Tag Archives: nvidia

America Unveils the World’s Fastest Supercomputer (And Yes: It Runs Linux)

The Summit SupercomputerAmerica’s new star-spangled Summit supercomputer is twice as fast as China’s Sunway supercomputer and runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The supercomputer cost $200 million to build.

This post, America Unveils the World’s Fastest Supercomputer (And Yes: It Runs Linux), was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Games Company Asks Canonical to Make Latest Mesa Drivers Available on Ubuntu

xbox pad ubuntuDo you recall that natty PPA Canonical set up to help Ubuntu gamers install the latest graphics drivers on Ubuntu?  Heck, you might even be using it. And if you are it won’t have escaped your notice that the PPA only contains the latest binary Nvidia drivers. It doesn’t contain anything for AMD or Intel, much less for those who prefer to […]

This post, Games Company Asks Canonical to Make Latest Mesa Drivers Available on Ubuntu, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Prime Indicator Plus Makes It Easy To Switch Between Nvidia And Intel Graphics (Nvidia Optimus)

Prime Indicator is an AppIndicator for laptops with Nvidia Optimus, allowing users to quickly switch between Intel and Nvidia graphics.
Prime Indicator Plus

The original Prime Indicator hasn’t been updated since February, 2015. André Brait forked the indicator (while also using code from the Linux Mint version), improving it with both new functionality and bug fixes, and the new app is called Prime Indicator Plus.

Using the nvidia-prime package, Ubuntu users can switch between Intel and Nvidia graphics by using Nvidia Settings (under PRIME Profiles), which then requires restarting the session (logout/login) to apply the changes. Prime Indicator makes this easier, by allowing you to switch graphics from the indicator menu, including triggering the logout.
On top of that, Prime Indicator also displays the graphics you’re currently using as the indicator icon and, in André’s fork (Prime Indicator Plus) case, it also displays the actual Nvidia GPU status (if bbswitch doesn’t work properly, Intel may be displayed as being in use, but the Nvidia GPU might still be powered on, consuming battery and making the laptop hotter), allowing you to force it on or off.

Among the improvements included in Prime Indicator Plus are:

  • added support for multiple desktop environments: MATE, Cinnamon, KDE, Xfce, LXDE, and LXQt (Unity was already supported);
  • ported to GTK3;
  • support for displaying the Nvidia GPU status (on/off);
  • added option to force the Nvidia GPU on or off (useful when using Intel but you want to run CUDA programs for instance);
  • added new icons as well as options to use symbolic (attempts to color the icons based on your current GTK theme; this might not work for all themes), theme default (icons provided by your theme, with fallback to colored icons), color icons, or custom colors (allows setting the icon color using hexadecimal RGB values).

Because there are major changes between André’s fork and the original Prime Indicator, I packaged the fork as a separate package (“prime-indicator-plus”). So if for some reason you don’t want to use this fork, you can continue to use the old Prime Indicator. However, note that you can’t install both Prime indicators in the same time (installing one automatically remove the other).

To change the Prime Indicator Plus icons, you’ll need to edit the ~/.config/prime-indicator/prime-indicator.cfg file, and change the “iconset” value. You’ll find exact instructions for this on the Prime Indicator Plus GitHub page.  To match the icon to the Ubuntu Mono Dark icons (light icons on dark panel), use “custom(#DFDBD2)” (without the quotes) for the “iconset” value.

Install Prime Indicator fork

Important: Prime Indicator is intended for laptops with Nvidia Optimus, to be used in conjunction with the nvidia-prime package (this package is installed along with Prime Indicator). It’s not intended to be used with Bumblebee. Don’t install this if you use Bumblebee as it can cause issues!

To install the Prime Indicator fork, you can use the main WebUpd8 PPA. Add the PPA and install it by using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install prime-indicator-plus
Alternatively, you can download the deb from HERE (but you won’t receive updates unless you add the PPA).

Report any issues you may encounter @ GitHub.

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How To Install And Configure Bumblebee In Ubuntu 16.04 (With Nvidia-361 Or Nvidia-370)

Bumblebee logo

The Bumblebee package available in the official Ubuntu 16.04 repositories needs a tweak to work with Nvidia 361 graphics drivers. Furthermore, if you want to use a newer Nvidia graphics drivers version, such as 370, the discrete card is not turned off, resulting in it being used all the time, and not just when running apps or games with “optirun”, as it should.

So here’s how to properly install and configure Bumblebee in Ubuntu 16.04, to get it to work with nvidia-361 and nvidia-370 (the latter from the Graphics Drivers PPA).

