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Enable proprietary graphics drivers in Kubuntu

It’s always been a pain in the *** to manually install proprietary video drivers in Linux. Well, at least for NVIDIA and AMD drivers in Fedora and Ubuntu/Kubuntu. The key issue is: every time you upgrade the kernel not only you need to reinstall the graphics drivers but you’ll have to do it in terrible conditions, ie in recovery mode, because graphics drivers compiled for the previous kernel will just crash everything under the new kernel. Fortunately, in Ubuntu, you can now (I don’t remember when that option appear, that was a big while ago) automatically install proprietary drivers. The option for this would pop up somewhere on the task bar any time applicable, and then those automatically installed drivers wouldn’t make a mess of your system with every kernel upgrade. The only drawback is that you end up with quite outdated drivers, though.

Anyway, after that crappy Unity I had to move to Kubuntu, where I had a hard time finding that automated proprietary drivers installation. I eventually found a solution there*, but the paths indicated there are no longer valid: the proprietary drivers can now be found in the start menu → Applications → System → Additional Drivers. Actually, just typing “drivers” in the start menu should bring you to the right place, I guess I should try to use this thing to its full potential 😉

* update 2016-07-10: link is dead, used to be
http://bostonpeng.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/quick-tip-enable-proprietary-video-drivers-on-a-new-kde-install/

Posted in Linux.


7 Responses

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  1. Jack says

    THANK YOU!
    “…after that crappy Unity I had to move to Kubuntu…” –> me too!
    Just to add: It is hard to tell what is more crappy – Gnome 3.2 or Unity!

  2. patheticcockroach says

    I think they’re holding a contest… and I hear Microsoft’s going to enter it with Windows 8 and Metro. :s

  3. BostonPeng says

    I’m glad I was able to help you with my blog post. I recently moved all my Linux writing to my new Tux + Me site so the correct address for that page is now http://bostonpeng.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/quick-tip-enable-proprietary-video-drivers-on-a-new-kde-install/ . I have a link to the new location on my original post but you might want to update your link.

    Thanks for spreading the word about my post.

  4. patheticcockroach says

    Thanks, it’s updated.

  5. Anonymous says

    Thanks, I was going nuts trying to get the drivers working in Ubuntu, works perfect in Kubuntu.

  6. Tom Sisson says

    bostonpeng.wordpress.com is no longer available.

    The authors have deleted this site.

    • patheticcockroach says

      Ow, typical… why do people delete sites that are hosted on free hosts anyway…
      Luckily, the indications I put in my post are enough to find the place… if this hasn’t changed since the time I wrote that 5 years ago (I don’t use Kubuntu anymore): look for “Additional Drivers” by typing this in the start menu, and in there there should be an obvious way to set up “automated proprietary drivers installation”.

      I updated the post, thanks for letting me know



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