How to Update NVIDIA Graphics Drivers under Linux (***Updated***)
I’m currently working on some cool stuff under Linux Mint 10 (64-bit). I like this distro because it works fine for my needs (virtual screens, transparent terminals, gnome 2!). But the NVIDIA driver recommended and installed with Mint 10 is an old driver: R260 family. Then installing the latest driver can be a good option especially is you need latest features such as OpenGL 4.2 or just to support latest cards like the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 cores. Currently the latest NVIDIA driver is the R290.10.
Ok that said, let’s see how to install NVIDIA’s latest graphics driver:
- 1 – Download the driver from NVIDIA: R290.10 64-bit. Driver’s filename looks like to
NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-290.10.run. I saved the file at the root of my home directory.
- 2 – To install the driver, the X-server must be stopped. All operations must be executed from the command line (virtual console). Fortunately, only few operations are required. To open the first virtual console, type [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[F1]. There are six virtual consoles and any console from F1 to F6 is ok. Once the console it opened, enter your login. Now you can stop the X-server with:
sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop
This command is better:
sudo stop gdm
The following command can also help:
sudo killall Xorg
- 3 – Now you can install the driver:
sudo sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-290.10.run
The driver proposes to update the X-server configuration file (xorg.conf). You can accept it (I did).
- 4 – The last operation to do: reboot the system. Just type:
Now you should enjoy the latest NVIDIA driver with OpenGL 4.2 support:
UPDATE: important note for developers: the graphics driver update breaks the symbolic link on the OpenGL lib. When you try to compile an OpenGL app, you get this message:
/usr/bin/ld: cannot find -lGL
To fix the link, jump to the libraries folder:
If needed (because the ln command fails), delete the broken link:
sudo rm libGL.so
Now we can recreate the link with ln:
sudo ln -s libGL.so.1 libGL.so