Bumblebee is a daemon for managing Optimus hybrid graphics chipsets. It allows running applications and games using the discrete GPU (on demand – e.g. using “optirun some-game”).
Ubuntu already provides a way of switching between Intel and Nvidia GPUs, by using Nvidia Prime (with Nvidia Prime installed, you can select which GPU to use from Nvidia Settings > PRIME Profiles), but this sets the GPU for the whole desktop, and not just for specific applications and games. For instance, if you select Nvidia, the desktop and every application you run will use the Nvidia GPU.
For some (like me), using the whole desktop on the Nvidia GPU can cause excessive heating, making Bumblebee a better option for running games.

Install and configure Bumblebee in Ubuntu 16.04

Please read the whole article very carefully, and follow the instructions exactly as mentioned in this article. Misconfiguring Bumblebee can have results the desktop not loading, or the display manager not showing up, and you’ll have to recover from this via TTY. So use this at your own risk and only if you know how to debug it and recover from any issues that may occur!
The instructions below assume you’ve already installed some Nvidia graphics drivers (nvidia-361 or nvidia-370). 
I tested this on a Dell XPS L702x laptop running Ubuntu (w/ Unity) 16.04, with nvidia-361 from the official repositories (and Bumblebee from the official repositories), and with nvidia-370 from the Graphics Drivers PPA (with Bumblebee from the Bumblebee Development PPA).

1. Install Nvidia Prime and set it to “intel”

In my test under Ubuntu 16.04, not having Nvidia Prime installed and set to “intel” results in an xorg.conf file being created under /etc/X11/ upon each reboot (or LightDM restart), which causes a black login screen.

To install nvidia-prime and set it to use the Intel graphics card, use the following commands:
sudo apt install nvidia-prime
sudo prime-select intel

Do not use Nvidia Settings to set the Prime PROFILES to Nvidia, because it will cause issues after a reboot (in my test, it causes a black login screen)!

2. Install Bumblebee

In my test, I needed to edit a configuration file to get Bumblebee from the official repositories to work with nvidia-361 drivers (step 3).

For nvidia-370 from the Graphics Drivers PPA however, the Nvidia graphics card wasn’t turned off (this can be checked with “cat /proc/acpi/bbswitch” – it should say “off” when no app is using the Nvidia graphics card, e.g. if you didn’t run any app or game using “optirun”) and I was unable to find a workaround for this.

I did get it to work though, by installing Bumblebee from its development PPA. So to get Bumblebee to work properly with nvidia-370 in Ubuntu 16.04, you’ll need to install Bumblebee from THIS PPA.

If you want to use Bumblebee with nvidia-361, install Bumblebee from the official Ubuntu 16.04 repositories:

sudo apt install bumblebee

To get Bumblebee to work with nvidia-370, install it from the Bumblebee Development PPA (read the PPA description before adding it!):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/testing
sudo apt update
sudo apt install bumblebee

3. Blacklist the the Nvidia driver you’re using by adding it to /etc/modprobe.d/bumblebee.conf (bit via AskUbuntu)

Open /etc/modprobe.d/bumblebee.conf with a text editor (as root) – I’ll use Gedit below:

gksu gedit /etc/modprobe.d/bumblebee.conf

And at the end of the file, add the following:

– for nvidia-361 (assuming you’ve installed Bumblebee from the official repositories; the Bumblebee package in the Bumblebee Development PPA already has this):

# 361
blacklist nvidia-361
blacklist nvidia-361-updates
blacklist nvidia-experimental-361

– for nvidia-370 (from the Graphics Drivers PPA):

# 370
blacklist nvidia-370
blacklist nvidia-370-updates
blacklist nvidia-experimental-370

… and save the file.

Important: if later on you install some newer Nvidia graphics drivers (e.g. nvidia-371, nvidia-372, etc.), you’ll need to add them to /etc/modprobe.d/bumblebee.conf, in the same way as explained above, but for the new driver version.

4. Configure Bumblebee

Open the Bumblebee configuration file with a text editor (as root) – I’ll use Gedit for the command below:

gksu gedit /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf

… and in this file, change the following options so they look like below:

– for nvidia-361:

  • Driver=nvidia
  • KernelDriver=nvidia-361
  • LibraryPath=/usr/lib/nvidia-361:/usr/lib32/nvidia-361
  • XorgModulePath=/usr/lib/nvidia-361/xorg,/usr/lib/xorg/modules

– for nvidia-370:

  • Driver=nvidia
  • KernelDriver=nvidia-370
  • LibraryPath=/usr/lib/nvidia-370:/usr/lib32/nvidia-370
  • XorgModulePath=/usr/lib/nvidia-370/xorg,/usr/lib/xorg/modules

… and save the file.

