How to install Nvidia Graphic Drivers (non repository install):
The following guide was performed on a clean install of Ubuntu 15.04
The following guide is an attempt to help you, the user, install the Nvidia Graphic drivers on your Linux system. Typically one would install the repository edition Nvidia drivers, but sometimes you just want the latest and greatest directly from Nvidia themselves (sometimes more latest than greatest....). Fortunately Nvidia has stepped up their game and made their Linux drivers much better than they have been in the past (anyone with the optimus setup, half integrated Intel half dedicated graphics, will understand what I am talking about... bumblebee drivers anyone?).
Enough of an intro, lets move on to the good stuff!
These install instructions assume a clean install of Linux and running the default. Most steps are the same even if it isn't a clean install and not running defaults.
Any code wrapped in a box, like so:
Means to open a terminal command window and type those lines into there, or if you have already stopped the X server, type the commands into the tty terminal.
The first step is to navigate to the Nvidia driver page and picking the correct graphics driver download for you specific card. Don't forget to make sure you pick either "Linux 64-bit" for 64 bit Linux systems, and "Linux 32-bit" for the 32 bit systems.
Before continuing make sure you save off your "xorg.conf" configuration file just in case.
cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /home/user/Documents/xorg.conf.backup
The next step is to stop the X window display server. This step is going to vary a bit depending on what Linux distro you are running.
Hit Ctrl + Alt + F1 (or F2, F3, F4, F5, F6). This will bring you to one of the "tty" screens, which is just a text based command line screen.
This part is the one that varies some.
If you are running Ubuntu 15.04 type in:
sudo service lightdm stop
You can use the above for Ubuntu all the way back to Ubuntu 12.04, before that it was running gdm.
If you are running Linux Mint 17 with Mate Desktop type in:
sudo service mdm stop
To make this tutorial more complete, if you know what the command is on your particular distro you run, please post it below. I will update the tutorial as needed. If you can't figure out how to stop your X server display please post a new topic in the "Linux" section of the forum, or if you have any problems trying to do this tutorial please post a topic in the "Linux" section.
Once the X server has been stopped (you can verify by hitting Ctrl + Alt + F7) you can now begin the Nvidia install.
Navigate to where your Nvidia file is located, change permissions, and run file.
cd NvidiaDirectory/ chmod 777 NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-352.21.run sudo ./NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-352.21.run
This will start the Nvidia installer.
The installer will then spit out some "Pre-install script failed" you can ignore this.
Step 3 STOP, ERROR ALERT:
If you are on a clean install, you could possibly get the following error due to using the "Nouveau" drivers.
All you should need to do is hit "ok" to allow the install script to add a file in the modprob configuration directory. This disables the Nouveau drivers so the Nvidia drivers can be used instead.
This will require a reboot of your system. Once you reboot start back at Step 2, and then skip past this error when you reach it.
Step 3 Continued:
Once the Nvidia script loads you will be asked if you want to run the "nvidia-xconfig utility". Go ahead and run this, if something goes wrong you made a backup of your xorg.conf file!
Installation of the Nvidia Graphics drive is now complete! You can now restart your machine and everything should come up okay!
If something goes wrong see below for a couple possible scenarios. If one of them isn't your problem, please post a new topic in the "Linux" section with details of your problem.
Now that you have completed the install process, hopefully everything went okay! If not, here are a couple issues that I have ran into.
Screen size stuck at 800x600 resolution:
I had an issue (on my Lenovo Y580 laptop, running the optimus setup) where the screen size was stuck at 800x600 resolution and would not recognize my 1080p screen size. After a good hour of googling the issue I finally found someone with a similar problem. The solution was to edit the "HorizSync" and "VertRefresh" to the correct monitor settings in the xorg.conf file (I just plugged in some numbers that someone had posted and it worked, if anyone knows of a good way to find out monitor sync and refresh settings please post it).
BusyBox command line after reboot:
When I was installing Nvidia for this tutorial my computer booted into just a BusyBox command line screen after installing and rebooting. I rebooted the machine and it then came up fine, not sure if this was a fluke or not but if you get a BusyBox command line after installing just reboot again and see if it boots normally.
Well there you have it. This completes the tutorial on how to install the Nvidia Graphic Drivers. It isn't difficult, but can be a bit imposing for newer users, so hopefully this simplifies things a bit. There are easier ways, like installing from repository, but some people (like me) like to use the newest from Nvidia directly. Hopefully this helps you out on that quest!