Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How to install graphics drivers on Ubuntu (proprietary and open-source)

For optimal performance using open source drivers installation of the latest kernel is recommended . A tutorial for that can be found here(Warning : only use with open-source drivers !)

1.Installing Intel normal drivers (open-source):
(ctrl+alt+t to open a terminal)

sudo apt-get install i965-va-driver
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libvdpau-va-gl1
sudo apt-get install libva-intel-vaapi-driver
sudo apt-get upgrade


Intel GMA 4500 series and newer GPUs are supported by the libvdpau-va-gl package together with the libva-intel-driver package.


2.Installing AMD with open-source radeon (built-in) driver:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa
sudo apt-get install mesa-vdpau-drivers
(if you experience any dependencies errors install via synaptic)
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

AMD Radeon 9500 and newer GPUs are supported by the mesa-vdpau package.
The ppa's work best with the latest kernel (tutorial located here)


For better results and no overheating there are 2 ways to improve GPU power management:

  • dynpm
  • dpm
dynpm is dynamic but causes flickering. Dpm is new since kernel 3.11 .

To enable it:
Open a terminal.
First you need to set a kernel parameter, this will tell your kernel it needs to enable dpm
sudo gedit /etc/default/grub

there you need to add "radeon.dpm1" to the kernel line in your grub config:


GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash radeon.dpm=1"
save the file and update grub :

sudo update-grub

You can use 3 profiles for dpm:

  • battery
  • balanced
  • performance
Balanced is the most useful one . To enable it :
again in the terminal

sudo gedit /etc/rc.local

add the following lines in this file (above the line that says "exit 0")


echo balanced > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_dpm_state
Save the file and reboot your pc .

The GPU power management can also be configured using TLP .

3.Installing AMD with fglrx driver :


The latest AMD proprietary driver 15.9 has been backported to ubuntu 14.04 and is included in the repositories  as fglrx-updates.  The easisest way to install AMD priprietary drivers is accessing the 1.system settings , doing a Dash search for 2.Software&Updates or a Dash search from 3.Additional Drivers and selecting the option fglrx-updates. Click on Apply Changes wait for the instalation to finish and reboot your computer.











After reboot open a terminal and use the following commands :

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libvdpau-va-gl1

4.Installing nvidia driver (open-source):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nvidia-349 nvidia-settings
sudo apt-get install libvdpau1 vdpau-va-driver

NVIDIA GeForce 8 series and newer GPUs are supported by the mesa-vdapu package.

A new ppa has been setup and a lot of nvidia drivers have been made available through this ppa. Use the following commands to install it :

sudo add-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Afterwards open synaptic (sudo apt-get install synaptic then sudo synaptic) to install the Nvidia driver you want to use .

To check if hardware acceleration is enabled open a terminal and install mesa-utils:

sudo apt-get install mesa-utils


then type :

glxinfo | grep direct


"Direct rendering : Yes" means hardware acceleration is enabled .