Ubuntu – Steam on Ubuntu 18.04 refusing to start. Nvidia. “libGL error: failed to load driver”


I'm very new to Ubuntu and Linux. I've been trying all day to find a fix for steam to work but I keep getting the same error. Steam refuses to start when I run it using the icon on the desktop or the icon in the applications menu. When I type


into the terminal I get this error:

Running Steam on ubuntu 18.04 64-bit
STEAM_RUNTIME is enabled automatically
Installing breakpad exception handler for appid(steam)/version(0)
libGL error: unable to load driver: nouveau_dri.so
libGL error: driver pointer missing
libGL error: failed to load driver: nouveau
libGL error: unable to load driver: swrast_dri.so
libGL error: failed to load driver: swrast

I haven't found a single thread with my problem, I keep finding people with AMD graphics cards that have driver issues but no luck with NVIDIA.

Best Answer

  • I have the same problem. You can fix it by removing your NVIDIA drivers and install them from their website (that worked for me, because it seems to be a newer version[390.44 -> 390.77]). This has been tested only under Linux Mint 19, which based on Ubuntu 18.04 - theoretically it works under Ubuntu too.

    1. Download the NVIDIA driver
    2. Remove NVIDIA:

      sudo apt remove nvidia-driver-390 -y
    3. Clean up:

      sudo apt autoremove -y
    4. Log out!
    5. Switch to console by pressing CTRL+ALT+F3
    6. Log in...
    7. Stop the display manager:

      sudo service gdm stop    #or lightdm
    8. cd Downloads (or wherever it is)
    9. Make the driver executable:

      chmod +x [driver package name]
    10. Run and install it (let it fix xserver settings AND libs!!!!):

      ./[driver package name]
    11. Enter: reboot
    12. Should work now!