Much confusion and conflicting information regarding Nvidia driver installation in Ubuntu. In my case Ubuntu-mate. My goal is to use my Linux workstation exclusively for GPU rendering, so installing Nvidia drivers properly is of utmost importance!

All I 've learned so far is
- don't use Nouveau!
- most problems I've encountered are due to improperly installed Nvidia drivers!

The problem with most installation guides is they act as recipes, without actually telling you WHY this is a better approach or WHY you might try an alternative. Ok Rant over :)

A quick google search turns up the following 5 recent (within the past year) installation guides for Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu. A very simple breakdown seems to be between what I would call 'fully manual' methods using the command line (link #3 below) vs some combination of PPA + using the Software & Updates menu.

Question #1 Why PPA, and in what way might this be 'better' than a fully manual install? Link #5 below suggests PPA is untested ( so does that mean beta and possibly avoid?)

Question #2 If using a fully manual install (link #3) should I simply choose the most recent driver version? The reason i ask is in link#1 (official guide?) it says that the actual version

"depends on the version of Ubuntu one is using, and what graphics card one has installed."

Question #3 Is it one way or the other? ie If you install your driver manually should you avoid using the Software & Updates > Other Drivers window to avoid conflicts?

Question #4 If unsure what driver version you have currently installed, how do you properly remove ALL installed graphics drivers to start from scratch?

1 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BinaryDriverHowto/Nvidia (using Software & Updates - additional drivers method only)

2 https://ubuntu-mate.community/t/how-to-install-graphics-card-drivers-in-ubuntu/3228 (both auto using Software & Updates and manual, but no explanation as to why manual)

3 https://linuxconfig.org/how-to-install-the-latest-nvidia-drivers-on-ubuntu-16-04-xenial-xerus (manual using sudo apt-get install)

4 http://www.ubuntugeek.com/install-nvidia-367-27-drivers-in-ubuntu-16-0415-10.html (manual using ppa +sudo apt-get install)

5 http://www.webupd8.org/2016/06/how-to-install-latest-nvidia-drivers-in.html (using PPA + Software & Updates window, suggests PPA is untested)

  • Why don't you use the one which comes along with the distribution? – Thushi Dec 9 '16 at 22:49
  • Go to Additional Drivers and select the Nvidia one. – Thushi Dec 9 '16 at 22:50

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