How to install the NVIDIA RTX 3080 driver on Debian 10 (buster)

The NVIDIA driver for the RTX 3080 GPU is currently in experimental stage for Debian 10 (buster),thus this driver is not yet available as part of a standard Debian 10 repository.

In this article you will learn how to install Nvidia RTX 3080 driver on Debian 10 Buster using the official NVIDIA driver as well as how to install NVIDIA RTX 3080 driver from a Debian backports repository.

In case you are Ubuntu Linux user, please navigate to the following guide on how to install NVIDIA driver on Ubuntu Linux.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to install Nvidia driver from a Debian backports repository
  • How to install Nvidia driver from the official Nvidia package
  • How to disable nouveau driver
  • How to install Nvidia driver prerequisites

NVIDIA RTX 3080 driver on Debian 10 (buster)

NVIDIA RTX 3080 driver on Debian 10 (buster)

Software Requirements and Conventions Used

Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Debian 10 Buster GNU/Linux
Software N/A
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
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

How to install NVIDIA RTX 3080 driver by using the official package

  1. Download the recommended Nvidia source package from the official website. Search for a package name to match the driver number as recommended by the previous step. Save the downloaded file into your home directory:
    $ ls
  2. Install Nvidia driver compilation prerequisites:
    # apt -y install linux-headers-$(uname -r) build-essential libglvnd-dev pkg-config
  3. Next, disable the default nouveau driver:
    # echo blacklist nouveau > /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-nvidia-nouveau.conf
  4. Reboot to multi-user runlevel. This will disable the GUI user after reboot:
    # systemctl set-default
    # systemctl reboot

  5. Login as root user via terminal or TTY and install the Nvidia driver by executing the bellow command:
    Depending on the driver version you have downloaded the bellow command may be different. Amend the below command to fit the driver file name downloaded previously.
    # bash

    During the installation you may be asked the following set of questions:

    Install NVIDIA's 32-bit compatibility libraries?
    Would you like to run the nvidia-xconfig utility to automatically update your X configuration file so that the NVIDIA X driver will be used when you restart X?  Any pre-existing X configuration file will be backed up.                                                                             

    After sucessful NVIDIA driver installation you should see following message:

     Your X configuration file has been successfully updated.  Installation of the NVIDIA Accelerated Graphics Driver for Linux-x86_64  
      (version: 465.31) is now complete.
  6. Enable the system to boot into GUI:
    # systemctl set-default
  7. All done. Reboot your Debian 10 Buster Linux box:
    # systemctl reboot

How to install NVIDIA RTX 3080 driver using Debian backports repository

As already mentioned the NVIDIA RTX 3080 driver is not yet available in Debian 10 Buster. If you run the nvidia-detect command you are likely to receive a following message:

$ nvidia-detect 
Detected NVIDIA GPUs:
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: NVIDIA Corporation Device [10de:2206] (rev a1)

Checking card:  NVIDIA Corporation Device 2206 (rev a1)
Uh oh. Your card is not supported by any driver version up to 418.197.02.
A newer driver may add support for your card.
Newer driver releases may be available in backports, unstable or experimental.

From this reason we will be installing the NVIDIA RTX 3080 driver from the Debian backports repository.

  1. Enable Debian 10 (buster) backports repository. As a root or sudo user execute the following command:
    # echo 'deb buster-backports main contrib non-free' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

    Once done update the package index using:

    # apt update

  2. Install the NVIDIA driver. Execute the bellow apt command with -t option to instruct the to command to perform the install from the Debian 10 Buster backports repository:
    # apt install -t buster-backports nvidia-driver firmware-misc-nonfree
  3. Install kernel image from Debian backports repository. The bellow command will also build all required NVIDIA kernel modules:

    # apt install -t buster-backports linux-image-amd64
  4. All done. Now simply reboot your system:
    # reboot


    When you receive the following error message:

     WARNING: Unable to determine the path to install the libglvnd EGL vendor library config files. Check that you have pkg-config and  
               the libglvnd development libraries installed, or specify a path with --glvnd-egl-config-path.

    you can resolve this issue by installing the following packages:

    # apt install libglvnd-dev pkg-config