How to Install the NVIDIA Drivers on Ubuntu 20.04

Install the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu 20.04 and ensure your system runs at its full ability, especially when you want your computer to render high-end tasks. The process involved is pretty straightforward and shouldn’t take much longer.

If you’ve been using a computer for a considerable period, I’m pretty sure the concept of drivers is nothing new. Now talking about the Ubuntu system, it features a default driver named Nouveau for the NVIDIA graphic card. However, to be honest, Nouveau fails to offer the stability and reliability we all hanker after.

It is when the need for official drivers get serious. Getting the NVIDIA drivers ready on your UBUNTU 20.04 is no tough job and will merely take you minutes. I’ll help you learn to do exactly that in the following article.


Before you learn how to install the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu 20.04, ensure you’ve access to the following resources as you’ll require them moving forward.

  • A fully operational Ubuntu system.
  • Terminal access.
  • Sudo privileges.

Install the NVIDIA Drivers on Ubuntu 20.04 with Command Line Utility

If you’re well equipped with the command line utility and like to install apps on your system that way, the following guide will help you effortlessly prepare and install the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu 20.04.

Step 1: Update the System Repository

It is always better to have the system repository updated before installing any utility. The scenes are no different from the NVIDIA GPU drivers. 

At first, launch the Terminal. For that, you can simply use the “Ctrl+Alt+T” key combination.

Run the following command:

$ sudo apt-get update
updating system repository

Step 2: Get Information about the Available Graphic Card

When you’re done running the apt update command, ensuring the system is operating on the latest version of repositories, it is time you get information about the graphic card alongside the available drivers.

Launch the Terminal by hitting the “Ctrl+Alt+T” key combination on your keyboard.

Run the following command:

$ ubuntu-drivers devices
How to Install the NVIDIA Drivers on Ubuntu 20.04

The Terminal will now display the name and the model number of the graphic card running in your system. In addition to that, you can also learn about the recommended version of the graphic driver.

Step 3: Install the NVIDIA Drivers on Ubuntu 20.04

After you invoke the ubuntu-drivers command and learn about the recommended driver version, you can now use the apt package manager and install the NVIDIA driver on Ubuntu 20.04

Hit the “Ctrl+Alt+T” key combination and open the Terminal

Run the command in the following format:

$ sudo apt install [driver-version]
install the nvidia drivers on ubuntu 20.04

Step 4: Reboot your System

To make sure all the alterations on your system get successfully applied, it is crucial to perform a quick reboot.

While you’re inside the Terminal, invoke the reboot command in the following way:

$ sudo reboot

Step 5: Verifying the Graphics Card Status

As soon as your system boots up, you’re now ready to view the status of your graphic card and verify if the latest drivers have been installed. For that, use the NVIDIA SMI monitoring tool.

Launch the Terminal by hitting the “Ctrl+Alt+T” key combination on your keyboard.

Run the following command:

$ nvidia-smi
viewing graphic card status

The output should display the version of the driver you’ve recently installed. If it doesn’t, I’m afraid you’ll have to repeat the process entirely.

Using GUI to Install the NVIDIA Drivers on Ubuntu 20.04

Are you not comfortable using the command line utility but still want to install the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu 20.04? Well then, you need to have your attention right here.

The Graphical User Interface or GUI brings the most effortless way to install NVIDIA drivers. It is a utility that can help users seamlessly navigate the installation process with no trouble whatsoever.

Step 1: Getting Started

Head over to the Activities screen. Navigate to the search bar and input “driver” From the options that pop up, tap Additional Driver. It will launch the Software and Update window that displays detailed information about the available updates.

Remember that coming across two or more drivers requiring updates is pretty common, depending on the graphic card you’re using.

Step 2: Installing the NVIDIA Driver

Now, what you’ll need to do is choose the desired NVIDIA driver for installation and click on the button that says “Apply Changes.” Once done, wait for the process to conclude.

Step 3: Reboot your System

After the GUI is done installing all the drivers, go ahead and reboot your system to ensure that all the recent modifications get successfully invoked.

Step 4: Viewing/Changing the Driver Setting

As the system boots up, the NVIDIA drivers are already active. You can simply view the driver setting by running the Nvidia-settings flag to verify it. The utility is of great help, even when you wish to change settings within a specific driver.

Launch the Terminal by hitting the “Ctrl+Alt+T” key combination on your keyboard.

Run the following command:

$ sudo nvidia-settings

Getting the Latest NVIDIA Drivers Installed on Ubuntu 20.04

Until this point, you know how to install the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu 20.04. However, you must be aware that most of the time, the drivers available in the default Ubuntu repository are not the latest.

It is totally fine if you want to stick to those, but if you want the most out of your graphic card, you might need your system to run the latest released version of the drivers.

While one way is visiting NVIDIA’s official website and grabbing the latest release from there, there does exist a more accessible alternative.

Installing from the Graphic Drivers PPA

You’ll need to start by adding the PPA repository. For that, launch the Terminal and run the following command:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:micahflee/ppa
getting the latest drivers

Invoke the ubuntu-drivers flag and take a look at all the options available.

$ ubuntu-drivers devices
ubuntu drivers

Locate the one corresponding to your graphics unit and get it installed. 

Use the apt command to do that.

$ sudo apt install [desired driver/driver-version]
install the nvidia drivers on ubuntu 20.04

Finally, reboot your system.

$ sudo reboot

And with that, I’m done guiding you on the best possible ways to install the NVIDIA drivers. In this article, I’ve uncovered two easy and super-efficient methods that will help Ubuntu users ensure that their GPU is running alongside an updated set of drivers.

If this guide helped you, please share it.

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