How to get Nvidia's proprietary driver to work

  12 years ago

This is a simple tutorial to help you get the Nvidia proprietary driver to work on Linux Mint 9 (Isadora) using Grub2.

Part I (Why)

The open source community has decided to create their own open source video driver for Nvidia video cords, called Nouveau.  Nouveau is compiled into the kernel and while running isn't compatible with the proprietary Nvidia drivers. Stopping the module after the system boots has proven futile. What does work is blacklisting it via a kernel option upon boot.

Part II (How)


  1. I followed this guide to get mine working, written by ferro. I've added a few things here that might need further explanation.   
  2. Note: Run commands as sudo and back up or make notes of what you change.
  3. Open   /etc/default/grub  and change:      GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="nouveau.blacklist=1 quiet splash"                            Specifically add "nouveau.blacklist=1" to whatever you have. It will probably look like the above.
  4. Run: $ sudo update-grub2
  5. Reboot
  6. After the reboot you'll be promted to run in low graphics mode. Accept it and sign into your account.
  7. Install the Nvidia hardware drivers as you normally would through "Hardware Drivers" in the Menu.
  8. Run: $  sudo nvidia-xconfig   
  9. Restart X : Alt+Ctrl+Print_Screen+K. This should restart X but if it doesn't then restart your computer
  10. Your screen should look like like your video card is working.
  11. To see if Nvidia is recognized: $ inxi -xG      OR:
  12. Menu >>  Nvidia X Server Settings and you should have options show up with no reported errors.

Good luck.


JoeNaturale 4 years ago

I've been having problems with the Nvidia driver since Linux Mint 13! I gave up and switched to the open source Nouveau driver.

This tutorial solved the problem but my sequence was different:

1. I edited /etc/default/grub as above.
2. From the terminal I ran sudo update-grub.
3. Using the Driver Manager, I selected the recommended Nvidia driver and rebooted when prompted.

N.B. The nvidia-xconfig commnd was not found and it is not in the package manager.

Thank you, Ron

qubodup 7 years ago

Thank you SO MUCH for this!!!

I've had troubles with an MSI MS-1632 Notebook with Mobile AMD Sempron Processor 3500+ and C51 graphics (GeForce Go 6100) fading to black and locking up randomly (mouse would move but nothing would happen).

I installed nvidia-current only.

Alt+Ctrl+Backspace works instead of Alt+Ctrl+Print+K. The resolution is about 640x480 though and inxi -xG says:
drivers: nouveau (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) FAILED: nvidia Resolution: 640x480@59.4hz

There was no Nvidia X Server Settings. I had to install nvidia-settings

After rebooting, resolution was all right and inxi -xG confirmed nvidia running :) For some reason the background image was reset to default though.

I really would like to remove nouveau but it wants to remove xserver-xorg-video-all

It's unbelievable how unusable some computers become to beginners thanks to this. And there will be the constant fear of updates breaking Nvidia or possibly somehow reactivating Nouveau. :|

alkadia 9 years ago

after 1 day of work finally I have successfully installed latest NVIDIA driver on Mint 15 cinnamon 64bit.
All the hints on this discussion had contributed to help me so I try to put order.
In my case the GPU is a ION GT218 on an ASUS eeePC.
Start Mint in recovery mode so the mdm will not run.
Select Root in the menu or go to shell as root.
Remount the / in read and write mode :
#mount -o remount,rw /dev/sda1 / (in my case root filesystems is /dev/sda1)
Now edit /etc/default/grub and apply the change suggested above :
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="nouveau.blacklist=1 quiet splash"
Remeber to update the grub with :
# update-grub
or comeback to recovery menu and select the "grub" option.
Start again in recovery mode and select "root" option. Unload "nouveau" module :
# rmmod nouveau
now you can install "nvidia drivers" in my case :
Perhaps the installation procedure will add the file "nvidia-installer-disable-nouveau.conf in /etc/modprobe.d for blacklist the nouveau module, in that case you will reboot again the PC.
Don't forget to : start in recovery mode ; select root; remount / in RW and run again
I suggest to compile the nvidia module in DMKS and it will be automatically recompiled if the kernel will be upgraded
Let me known if something is wrong

tarkk 9 years ago

Thanks Ron... very helpful..

BrezenSoiza 9 years ago

Outdated for Mint 14.

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="nouveau.blacklist=1 quiet splash"
This change still starts the graphical surface for me.

zbyna 9 years ago

It helped. Thanks mate.

nuevousuario 10 years ago

After the reboot.. nothing happens!!

leugene 10 years ago

Work perfectly :) Thank You!

Medmehdi 11 years ago

Thank you for this tuto, it was very helpful :D