Most of the modern Linux Desktop systems come with Nvidia driver pre-installed in a form of the Nouveau open-source graphics device driver for Nvidia video cards. Hence depending on your needs and in most of the situations there is no need for an additional Nvidia Linux Driver installation procedure.

The only reason could be that you wish to squeeze as much power as possible from the Nvidia VGA card and in that case you may attempt to install the official proprietary Nvidia Linux driver. Some Linux distributions offer the proprietary driver pre-packaged as part of its standard package repository making the entire Nvidia Linux Driver procedure extremely easy to follow.

As already mentioned the other alternative is to download and install the Nvidia Linux Driver directly from the Nvidia.com website. This procedure usually involves more hands on approach and it is rather intermediate Linux system administration job.
WARNING
Installation of the Nvidia Linux Driver from a 3rd party sources such as the proprietary Nvidia Linux driver from Nvidia.com or via PPA repository may result in an unstable system. From this reason if there is no real need for the Nvidia Linux Driver upgrade you are recommended to remain with the open source Nouveau driver.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • How to check your current VGA driver
  • How to check Nvidia Linux Driver version
  • How to check your Nvidia VGA card model
  • How to Install the latest Nvidia Linux driver for your Linux Desktop system
Nvidia Linux Driver
Nvidia Linux Driver

Software Requirements and Conventions Used

Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, Redhat, Manjaro, Fedora, Linux Mint
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 the Latest Nvidia Linux Driver step by step

  1. Check your Nvidia VGA model:

    The first step is to check your Nvidia VGA card model. For most Linux distributions the following command will provide you with that answer. Example:
    $ lspci -vnn | grep VGA
    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: NVIDIA Corporation GP106 [GeForce GTX 1060 6GB] [10de:1c03] (rev a1) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
    
    From the above output we can see that our system is equipped with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB graphics card.

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  3. Check your currently installed VGA driver:

    The following command will provide you with an information about your currenlty loadel VGA driver as well as VGA card model:
    $ lspci -k | grep -EA3 'VGA|3D|Display'
    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GP106 [GeForce GTX 1060 6GB] (rev a1)
            Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. GP106 [GeForce GTX 1060 6GB]
            Kernel driver in use: nouveau
            Kernel modules: nvidiafb, nouveau
    
    As you can see our system is currently using the nouveau Nvidia Linux Driver and kernel modules. In case the proprietary Nvidia Linux driver is installed on your system the output of the above command may look like the one below:
    $ lspci -k | grep -EA3 'VGA|3D|Display'
    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GP106 [GeForce GTX 1060 6GB] (rev a1)
            Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. GP106 [GeForce GTX 1060 6GB]
            Kernel driver in use: nvidia
            Kernel modules: nvidiafb, nouveau, nvidia_drm, nvidia
    
  4. Check your current Nvidia Linux Driver version:

    Before you proceed with the Latest Nvidia Linux Driver installation check where you are not already using the latest Nvidia Linux driver version. To check the Nvidia driver version execute the following command:
    $ nvidia-settings --version
    nvidia-settings:  version 430.50
    
  5. Next proceed with the Nvidia Linux Driver installation:

    In case you already do not know check your Linux version and proceed with the Nvidia Linux Driver installation by selecting your Linux distribution and system version from the table below:
    Linux Distribution System Version
    Ubuntu 16.04, 18.04, 18.10, 19.04, 19.10
    CentOS 7, 8
    Debian 8, 9, 10
    Fedora 28, 29, 31
    Redhat Enterprise Linux 8
    Manjaro 18
    Linux Mint 19
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