics card on Ubuntu 18.04 running in an ESXi VM. Question: in the future, if there is a new Nvidia graphics driver, how do we install the new driver? Do I just rerun the following commands?:

    sudo ubuntu-drivers devices

    sudo ubuntu-drivers nvidia-driver-

  • Hi,

    Thank you so much this really helped and was frying my brain for the last few days. I used the guide to manually install the drivers and opted to install all on the list as apposed to specific driver.

    I have seen other ways of doing this on YouTube all appear to be complicated.

    There was one version was in the process of following, which have helped initially was to purge all NVidia drivers beforehand. I then did a ‘nomodeset’ test but then my screen weren’t going blank/black so I decided not to make it permanent as you can do an initial test to see if it works after reboot and then make it permanent.

    This guide is the most simplest and easiest way of doing it.

    Thank you.

  • Thanks you help me to solve this issue

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