Graphic Drivers for elementary OS



  1. Introduction
  2. Get information about your graphics card
    1. About plug in System Settings
    2. Terminal
    3. Terminal (Detailed)
  3. Install graphics drivers
    1. Intel
    2. AMD
    3. NVIDIA


Graphic drivers are a must, specially if you plan to game on elementary OS. There are two kinds of graphics drivers you will come across: proprietary and open source. Open source drivers are usually developed by the Linux community. Older cards are usually better supported by the community. These are licensed with the GPL and are distributed at no cost. The disadvantages are that the open source drivers sometimes do not provide full support for all of the video card’s features. The card in that case performs better by using the proprietary drivers.

Get information about your graphics card

Method A – About plug in System Settings

The easiest way is to first open the Applications launcher and open System Settings. When the window appears, scroll down until you see the About icon under the System category. Click it and some information about your operating system and computer will appear. Under hardware there is a line starting with Graphics. Next to it is the information about your graphics card.


Method B – Terminal

Use terminal to get information on graphics card.

open the Terminal [CTRL]-[ALT]-[T] and paste the follow line then hit enter
lspci | grep VGA

Method C – Terminal (Detailed)

This command will give you more detailed information.

open the Terminal [CTRL]-[ALT]-[T] and paste the follow line then hit enter
sudo lshw -C video

Install graphics drivers

Now that you know what graphics card you have there are several way to install the graphic drivers. The easiest way is to use the Additional Drivers plug in System Settings.

1. Open the application launcher, find the System Settings app and open it.

2. You will find the Additional Drivers plug under the Hardware category. Click on the icon and wait for it to find the correct drivers for you.

3. A window will pop up and display a list of drivers. You can now choose the one you need and click enable.


Propitiatory drivers might also be available for your device from the manufacturer or some other third party source. (Please note that you have to uninstall any currently installed graphics drivers before installing the propitiatory ones)


Install intel graphics driver in elementary OS

Usually the latest driver is already included in the newer kernel/mesa but you can still install the drivers from here:

open the Terminal [CTRL]-[ALT]-[T] and paste the follow line then hit enter
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:glasen/intel-driver
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-intel


Install AMD Catalyst driver for ATI Redeon Graphics Card

Download the installer

catalys catalys_beta

1. Open Files (the file manager) and navigate to your Downloads folder.

2. Extract the contents of the file by right clicking on it and selecting Extract here. Open the extracted folder.

3. Right click the file and select Properties. Click on More and make sure your user is allowed to execute it.

4. Run the installer by clicking on, enter your password and follow the instruction in the installer.

After the installation, It’d ask you to reboot. Reboot you’re computer and you’re done!

Install NVIDIA Graphics driver for NVIDIA Graphics Card

We wished we could juts download and install the driver file like AMD Graphics but the installation process of the NVIDIA proprietary graphics driver is a little bit tricky. According to the readme, the installation process is supposed to be something like that

Download Nvidia Graphic Drivers

open the Terminal [CTRL]-[ALT]-[T] and paste the follow line then hit enter
cd /home/username/Downloads
sudo sh

Unfortunately as we said, its not that easy, you’ll come across the following error-

nvidia x error
Please exit any X server app before proceeding with the installation

Well don’t worry, we’ve compiled a super easy tutorial for you

Recommend: Rename the downloaded file to (or something short and easy to remember) and copy it to the home (/home/username/) directory Also keep a pen or pencil near to note the following steps down!

1. Press [Ctrl]-[Alt]-[f1] to enter virtual terminal. Enter your login and password. (Dont panic, you can always return to graphical desktop using [Ctrl]-[Alt]-[f7])

2. Enter the following

sudo sudo service lightdm stop
sudo sh

3. Follow the steps on the screen

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May 2024

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