How to Install NVIDIA Drivers on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Most modern Linux Desktop systems such as Ubuntu come with an Nvidia driver pre-installed in the Nouveau open-source graphics device driver for Nvidia video cards. For the most part, this is acceptable; however, if you are using your Linux system for graphical design or gaming, you may get better drivers.

Historically, the Nouveau drivers are slower than Nvidia’s proprietary drivers, lacking the latest graphics card hardware’s latest features, software technology, and support. The tutorial will cover both options.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install NVIDIA Graphic Drivers on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa using three methods that should suit most user requirements.

Update Ubuntu

Before proceeding with the tutorial, it is highly advised to run an update in your terminal to make sure all packages are up-to-date to avoid any conflicts during the installation. This is important when installing packages such as new kernels and graphic card drivers, especially.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Next, select from the two choices from the first option of the standard Ubuntu repository drivers or the second with the latest bleeding-edge stable drivers straight from the PPA.

Install NVIDIA Drivers – APT Method – Ubuntu Repository

The first option is to install NVIDIA drivers for your system using the command line. Advanced users prefer using command-based commands, but the beginner can quickly achieve this also with the following.

Open your terminal CTRL+ALT+T and find out the information on your graphics card first.

ubuntu-drivers devices

Example output:

nvidia drivers ubuntu repo example on ubuntu 20.04 recommends
Nvidia drivers ubuntu repo example on ubuntu 20.04 recommends

From the example output, you can see our operating system module is TU117 [GeForce GTX 1650], and the recommended Nvidia driver is Nvidia-driver-510″. Remember, this is just an example. Everyone will have different Nivida graphic cards, and look for the recommended option if there is one.

Next, we will install the nvidia-driver-510 driver package. This can be done in two ways.

Second, specify below if you want to install the driver package directly or choose another version. Below in order are some of the newest to oldest, anything below 5xx is considered legacy at this point.

First, if you are happy with the recommended version, use this command:

sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall

Second, specify below if you want to install the driver package directly or choose another version.

sudo apt install nvidia-driver-510

Once installed, you will need to reboot your Ubuntu operating system and enter the following command.

reboot

After you log back into your system, you can view the status of the graphic card with the nvidia-smi” command.

nvidia-smi

Example output:

nvidia smi nvidia drivers ubuntu 20.04 lts
nvidia smi nvidia drivers ubuntu 20.04 lts

Install NVIDIA Drivers – GUI Method

The second solution in installing your Nvidia Drivers is to use the GUI method. This is recommended for beginners in Linux especially.

Firstly, go to your application menu and open up Additional Drivers as per the below example.

The full path for users new to Linux and Ubuntu is as follows.

Activities (left-hand corner) > Search bar > Additional Drivers.

Example:

additional drivers nvidia drivers check ubuntu 20.04 lts
additional drivers nvidia drivers check ubuntu 20.04 lts

Next, the Software & Updates window will appear, where you can see all the available drivers for your Nvidia graphics card to install. Note that some users will see different list sizes depending on the age and popularity of the graphics card.

additonal drivers select nvidia ubuntu 20 04
additonal drivers select nvidia ubuntu 20 04

The next step is to select the Nvidia diver you want to install and click the Apply Changes button.

Note that the installation will take 2 to 3 minutes, depending on your system and its resources.

Once installed, reboot your desktop, which can be done immediately if you would like by typing the following command in your terminal.

reboot

That’s it. You have installed Nvidia Drivers using the GUI method. A handy tip is to view the settings and information of your graphic card, which can be done in your terminal, invoking the following command.

nvidia-settings
nvida drivers ubuntu 20 04 nvidia settings
nvida drivers ubuntu 20 04 nvidia settings

The following repository to install NVIDIA drivers is a PPA known for having the most up-to-date NVIDIA proprietary drivers available. This is most recommended for users that wish to keep their cards updated regularly.

First, install the required dependencies.

sudo apt install software-properties-common -y

Next, add the PPA

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

With the PPA now imported, run an APT update.

sudo apt update

Next, type in the terminal command to bring up recommendations on your graphics card.

ubuntu-drivers devices

You will get a new output compared to before with the original device’s printout using the standard Ubuntu APT repository.

ubuntu 20 04 terminal devices printout for nvidia drivers
ubuntu 20 04 terminal devices printout for nvidia drivers

As you can see, we now have a third-party recommended driver. To install, follow the command options again.

First, if you are happy with the recommended version, use this command:

sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall

Second, specify below if you want to install the driver package directly or choose another version.

Nvidia Drivers 515.x:

sudo apt install nvidia-driver-515

Nvidia Drivers 510.x:

sudo apt install nvidia-driver-510

Nvidia Drivers 470.x:

sudo apt install nvidia-driver-470

Nvidia Drivers 450.x:

sudo apt install nvidia-driver-450

Nvidia Drivers 390.x:

sudo apt install nvidia-driver-390

With the new experimental/beta drivers, you will be updating quite a few supporting packages.

Once done, reboot.

reboot

Now confirm using the “nvidia-smi” command the Nvidia driver version installed:

nvidia-smi

Example output:

nvidia smi nvidia drivers ubuntu 20.04 lts
nvidia smi nvidia drivers ubuntu 20.04 lts

Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you learned how to install NVIDIA Graphic Drivers Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa desktop. Further information on Nvidia Drivers for Ubuntu can be found by visiting the Ubuntu troubleshooting section.



Follow LinuxCapable.com!

Like to get automatic updates? Follow us on one of our social media accounts!