How to Install Nvidia Driver 331.38 in Ubuntu 14.04, 13.10, 12.04

Last updated: January 13, 2014

Nvidia 331.38 ubuntu

Nvidia Driver for Linux 331.38 has been released on January 13 with OpenGL promotion, bug fixes and other improvements. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 13.10, Ubuntu 12.04 and Linux Mint.

Before getting started, let’s take a look at what’s new in Nvidia 331.38:

  • Fixed a bug that caused the X server to crash if video memory is exhausted and the GPU does not support rendering to system memory.
  • Updated nvidia-installer to make the –multiple-kernel-modules option imply the –no-unified-memory option: Unified memory is incompatible with multiple kernel modules.
  • Updated the behavior of the nvidia-settings PowerMizer Preferred Mode drop-down menu, to make the setting apply consistently across all GPUs in an SLI group.
  • Improved the robustness of the NVIDIA X driver in scenarios where GPU-accessible memory for allocating pixmaps was exhausted.
  • Added NV-CONTROL attributes to control the brightness of the illuminated logos on certain graphics boards.For example, to turn off the illumination of the “GEFORCE GTX” lettering on the GeForce GTX 780, use
    nvidia-settings –assign GPULogoBrightness=0
  • Fixed a bug that prevented screen transformations from being applied properly when starting X.
  • GLX protocol for the following OpenGL extensions from OpenGL 2.1 and OpenGL 3.0 have been promoted from unofficial to ARB approved official status:
  • GL_ARB_pixel_buffer_object
  • GL_NV_conditional_render
  • GL_ARB_map_buffer_range
  • GL_EXT_texture_integer
  • GL_ARB_vertex_array_object
  • GL_ARB_pixel_buffer_object was the last piece of protocol needed to have official support for indirect rendering with all OpenGL 2.1 commands.
  • GLX Protocol for the miscellaneous OpenGL 3.0 commands not associated with specific extensions has also been promoted from unofficial to ARB approved status.
  • Deprecated display mask related configuration of display devices via NV-CONTROL and nvidia-settings.Display target specifications should be used instead – A display target is one of the display’s valid names, with an optional GPU or X screen qualifier.
  • Deprecated the following NV-CONTROL attributes:
  • Also, although NV_CTRL_PROBE_DISPLAYS is still operational, the return value has been deprecated and should not be used.
  • Added deprecation warning messages in nvidia-settings when deprecated attributes are used.This also includes display mask usage.

    Download & Install Nvidia Driver 331.38

    The official installer is available for downloading at this page.

    If you’re not sure your system type, press Ctrl+Alt+T to open terminal and run:

    uname -m

    You can also run below command to download the Nvidia installer:

    For 32 bit (x86):

    cd && wget

    For 64 bit (x86_64):

    cd && wget

    Now start the installer via below steps:

    0. Remove previous proprietary driver if any:

    sudo apt-get purge nvidia-current

    1. Press Ctrl+Alt+F1 to switch to command console. Login with your username and password.

    2. Stop the graphic session by:

    sudo service lightdm stop

    You may change the lightdm to gdm or mdm if you’re using Ubuntu Gnome or Linux Mint.

    3. Make the installer executable:

    chmod +x NVIDIA-Linux-*

    4. Finally start the installer and follow the on screen prompts:

    sudo sh NVIDIA-Linux-*

    You may keep the installer file so that you can remove this driver via below command if for some reason this driver does not work properly:

    sudo sh NVIDIA-Linux-* --uninstall

    You may also add blacklist nouveau to a file in /etc/modprobe.d/ if you get blank screen after installed the new driver.


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    15 responses to How to Install Nvidia Driver 331.38 in Ubuntu 14.04, 13.10, 12.04

    1. Hi Panda,

      how to add blacklist nouveau to a file in /etc/modprobe.d/ ?
      I got blank screen after installed the new driver.

      • You may first press Ctrl+Alt+F1 to switch to command console and login, then run below command:

        sudo sh -c 'echo "blacklist nouveau" > /etc/modprobe.d/nouveau.conf'

        It will create nouveau.conf with blacklist nouveau as it content.

        Take a look at Jarth’s comment and it may help.

    2. Hi,

      I also get a blank screen with a blinking underscore after installing 331.38. It won’t let me switch to a command console either, pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1 does nothing so I’m unable to uninstall the driver or blacklist nouveau. Please help!

      • Reboot your computer and when you’re in Grub menu, boot the entry recovery mode and drop to root terminal. Then you can try to blacklist nouveau (see my previous comment) or remove the driver. If you have any write permissions problem, run below command will remount file system with read/write permisson

        mount -rw -o remount /
        • Sorry, what if one were to have a driver.. I’m assuming the latest 319 something installed? I still have a black screen probably because this driver is what needs to be blacklisted?

    3. Ok. I just used this guide.

      After you

      sudo apt-get purge nvidia*

      sudo apt-get install nvidia-319-updates-dev

      This put me back on 319

      – Rebooted
      – Went into settings / Software & Updates
      – Switch to Nouveau
      – Restarted your tutorial.
      – Installed 331.38
      – Reboot.


    4. I got black screen after installing nvidia drivers. There is no nouveau file to blacklist in modprobe folder.

    5. Hi, I’m running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and since I updated to the new NVidia Drivers the Preferred mode dropdown menu has disappeared from NVidia Server Settings. The Video card seems to behave like it’s set to to low quality and I am experiencing tearing when playing HD videos. Anyone know how to take control of preferred mode again?

    6. hello
      You can use the same procedure on Notebook with Nvidia Optimus (Nvidia GT520M)?

    7. @fabio pagella , it appears not.

      I have a G745M and I haven’t been able to get this to work, no matter what method I try.

      I’m about to try the xorg-xedgers method, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll come back here – or perhaps even try installing 319/304 —

    8. You will need to run
      sudo update-initramfs -u
      then restart the machine
      sudo shutdown -r now

    9. 1. Download the correct driver form
      2. Change the property of the .run file to allow execution (alternately, sudo chmod +x …)
      3. Restart machine, press just after boot, get into the recovery mode, select the root option
      4. Navigate to /home/username/Download/
      5. ./NV(tab) will start you on your installation
      6. Try various options, look for error messages, while installing
      7. Finally run update-initramfs -u
      8. Enter “exit” to go to recovery options
      9. Select Resume and check out if driver is working

    10. Scuderia Giovanni January 3, 2015 at 6:09 am

      Thank you that’s the best explanation I got.
      Only thing I had to do different: enable on board GPU, boot into linux, go to terminal as described and install drivers. Then reboot and disable. Now perfect!