April 17, 2014

How to install Nvidia drivers on Linux Mint 16 Petra

Dedicated Nvidia GPU
Having a dedicated graphics processing unit ( GPU or graphics card ), boosts graphics performance significantly, especially when playing 3d games. Nvidia GPUs are very popular on desktop computers and they work very well on linux, as drivers are available from Nvidia.
It is necessary to install the right drivers to ensure proper utilisation GPU. Otherwise the performance would be limited, or totally unused.
Nouveau - the default driver
For Nvidia GPUs, the Nouveau driver becomes active by default. Check it with the lspci command.
$ lspci -vnn | grep VGA -A 12
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller : NVIDIA Corporation GT218 (rev a2) (prog-if 00 )
Subsystem: ZOTAC International (MCO) Ltd. Device
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 16
Memory at e2000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable)
Memory at d0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable)
Memory at e0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable)
I/O ports at 2000
Expansion ROM at e3080000
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: nouveau
The last line indicates the kernel driver in use, which is nouveau over here. However with the Nouveau driver the gpu cannot perform to its full potential and features like hardware 3d acceleration might be unavailable or limited.
Proprietory drivers from Nvidia make the gpu deliver its full performance.
Testing graphics performance
It might...

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How to install Nvidia drivers on Linux Mint 16 Petra

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