Ubuntu – Graphics issues after/while installing Ubuntu 16.04/16.10 with NVIDIA graphics


I installed or upgraded to Ubuntu 16.04, but I'm having some problems with my graphics card.

  • The display is blank
  • The display flickers
  • Items on the screen do not display correctly
  • Certain programs complain of graphics issues
  • The computer boots to low-graphics mode

  • Your specific issue may not be here, but try the solutions described in the answers anyway.

This question is very broad, but each one of these issues likely has one solution.

If you are experiencing a login loop, check the last part of my answer.

If you experience one of the listed issues and have your own solution (mine didn't work, or there's a faster way), feel free to post another POLITE answer, describing your problem and how you fixed it.

Those attempting to install Ubuntu, please refer to the section titled: If you are unable to enter a TTY or are trying to install Ubuntu.

Best Answer

  • Please be aware that this answer may become slightly outdated. I will do my best to update it regularly, but I can't guarantee anything. The driver version used below may not be the latest. Please check the Launchpad page to confirm.

    Each of the issues described (and maybe even more) can be fixed by following the steps below.

    If you're installing Ubuntu, follow section 3.

    1. First make sure you can enter a TTY

    Press Ctrl+Alt+F1

    If this brings you to a black screen with a login prompt, continue on. Otherwise, you will likely have to boot with a special kernel flag. Instructions are below.

    2. Now for the fix

    1. Log into your account in the TTY.
    2. Run sudo apt-get purge nvidia-*
    3. Run sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa and then sudo apt-get update.
    4. Run sudo apt-get install nvidia-driver-430.
    5. Reboot and your graphics issue should be fixed.

    3. If you are unable to enter a TTY or are trying to install Ubuntu

    1. Reboot into GRUB.
    2. Highlight the Ubuntu option and press E.
    3. Add nouveau.modeset=0 to the end of the line beginning with linux.
    4. Press F10 to boot.
    5. Follow the instructions above.
      • (If installing Ubuntu, ignore this step, but follow the rest of the tutorial after the installation is finished.)

    This solution should fix many problems described by users after an upgrade to 16.04. If a fresh install is affected, the solution is the same.

    If you run into problems afterward, you should ask a different question. (Refer to this question so that we know it isn't a duplicate.) However, there are a few other small fixes you can try out before you do.

    • Reinstall Xorg

      • Go back into the TTY and run sudo apt-get purge xorg-* xserver-xorg; sudo apt-get install xorg xserver-xorg; sudo dpkg-reconfigure xorg.
    • Reinstall your desktop environment

      • If on Unity, run sudo apt-get purge ubuntu-desktop; sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop.
      • If on GNOME run sudo apt-get purge ubuntu-gnome-desktop gnome-desktop-environment; sudo apt-get install ubuntu-gnome-desktop.
      • If on MATE run sudo apt-get purge ubuntu-mate-desktop mate-desktop-environment; sudo apt-get install ubuntu-mate-desktop
      • Each Ubuntu DE has its own package name. If you have KDE or something else, the name should be similar to the ones above.
    • Fresh reinstall
      • It's not the most inviting option, but sometimes it's the best thing to do in cases like this.

    Please remember that there are a lot of things that can go wrong, and this is not a guaranteed fix for everything. Even if you are experiencing something listed in the question, the solution may not fully work for you.

    This answer is merely for driver issues with 16.04 and nVIDIA. Your issue may go deeper than a bad driver.

    Other issues after the fix

    • If you get to a working display, but run into a login loop (you login and get returned to the login screen), take a look here.