Objective

The objective of this artcile is to guide reader thought the installation of NVIDIA drivers on Linux Mint. This article will discuss three methods of Nvidia driver installation in the following order:
  • Automatic Install using standard Linux Mint Repository
  • Manual Install using the Official nvidia.com driver

Operating System and Software Versions

  • Operating System: - Linux Mint 19 Tara

Requirements

Privileged access to your Linux Mint 19 Tara installation will be required.

Difficulty

EASY - MEDIUM

Conventions

  • # - requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
  • $ - requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Automatic Install using standard Mint Repository

The first method is the easiest to perform and in most cases it is the recommended approach. First, detect the model of your Nvidia graphic card and the recommended driver. To do so execute:
$ ubuntu-drivers devices
== /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:01.0/0000:01:00.0 ==
modalias : pci:v000010DEd00001C03sv00001043sd000085ABbc03sc00i00
vendor   : NVIDIA Corporation
model    : GP106 [GeForce GTX 1060 6GB]
driver   : nvidia-driver-390 - distro non-free recommended
driver   : xserver-xorg-video-nouveau - distro free builtin
== cpu-microcode.py ==
driver   : intel-microcode - distro free
From the above output we can conclude that the current system has NVIDIA GP106 [GeForce GTX 1060 6GB] graphic card installed and the recommend driver to install is nvidia-390. If you agree with the recommendation feel free to use ubuntu-drivers command again to install all recommended drivers:
$ sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall
Automatic Nvidia VGA driver installation on Linux Mint
Automatic Nvidia VGA driver installation on Linux Mint
Alternatively, install desired driver selectively using the apt command. For example:
$ sudo apt install nvidia-390
Once the installation is concluded, reboot your system and you are done. Confirm that correctness of Nvidia VGA drivers installation:
$ dkms status
nvidia, 390.48, 4.15.0-20-generic, x86_64: installed
Alternatively, if not already installed, install nvidia-settings tool to allow you to configure your Nvidia card via graphical user interface:
$ sudo apt install nvidia-settings


Nvidia VGA configuration on Linux Mint
Nvidia VGA configuration on Linux Mint

Manual Install using the Official Nvidia.com driver

Identify your NVIDIA VGA card

The below commands will allow you to identify your Nvidia card model:
$  lshw -numeric -C display
or
$ lspci -vnn | grep VGA

Download the Official Nvidia Driver

Using your web browser navigate to the official Nvidia website and download an appropriate driver for your Nvidia graphic card. Save the file into your home directory. Example:
$ ls
NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-384.111.bin

Install Prerequisites

The following prerequisites are required to compile and install Nvidia driver:
$ sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install build-essential libc6:i386


Disable Nouveau Nvidia driver

Next step is to disable the default nouveau Nvidia driver. Follow this guide on how to disable the default Nouveau Nvidia driver. Make sure you reboot your system before you proceed to the next step.

Stop Desktop Manager

In order to install new Nvidia driver we need to stop the current display server. The easiest way to do this is to change into runlevel 3 using the telinit command. After executing the following linux command the display server will stop, therefore make sure you save all your current work ( if any ) before you proceed:
$ sudo telinit 3
Hit CTRL+ALT+F1 and login with your username and password to open a new TTY1 session or perform the Nvidia driver installation via SSH shell.

Install Nvidia Driver

To start installation of Nvidia driver execute the following linux command and follow the wizard. You may or may not to answer some of the below questions:
$ sudo bash NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-390.87.run
  1. Accept License
  2. Would you like to register the kernel module sources with DKMS? This will allow DKMS to automatically build a new module, if you install a different kernel later. -> YES
  3. Install NVIDIA's 32-bit compatibility libraries? -> YES
  4. The distribution-provided pre-install script failed! Are you sure you want to continue? -> CONTINUE INSTALLATION
  5. An incomplete installation of libglvnd was found. Do you want to install a full copy of libglvnd? This will overwrite any existing libglvnd libraries. -> Install and overwrite existing files
  6. Would you like to run the nvidia-xconfig utility? -> YES
The Nvidia driver is now installed. Reboot your system:
$ sudo reboot

Configure NVIDIA X Server Settings

After reboot your should be able to start NVIDIA X Server Settings app from the Activities menu.

Latest official Nvidia drivers on Linux Mint 19 Tara
Latest official Nvidia drivers on Linux Mint 19 Tara


Appendix

Error message:
WARNING: Unable to find suitable destination to install 32-bit compatibility libraries
Depending on your needs, this can be safely ignored. However, if you wish to install steam game platform this issue cannot be ignored. To resolve execute:
$ sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install libc6:i386
and re-run the nvidia driver installation.
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