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How to install Nvidia driver on Ubuntu 14.04 with newer Linux Kernel

You might be stuck with Ubuntu 14.04, which, at the time of writing (May 2020), has reached end-of-life and only receive security updates. You might also have a new computer with an Nvidia GPU like GeForce GTX 1070 and a newer Intel wireless card like , The chances are that you might already install newer Linux Kernal like 4.10 just to make the latest Intel wireless card working.

Then you go to the Nvidia driver download page, and download the latest GPU driver, which is “LINUX X64 (AMD64/EM64T) DISPLAY DRIVER” 440.82 released on 2020.4.7; you won’t be able to install it because the GCC version (GCC 4.8) in Ubuntu 14.04 is too old.

You tried to install the latest Nvidia driver that is in the Ubuntu “Proprietary GPU Drivers” PPA repository but had no luck: your computer still boots into low graphics mode. What should I do? In this article, I will let you know what I have done to solve this problem after a few hours of tinkering in the dark, but with a lunch break…

Nvidia driver archive page

First, you will need to go to the “unix drivers” webpage on the Nvidia driver download page. That page has all the previously published Nvidia drivers. The link is located at the bottom of the following screenshot.

NVidia driver downloads page

Then you will be on the Unix Driver Archive page. Now find the section for your computer architecture, here mine is “Linux x86_64/AMD64/EM64T”. Go to the bottom of the section, and click the “Archive” link in light green.

NVidia unix driver archive page

Find, download, install the Nvidia driver

Now you will see all the old Nvidia drivers for Linux and the architecture you’ve selected. But which one should I download? You want to download the one after the Linux Kernal is released. For example, I installed Kernal 4.10 and after a quick Google search (the term is “kernel 4.10 release”), I found it kernel 4.10 is released one on 19 Feb 2017.

Google search on what is the kernel release date

So search “2017” on the webpage and scroll down until you find a release after the data, which happens to be April 06, 2017 (version: 381.09) in my case.

details are highlighted on the Linux NVidia driver we will download

Now click the title text in light green, you will be able to download the driver by clicking the green download button. By default, it will be downloaded to your home Downloads folder.

title is highlighted on the Linux NVidia driver we will download

For detailed installation instruction, click the third tab and there will be a readme link at the end. Chapter 5 is the most relevant.

NVidia driver download page

Finally, here is how you install it:

  1. Before installing it, save all your work as we will stop all GUI.
  2. First press Ctrl, Alt and F1: you will see a console/terminal screen.
  3. Then login in with your username and password.
  4. Go to where the downloaded file is located: cd Downloads.
  5. Make the downloaded file executable by chmod +x NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-381.09.run .
  6. Stop the GUI by sudo service lightdm stop.
  7. Run the installation script as the root usersudo ./NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-381.09.run
  8. Continue with instructions.
  9. After installing, run sudo service lightdm start to bring the GUI back.

You might have some problems when you go through the process. Most of the time Google with the term Ubuntu 14.04 will be able to answer it, but if not, leave a comment below. I will answer if I know the answer.

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