How to Install or Upgrade Nvidia Graphic 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, which lacks the latest graphics card hardware’s latest features, software technology, and support. 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.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Nvidia Graphic Drivers for the series 470.xx / 465.xx / 460.xx / 390.xx and 340.xx from the Nvidia Proprietary Repository, giving you the latest in software available.

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

If you have not set up a sudo user account and would like to, visit our tutorial on How to Add 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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Install Option 1. Install NVIDIA Drivers using Terminal

The first option to install NVIDIA drivers for your Linux Mint 20 operating system is to use 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 information on your graphics card firstly.

ubuntu-drivers devices

Example output:

ubuntu-drivers devices
 == /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:03.0/0000:03:00.0 ==
 modalias : pci:v000010DEd00001F82sv00001458sd00004028bc03sc00i00
 vendor   : NVIDIA Corporation
 model    : TU117 [GeForce GTX 1650]
 driver   : nvidia-driver-450-server - distro non-free
 driver   : nvidia-driver-418-server - distro non-free
 driver   : nvidia-driver-460 - distro non-free recommended
 driver   : nvidia-driver-465 - distro non-free
 driver   : nvidia-driver-460-server - distro non-free
 driver   : xserver-xorg-video-nouveau - distro free builtin

From the example output, you can see our operating system module is TU117 [GeForce GTX 1650]”, and the recommended Nvidia driver is Nvidia-driver-460. Remember, this is just an example. Everyone will have different Nivida graphic cards. Look for the recommended option if there is one.

Next, we will install the nvidia-driver-460 driver package. This can be done in two ways.

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

sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall

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

sudo apt install nvidia-driver-460

Once installed, you will need to reboot your Linux Mint operating system, 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
 Sun Oct 3 23:01:34 2021       
 +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
 | NVIDIA-SMI 460.91.03       Driver Version: 460.91.03      CUDA Version: 11.2     |
 |-------------------------------+----------------------+----------------------+
 | GPU  Name        Persistence-M| Bus-Id        Disp.A | Volatile Uncorr. ECC |
 | Fan  Temp  Perf  Pwr:Usage/Cap|         Memory-Usage | GPU-Util  Compute M. |
 |                               |                      |               MIG M. |
 |===============================+======================+======================|
 |   0  GeForce GTX 1650    Off  | 00000000:03:00.0  On |                  N/A |
 | 56%   30C    P8    N/A /  75W |    403MiB /  3903MiB |      5%      Default |
 |                               |                      |                  N/A |
 +-------------------------------+----------------------+----------------------+
 +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
 | Processes:                                                                  |
 |  GPU   GI   CI        PID   Type   Process name                  GPU Memory |
 |        ID   ID                                                   Usage      |
 |=============================================================================|
 |    0   N/A  N/A      1627      G   /usr/lib/xorg/Xorg                182MiB |
 |    0   N/A  N/A      1772      G   /usr/bin/gnome-shell               35MiB |
 |    0   N/A  N/A      3782      G   …lib/vmware/bin/vmware-vmx        8MiB |
 |    0   N/A  N/A     35908      G   …lib/vmware/bin/vmware-vmx        8MiB |
 |    0   N/A  N/A     81318      G   /usr/lib/firefox/firefox          161MiB |
 +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Install Option 2. Install NVIDIA Drivers Using GUI

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 Taskbar > Administration > Driver Manager.

Example:

How to Install or Upgrade Nvidia Graphic Drivers on Linux Mint 20

Next, you will be shown choices on offer. By default, you will most likely have the open-source drivers installed. However, as the example below shows, it is recommended even by Linux Mint to install the latest drivers from Nvidia’s proprietary repository.

Example:

How to Install or Upgrade Nvidia Graphic Drivers on Linux Mint 20

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

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

Once installed, reboot your operating system.

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.

sudo nvidia-settings
How to Install or Upgrade Nvidia Graphic Drivers on Linux Mint 20

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Optional Install – Install Nvidia Bleeding Edge PPA Beta Drivers

Suppose you require the latest Nvidia packages because your graphics card is a new module. You cannot find driver support in the existing default repositories from Ubuntu/Linux Mint; add the following Nvidia PPA.

sudo apt install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa

Example output if successful:

gpg: key FCAE110B1118213C: public key "Launchpad PPA for Graphics Drivers Team" imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:               imported: 1

Note, these drivers are classed as unstable. Install at your own risk. Make sure to back up everything first.