Important: just like step 2, if later on you install some newer Nvidia graphics drivers (e.g. nvidia-371, nvidia-372, etc.), you’ll need to change all “nvidia-xxx” occurances in /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf with the new driver.

5. Reboot

That’s it. After rebooting, the “cat /proc/acpi/bbswitch” command should display “OFF” as ouput, meaning that the discrete card is turned off by default.

To try out Bumblebee, use “optirun some_app_or_game”. To configure the Nvidia settings for Bumblebee, launch the settings using the following command:

optirun -b none /usr/bin/nvidia-settings  -c :8

I should also mention that if you later want to remove Bumblebee, make sure to purge it (“sudo apt purge bumblebee”), to make sure its configuration files are removed, or else you’ll experience issues, like the Nvidia drivers remaining blacklisted.

If you encounter issues, see the DEBIAN.readme file (/usr/share/doc/bumblebee/README.Debian on Debian/Ubuntu systems with Bumblebee installed) which explains some possible solutions, as well as the Bumblebee wiki.

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How To Install The Latest Nvidia Drivers In Ubuntu Via PPA

Upgrading to the latest version of the proprietary Nvidia drivers in Ubuntu was pretty complicated a while back. You would either have to use the official Linux installer, which was not always reliable, at least for me, or use a bleeding edge PPA, like the Xorg Edgers PPA, which would upgrade multiple packages, most of which were unstable.

That’s no longer the case thanks to the Proprietary GPU Drivers PPA, which offers stable proprietary Nvidia graphics driver updates, without updating other libraries to unstable versions (some libraries may still be updated using this PPA, if they are needed by the drivers, but there’s nothing unstable in the PPA).

Despite its name, the PPA only provides proprietary Nvidia graphics drivers updates, with no support for AMD or Intel.

Even though the PPA is probably the most stable way of upgrading to the latest proprietary Nvidia drivers version in Ubuntu, it’s still considered in testing. That means issues may still occur (though I didn’t encounter any and I’ve been using it for some time), so you should only use this PPA if you have experience with recovering your system from a failed graphics driver upgrade.

I should also mention that the PPA provides packages for all supported Ubuntu versions (16.10, 16.04, 15.10, 14.04 and 12.04). At the time I’m writing this article, the PPA provides the latest long lived branch version (367.27) of the Nvidia graphics drivers for Ubuntu 16.10 and 16.04 and the latest short lived branch version (364.19) for Ubuntu 15.10, 14.04 and 12.04.
You can check the latest Nvidia Linux graphics drivers version by visiting THIS page.

Install the latest Nvidia graphics drivers in Ubuntu via PPA

1. Add the PPA.

Before proceeding, please read the PPA description!
To add the Proprietary GPU Drivers PPA in Ubuntu and update the software sources, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa
sudo apt update

2. Install (and activate) the latest Nvidia graphics drivers

From System Settings or directly from the menu / Dash, open Software & Updates, click on the “Additional Drivers” tab, select the driver you want to use, and click “Apply changes”:

After the driver is downloaded and installed, restart your system. That’s it!

You can also install the latest drivers using Synaptic or from the command line. To see the available versions, you can use:
apt-cache search nvidia


apt search nvidia
And look for the packages called “nvidia-VERSION”, for instance “nvidia-367” for the latest 367.27 graphics drivers, and install it (“sudo apt install nvidia-VERSION”).

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Ubuntu NVIDIA Graphics Drivers PPA Is Ready For Action

Nvidia Logo overlaid on a Dinosaur

Get your frame-rate on

Well, that didn’t take long.

Just days after proposing the creation of a new PPA to provide Ubuntu users with the latest NVIDIA graphics drivers the Ubuntu community has clubbed together to do, well, just that.

The plainly named ‘Graphics Drivers PPA‘ contains the latest release of NVIDIA’s proprietary Linux grapics drivers, packaged up for Ubuntu users to upgrade to – no binary runtime headaches needed!

The PPA is designed to offer gamers a way to run the latest games on the latest on Ubuntu as easily as possible.

Ready, But Not Ready

Jorge Castro’s idea to create a ‘blessed’ PPA containing newer NVIDIA graphics drivers for those wot want ’em has been greeted with enthusiasm by Ubuntu users and games developers alike.

