If you use a Linux system for graphical design or gaming, you may want to install the official Nvidia drivers. While most modern Linux Desktop systems come with the Nouveau open-source graphics device driver for Nvidia video cards, this driver is not as fully featured as the official Nvidia driver. The official Nvidia driver provides better performance and more features, making it the better choice for demanding applications. Installing the driver is not difficult, but it does require a few steps. First, you will need to identify your graphic card model and find the appropriate driver on the Nvidia website. Once you have downloaded the driver, you must uncompress it and run the installer. After following these steps, you should be able to enjoy better performance from your Nvidia card.
In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install NVIDIA Graphic Drivers on Linux Mint 21 LTS release series using two methods that should suit most user requirements.
Table of Contents
Update Linux Mint
Before proceeding with the tutorial, it is highly advised to run an update in your terminal to ensure 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
Determine your Graphics Card
The first step for users with aging NVIDIA Graphics cards is to determine what it is and if it is supported, users with brand new cards can skip this part as no doubt they will be supported.
First, find your graphics card module.
lspci | grep -e VGA
03:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation TU117 [GeForce GTX 1650] (rev a1)
If you are using an old card, I advise you to research it on the NVIDIA website; if the latest NVIDIA drivers still support it, you may need to install legacy drivers.
Install NVIDIA Drivers – Linux Mint Driver Manager
The first option and the one that is recommended for all Linux Mint users that prefer not to use the Linux terminal is to install the drivers using the Linux Mint driver manager.
This can be found in Taskbar > Administration > Driver Manager.
Once inside the driver manager, install the NVIDIA drivers with the prompts. This is perhaps one of the safest options.
Remember, you must reboot your system after installation of any NVIDIA drivers or removal.
Install NVIDIA Drivers – PPA Method
The second method uses the command line terminal to install NVIDIA drivers from the well-known PPA maintained by the “Graphics Drivers” team. This PPA is known for having the most up-to-date NVIDIA proprietary drivers available. This is recommended for users wishing to update their cards regularly.
First, install the required dependencies.
sudo apt install dirmngr ca-certificates software-properties-common gnupg gnupg2 apt-transport-https -y
Now import the GPG from the keyserver. In the future, if the key changes, visit the PPA to grab a fresh fingerprint.
sudo gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /usr/share/keyrings/graphic-drivers-ppa.gpg --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 2388FF3BE10A76F638F80723FCAE110B1118213C
If you are having issues importing the GPG key, see the end of the article to troubleshoot GPG importing.
Once the GPG key is imported, now import the PPA.
echo 'deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/graphic-drivers-ppa.gpg] https://ppa.launchpadcontent.net/graphics-drivers/ppa/ubuntu jammy main' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/graphic-drivers-ppa.list echo 'deb-src [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/graphic-drivers-ppa.gpg] https://ppa.launchpadcontent.net/graphics-drivers/ppa/ubuntu jammy main' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/graphic-drivers-ppa.list
Ensure you import both repositories as above.
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.
As you can see, we now have a third-party recommended driver, but technically you can install any of the above.
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
You will update quite a few supporting packages with the new experimental/beta drivers.
Once done, reboot.
Now confirm using the “nvidia-smi” command the Nvidia driver version installed:
Alternatively, launch the NVIDIA settings GUI.
Or use the following path Taskbar > Administration > NVIDIA X Server Settings.
Once open, you can see your NVIDIA card configuration, information, and much more.
How to Fix Broken GPG Import
Users that have installed Linux Mint for the first time or have not imported a GPG key before using the command line terminal will often have issues importing GPG keys from LaunchPAD PPAs due to the directories not being created. This is an easy fix. Use the following command that will, in turn, generate the directories.
sudo gpg --list-keys
As above, the necessary directories have been created. This can be skipped, and use the following GPG import command below. If you have any issues with directories missing for this and any other PPA GPG key in the future, just run the above command.
Comments and Conclusion
The tutorial taught you how to install NVIDIA Graphic Drivers on Linux Mint 21 LTS using the GUI or the LaunchPAD Graphics proprietary drivers PPA. Overall, using the NVIDIA drivers can be more beneficial for performance. Still, if your system works fine and has an old card, often, even installing these drivers, you will not see much difference compared to brand new cards or ones created in the past several years.