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 stable:

~$ ubuntu-drivers devices
== /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:03.0/0000:03:00.0 ==
modalias : pci:v000010DEd00001F82sv00001458sd00004028bc03sc00i00
vendor   : NVIDIA Corporation
model    : TU117 [GeForce GTX 1650]
driver   : nvidia-driver-450-server - distro non-free
driver   : nvidia-driver-460-server - distro non-free
driver   : nvidia-driver-470-server - distro non-free
driver   : nvidia-driver-470 - distro non-free recommended
driver   : nvidia-driver-460 - distro non-free
driver   : nvidia-driver-418-server - distro non-free
driver   : xserver-xorg-video-nouveau - distro free builtin

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 it below if you want to install the driver package directly or choose another version.

sudo apt install nvidia-driver-460

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

Example output:

 Reading package lists… Done
 Building dependency tree… Done
 Reading state information… Done
 The following additional packages will be installed:
   dctrl-tools dkms libnvidia-cfg1-460 libnvidia-compute-460 libnvidia-decode-460
   libnvidia-encode-460 libnvidia-extra-460 libnvidia-fbc1-460 libnvidia-gl-460
   libnvidia-ifr1-460 nvidia-compute-utils-460 nvidia-dkms-460 nvidia-kernel-common-460
   nvidia-kernel-source-460 nvidia-utils-460 xserver-xorg-video-nvidia-460
 Suggested packages:
   debtags menu
 Recommended packages:
   libnvidia-compute-460:i386 libnvidia-decode-460:i386 libnvidia-encode-460:i386
 The following NEW packages will be installed:
  libnvidia-cfg1-460 libnvidia-common-460 libnvidia-compute-460
  libnvidia-compute-460:i386 libnvidia-decode-460 libnvidia-decode-460:i386
  libnvidia-encode-460 libnvidia-encode-460:i386 libnvidia-extra-460
  libnvidia-fbc1-460 libnvidia-fbc1-460:i386 libnvidia-gl-460
  libnvidia-gl-460:i386 libnvidia-ifr1-460 libnvidia-ifr1-460:i386
  nvidia-compute-utils-460 nvidia-dkms-460 nvidia-driver-460
  nvidia-kernel-common-460 nvidia-kernel-source-460 nvidia-utils-460
  xserver-xorg-video-nvidia-460
0 to upgrade, 22 to newly install, 22 to remove and 0 not to upgrade.
Need to get 175 MB of archives.
After this operation, 159 MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y

Type “Y,” then press the “ENTER KEY” to proceed and complete the installation. Remember to reboot your system as before.

reboot

Install latest 470.xx series Nvidia Drivers

You can also install the latest 470 series that supports the latest Nvidia graphics cards; below is another example.

Run the command “ubuntu-drivers devices.”

ubuntu-drivers devices

Example output:

== /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:03.1/0000:26:00.0 ==
modalias : pci:v000010DEd00001E89sv00001458sd00003FC1bc03sc00i00
vendor : NVIDIA Corporation
model : TU104 [GeForce RTX 2060]
driver : nvidia-driver-450-server - distro non-free
driver : nvidia-driver-460-server - distro non-free
driver : nvidia-driver-460 - distro non-free
driver : nvidia-driver-470-server - distro non-free
driver : nvidia-driver-470 - third-party non-free recommended
driver : xserver-xorg-video-nouveau - distro free builtin

The Nvidia Driver 470 Third Party (Nvidia) is recommended. To install this driver for the absolute latest driver package, run the following command:

sudo apt install nvidia-driver-470 -y

Note, if you have installed previous Nvidia drivers from any other repository, after adding the PPA, you can run an update command then upgrade.

sudo apt update

If there are updates available which there should be since the PPA is always up to date with the latest build from Nvidia, run the apt upgrade command:

sudo apt upgrade

Example output:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Calculating upgrade... Done
The following packages will be upgraded:
  libnvidia-cfg1-470 libnvidia-common-470 libnvidia-compute-470
  libnvidia-compute-470:i386 libnvidia-decode-470 libnvidia-decode-470:i386
  libnvidia-encode-470 libnvidia-encode-470:i386 libnvidia-extra-470
  libnvidia-fbc1-470 libnvidia-fbc1-470:i386 libnvidia-gl-470
  libnvidia-gl-470:i386 libnvidia-ifr1-470 libnvidia-ifr1-470:i386
  nvidia-compute-utils-470 nvidia-dkms-470 nvidia-driver-470
  nvidia-kernel-common-470 nvidia-kernel-source-470 nvidia-utils-470
  xserver-xorg-video-nvidia-470
22 to upgrade, 0 to newly install, 0 to remove and 0 not to upgrade.
Need to get 270 MB of archives.
After this operation, 529 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y

Type “Y,” then press the “ENTER KEY” to proceed with the upgrade.

Now reboot your Ubuntu system.

reboot

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

nvidia-smi

Example output:

How to Install or Upgrade Nvidia Graphic Drivers on Linux Mint 20

Congratulations, you have installed the latest Nvidia Graphic Card Drivers.

How to Install or Upgrade Nvidia Graphic Drivers on Linux Mint 20

Comments and Conclusion

In the guide, you learned how to install the latest stable or beta drivers on your Linux Mint 20.x Desktop. Further information on Nvidia Drivers for Linux Mint (Ubuntu) can be found by visiting the Ubuntu troubleshooting section.

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Perfect thanks for this

Danke, gute Anleitung, hat mir sehr weitergeholfen!

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