Even those involved in porting some of Steam’s biggest titles to Linux have chimed in to offer advice and suggestions.

Edwin Smith, head of production at Feral Interactive (‘Shadow of Mordor’) welcomed the initiative to prove users with “easier way of updating drivers”.

How To Use The New Nvidia Drivers PPA

Although the new ‘Graphic Drivers PPA’ is live it is not strictly ready for the prime time. Its maintainers caution:

“This PPA is currently in testing, you should be experienced with packaging before you dive in here. Give a few days to sort out the kinks.”

Jorge, who soft launched the PPA in a post to the Ubuntu desktop mailing list, also notes that gamers using existing PPAs, like xorg-edgers, for timely graphics driver updates won’t notice any driver difference for now (as the drivers have simply been copied over from some of those PPAs to this new one).

“The real fun begins when new drivers are released,” he adds.

Right now, as of writing, the PPA contains a batch of recent Nvidia drivers for Ubuntu 12.04.1 through 15.10. Note all drivers are available for all releases.

It should go without saying: unless you know what you’re doing, and how to undo it, do not follow the instructions that follow.

To add the PPA run the following in a new Terminal window:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa

To upgrade to or install the latest Nvidia drivers:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install nvidia-355

Remember: if the PPA breaks your system you are allowed to keep both halves.

To roll back/undo changes made the PPA you should use the ppa-purge command.

Feel free to leave any advice/help/corrections/thoughts on the PPA (and as I don’t have NVIDIA hardware to test the above out for myself, it’s all appreciated) in the comments below.

The post Ubuntu NVIDIA Graphics Drivers PPA Is Ready For Action was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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New Official Proprietary GPU Drivers Ubuntu PPA Released


In an effort to make it easier to install the latest proprietary graphics drivers in Ubuntu, a new official PPA was released today.

Currently, the PPA ships Nvidia drivers only (and it’s not clear if it will include other packages like AMD drivers, etc.) and is in testing. According to the PPA description, you should wait a few days before using this PPA.

In a message posted on the Ubuntu Desktop mailing list, Jorge O. Castro notes that currently there’s no difference between this and the xorg-edgers PPA and that “the real fun begins when new drivers are released“.
At the time I’m writing this article, the PPA provides the latest stable Nvidia driver (352.30) as well as the latest beta (355.06), along with libvdpau 1.1 and vdpauinfo 1.0, for Ubuntu 14.04, 15.04 and 15.10, with some older packages (Nvidia 346.87) for Ubuntu 12.04.
To add the PPA (but again, you shouldn’t be using it until the PPA description says it’s safe to do so), use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
and then use Synaptic / Ubuntu Software Center to install the Nvidia driver version you want to use.

via Phoronix, Ubuntu Desktop mailing list, image via techspot

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Recent Update Broke Ubuntu Desktop On Some Nvidia Optimus Laptops [Fix]

Nvidia Optimus Ubuntu

According to a bug report, a recent Ubuntu 14.04 update broke the desktop for some Nvidia Optimus users:

Until yesterday the 14.04 install on this Thinkpad T530 (nvidia Optimus) with nvidia-331 drivers worked just fine, including excellent multi-monitor behavior. Yesterday the set of packages below [1] was updated. I shut down, booted this morning and found out that I was not shown the lightdm login screen: I was stuck at the purple screen that precedes it (into which I enter my disk encryption password)“.

– lp #1365695 bug

This bug doesn’t affect all Nvidia Optimus users though. In fact, my laptop has Nvidia Optimus and this bug doesn’t occur for me. That’s why I can’t guarantee that the solution below will work 100% however, I don’t see why it wouldn’t (and it was confirmed  by users in the bug report comments).

Until the Ubuntu developers fix this Nvidia Optimus issue (the bug itself is caused by the ubuntu-drivers-common package), here’s a work-around / temporary fix that you can use to get your Ubuntu desktop back. Press CTRL + ALT + F1 (because, if you’re affected by this bug, you can’t access the desktop), log in via the command line and type the following command:
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-drivers-common=1: nvidia-common=1:
The command above downgrades the ubuntu-drivers-common and nvidia-common packages to the last working version available in the repositories (

Then reboot your system using:

sudo reboot
Note that you must not upgrade to the latest nvidia-drivers-common 2.91.6 (or to 2.91.7 from the Ubuntu Proposed repositories) because both seem affected by this bug. Check the bug report to see when the bug is fixed and only then upgrade this package.
Thanks to Fabio Colella for the tip! Image via

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