How to Install Nvidia 495.xx Beta Drivers on Linux Mint 20

Most modern Linux Desktop systems such as Linux Mint 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 proprietary drivers are slower than Nvidia’s proprietary drivers, along with lacking the newest features, software technology, and support for the latest graphics card hardware. In most situations, upgrading your Nvidia Drivers using the following guide is more beneficial than not doing it. In some cases, you may see some substantial improvements overall.

The following tutorial will teach you how to install the latest bleeding-edge Nvidia Beta Graphic drivers for Linux Mint 20.

This tutorial uses a stock standard installation of the Linux Mint desktop. This may not work for users with alternative display managers or desktop environments, so make sure to back up any important files before you begin.

Prerequisites

Update Operating System

Update your Linux Mint operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

The tutorial will be using the sudo command and assuming you have sudo status.

To verify sudo status on your account:

sudo whoami

Example output showing sudo status:

[joshua@linuxmint ~]$ sudo whoami
root

To set up an existing or new sudo account, visit our tutorial on Adding a User to Sudoers on Linux Mint.

To use the root account, use the following command with the root password to log in.

su

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Part 1. Install Dependencies & Configure

Currently, the Nvidia 495 Drivers are still in beta and have not made their way onto any official or PPA repository at the current moment. However, for those enthusiasts that would like to install the beta drivers and keep them up to date manually, the following steps will help you achieve this goal.

First, visit the Nvidia downloads page and download the latest .run file or get the link and use the wget command.

Example only (make sure to get the latest link):

wget https://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86_64/495.29.05/NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-495.29.05.run

Install Linux Headers and compilation dependencies:

sudo apt install linux-headers-$(uname -r) build-essential libglvnd-dev pkg-config -y

Next, blacklist the nouveau driver create a blacklist file:

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-nouveau.conf

Once inside the file, add the following:

blacklist nouveau
options nouveau modeset=0

Save the file CTRL+O, then exit CTRL+X. You will then need to regenerate the kernel initramfs:

sudo update-initramfs -u

Now, reboot to the multi-user run level. This will disable the GUI user after reboot:

sudo systemctl set-default multi-user.target
sudo reboot now

Part 2. Install Nvidia Beta Drivers

Login to your account; it will be a terminal-only screen. Navigate to the directory if needed where you downloaded the .run file too. Next, run the following bash command to start the installation process.

Example only (your version will be different and more updated in the future):

sudo bash NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-495.29.05.run 

If everything has been set correctly, you will see a screen and loading bar for building the kernel. After a few minutes, you will see your first prompt.

Select and press the “ENTER KEY” on the “Continue Installation” selection to proceed with the installation.

Example:

How to Install Nvidia 495.xx Beta Drivers on Linux Mint 20

By default, DKMS is not registered with the kernel sources. This is optional but recommended.

Select Yes or No and hit the ENTER KEY. If you are unsure, select YES.

Example:

How to Install Nvidia 495.xx Beta Drivers on Linux Mint 20

If you want to install 32-bit compatibility, select Yes or No to proceed with the following optional prompt installation choice.

Example:

How to Install Nvidia 495.xx Beta Drivers on Linux Mint 20

Next, you will receive another prompt asking to keep default settings; the recommended option for fresh installs would be Yes.

Example:

How to Install Nvidia 495.xx Beta Drivers on Linux Mint 20

One last prompt will appear informing you that you have successfully installed the Nvidia Drivers package.

Example:

How to Install Nvidia 495.xx Beta Drivers on Linux Mint 20

Now that the drivers are installed, you need to reboot your system but first, make sure to switch back to the graphical UI:

sudo systemctl set-default graphical.target
sudo reboot now

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Part 3. Confirm Beta Drivers Installation

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:

How to Install Nvidia 495.xx Beta Drivers on Linux Mint 20

Alternatively, open your Nvidia X Server GUI to confirm the driver’s build version.

Example:

How to Install Nvidia 495.xx Beta Drivers on Linux Mint 20

Comments and Conclusion

Congratulations, you have installed the latest Nvidia Beta Drivers. Do not forget to keep checking for updated packages through the download link. If new beta drivers come out, you will repeatedly run the same process to install the drivers over the existing ones.

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