nVidia Driver installation guide for MakuluLinux 14 LinDoz

Introduction

The Linux Kernel includes the “Nouveau” OpenSource drivers for nVidia Video cards. This Driver together with “Mesa” comes “out of the box” with MakuluLinux 14 LinDoz. But as the Linux Kernel people aren’t provided with all the info from nVidia, this driver can sometimes have some shortcomings. But generally this driver works very well.

Nvidia also provides the Linux Community with it’s own proprietary drivers. These may enable some features of the Video card which the OpenSource driver can’t. The problem is there are some issues installing those drivers on this distro.
This How-To explains how to install those drivers with the best chances to really get them to work properly.

Important: If you want to install the proprietary drivers you should do that as soon as possible after you have installed the OS. Things can sometimes fail, and then often it is simpler and faster to start again with a fresh install. Trying to fix things is often not too easy.

Finding out which driver versions work with your card

First you should find out which driver versions are supported by your card. Many cards will work with previous driver versions, but not all will work with the newest. Use the Menu to start the “Driver Manager” utility. You will have to authenticate with your password to get it to start. It will then Query your PC and eventually show all the drivers that run with your hardware. The one with the highest number will probably be the one you will want to use. The image below shows what drivers are supported by my card, and it also shows that at the moment the nouveau driver is installed and running.

In my case I would want to install the Driver “nvidia-387”. If only drivers 304 and 340 are shown, you would want the “nvidia-340” driver.
If your card only supports the “nvidia-304” driver, then I don’t recommend it as it will probably cause problems, and it is also relatively old so the nouveau driver is probably sufficient anyway.

If you want to install the drivers 304, 340 or 381, go on to the next section, “Prerequisite for installing the 304, 340 and 381 Drivers“.

If you want to install the drivers 384 or 387, skip the next sections and go on to “Installing Drivers 384 & 387

Prerequisite for Installing the 304, 340, and 381 Drivers

First of all open the Synaptic Package Manager and install the “Hardinfo” utility. This tool helps in verifying what driver you are running. It is also useful to get other info.
For these drivers the current kernel is too modern, so you will first have to downgrade the Kernel to version 4.10.17. Luckily this is a simple process with the Utility UKUU (Ubuntu Kernel Update Utility), which is already installed in LinDoz.
Start the Utility via the Menu, and type ukuu into the search box. To make it only show the relevant info I suggest clicking on “Settings”, and then removing all check marks in the boxes in the “Notification” section, and in the “Display” section, enable all check marks in the two boxes, just like in the Image below.

Now scroll down to the Kernel 4.10.17-041017-generic and select it, then click on “Install”.

You will again have to acknowledge with your password, and then the kernel will install. When done you can click on the “Close” button, UKUU will reload. You can then close UKUU.
Reboot, and at the GRUB Boot Menu select “Advanced options for MakuluLinux GNU/Linux”, and then “MakuluLinux GNU/Linux, with Linux 4.10.17-041017-generic” in order to boot into the newly installed kernel.
I suggest you now set that option as the default kernel to boot from. For that open the “Grub Customizer”, then click on the “General settings” tab, and in the default entry select the “Advanced options for MakuluLinux GNU/Linux>MakuluLinux GNU/Linux, with Linux 4.10.17-041017-generic”, click on save, then close the tool.
Now whenever you boot, it will load the correct kernel.

Installing the 304, 340, and 381 drivers

Whichever driver you will want to use at the end, always start by installing the 304 driver first.
Start the Driver Manager and then select the “nvidia-304” driver. Click on “Apply Changes” and wait for the installation to finish. When Done, click on “Restart”. If you followed the instructions above your system should now boot using the newly installed driver. To verify this Open “Hardinfo” and in it’s “Display” section it should say something like “NVIDIA 304.137”.

If you can’t start the tool via the menu (this is likely and one of the reasons I earlier said not to use the 304 driver), right click on an empty space on the desktop and select “Open in Terminal”. Now just enter “Hardinfo” and the tool should open. Once you have verified the driver is running, close the tool again and still within the terminal enter “sudo driver-manager”. This time select the next driver, “nvidia-340”, click on “Apply Changes”, and when installed, click on “Restart”. Now your PC should load the OS with the 340 driver installed. Again use “Hardinfo” to verify it is running. This time the menu should work fine and you can reach the “Hardinfo” utility via “Administration”, “System Profiler and Benchmark”.

Do some testing to see if the PC works fine.

If your card supports the 381 Driver, you can now install it using Driver-Manager again, reboot, and check whether it is running OK.

If you are running the 340 Driver, I suggest running UKUU to remove the 4.14 Kernel, as it doesn’t make too much sense leaving that there.

If you are, on the other hand, running the 381 Driver, you can now use UKUU to install Kernel “4.13.16”. That is currently the latest kernel this driver runs with. Once you have tested the system and it works properly, use UKUU to remove the unused kernels (4.10.17 & 4.14).

Your done!

 

Installing Drivers 384 & 387

First of all open the Synaptic Package Manager and install the “Hardinfo” utility. This tool helps in verifying what driver you are running. It is also useful to get other info.
Start the “Driver Manager” Utility and first select driver “nvidia-340” and then click on “Apply Changes. When done, click on “Restart”. Your system will now probably boot into Software Rendering mode at a very low resolution.

Now start the “Driver Manager” again, and this time select Driver 384 and install it. When done, restart. The system should now boot using the new driver, and it should run properly. Us the tool “Hardinfo” which you installed earlier to verify that you are actually running the nVidia and not the Nouveau driver. You can reach the tool via the menu, “Administraton”, “System Profiler and Benchmark”. It should look similar to the below image for your driver:

You can now install the newest, 387 driver. Again start the Driver-Manager, select the “nvidia-387” driver, and when installed, reboot. This time you should have the proper driver running. Again check that this is the case using the “Hardinfo” utility. It’s output should look like this:

Test your system, and if everything works, your done!