Ubuntu – How to install a driver for an NVIDIA card not detected by Additional Drivers


For the past few days I've been trying to get compiz working on Ubuntu 12.04 with my NVIDIA graphics card – GeForce GT550M, but I couldn't get it to work.
I've been searched for tips and tricks on how to do it but nothing has worked so far.
This is the last one I tried – http://www.howtoforge.com/enabling-compiz-fusion-on-ubuntu-11.10-oneiric-ocelot.

It appears to be pretty easy but whenever I open the Additional Drivers tool, it says "no proprietary drivers are in use on this system". All the tutorials I have found include this step so none of them have worked.

I would really like to use compiz effects but I don't know what to try any more, so I could really use some help. Thanks in advance!

Best Answer

***This approach is simpler and it allows for easier reversal.

Manual NVIDIA binary driver package install

Install the NVIDIA binary driver package manually. It will automatically blacklist the Nouveau default driver and make the kernel modules for you:

sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

Become root:

sudo -i

Then simply modify your "xorg.conf" to use it. Copy and paste the whole code snippet in the terminal where you ran "sudo -i":

echo 'Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "Default Screen"
        DefaultDepth    24

Section "Module"
        Load    "glx"

Section "Device"
        Identifier      "Default Device"
        Driver  "nvidia"
        Option  "NoLogo"        "True"
' > /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Then reboot your machine.


In case it doesn't work, you can get back to the default state by reverting the changes:

sudo rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf && sudo apt-get purge nvidia-current nvidia-settings

And of course then you need to reboot.

Afterwards you could attempt @conner_bw's suggestion as a last resort.

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