Fixing Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu


Some-crazy-how, the Nvidia Geforce GTX 560 drivers on my office Ubuntu 12.04 workstation keep killing themselves. Usually, after a reboot, I’ll get the old familiar text based login. Generally, this is when I have two or three things that need my attention. And, to be fair, there is probably something I’m partially responsible for.

What generally follows is logging into my window workstation to (futilely) find how I fixed it last time. I then try random/shotgun things to fix it. This go ‘round, I had 2 version of Ubuntu nvidia drivers (304 and 310), the proprietary 319 Nvidia binaries with the nouveau drivers actually running. This amazes me, as I’m certain I blacklisted the nouveau driver, last go round.

So, listen up Future-Matt, here’s how you fix it:

  1. RemovePurge Ubuntu Nvidia drivers the usual way.
  2. Purge any Nouveau drivers. Note: The libnovueau1a might want to take other things with it. Careful!
  3. Add nouveau to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf and reboot.
  4. download the latest Nvidia drivers

At this point, restarting Lightdm should bring back Unity 3D. I suspect this page will change, the next time I have to do this…6 months from now.