How to uninstall the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux

In this tutorial you will learn how to uninstall the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux, hence switch back to the opensource Nouveau Nvidia drivers.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to uninstall the Ubuntu repository and PPA NVIDIA drivers
  • How to uninstall the Official Nvidia driver
  • How to switch to Nouveau driver

Complete uninstall of the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux

Complete uninstall of the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux

Software Requirements and Conventions Used

Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Installed or upgraded Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa
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 uninstall the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu 20.04 step by step instructions

Uninstall the Ubuntu repository and PPA NVIDIA drivers



  1. The following command will remove the proprietary Nvidia driver:
    $ sudo dpkg -P $(dpkg -l | grep nvidia-driver | awk '{print $2}')
    $ sudo apt autoremove
    
  2. Switch back to nouveau driver:
    $ sudo apt install xserver-xorg-video-nouveau
    
  3. The above switch from Nvidia to Nouveau driver can also be performed from GNOME GUI Software & Updates application window.

    The above switch from Nvidia to Nouveau driver can also be performed from GNOME GUI Software & Updates application window.

  4. Reboot your system.
  5. Once your system has rebooted confirm loaded nouveau modules:
    $ lsmod | grep nouveau
    nouveau              1949696  4
    mxm_wmi                16384  1 nouveau
    ttm                   106496  1 nouveau
    drm_kms_helper        184320  1 nouveau
    drm                   491520  7 drm_kms_helper,ttm,nouveau
    i2c_algo_bit           16384  1 nouveau
    wmi                    32768  3 wmi_bmof,mxm_wmi,nouveau
    video                  49152  1 nouveau
    


Uninstall the official NVIDIA drivers

For Nvidia drivers downloaded and installed from the official Nvidia website follow the below steps for Nvidia driver uninstall and to switch back to Nouveau opensource driver.

  1. Locate the installation script used to install the Nvidia driver. In case you cannot locate the original installation script simply re-download it again.
    $ ls
    NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-440.44.run
    
  2. Uninstall the Nvidia Driver. Update the below Nvidia script name where appropriate :
    $ sudo bash NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-XXX.XX.run --uninstall
    
  3. If you have not done so yet, restore your xorg original configuration from backup:
    $ sudo nvidia-xconfig --restore-original-backup
    
  4. Enable Nouveau modules. If you followed our guide on how to disable nouveau drivers on Ubuntu 20.04 execute the following command:
    $ sudo rm /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-nvidia-nouveau.conf
    
  5. Reboot your Ubuntu 20.04 system.