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Thread: Need to uninstall an NVIDIA driver, but which one?

  1. #1
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    Dec 2016
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    Need to uninstall an NVIDIA driver, but which one?

    I have a problem with my system (Ubuntu 18.04) that I think is caused by a "stuck" NVIDIA driver. No matter what graphics adapter I plug in, Software & Updates says that a "manually installed" video driver is in use and doesn't give me an option to change it.

    I know how to uninstall a driver, but which one do I need to uninstall? "A manually installed driver" tells me nothing.

    (Just to be clear, the driver, whatever it is, is not manually installed. I don't even know how to do that.)

  2. #2
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    Xubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine

    Re: Need to uninstall an NVIDIA driver, but which one?

    Please post the output from
    Code:
    sudo lshw -C video
    in CODE tags.
    Bringing old hardware back to life. About problems due to upgrading.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts.
    Don't use this space for a list of your hardware. It only creates false hits in the search engines.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2016
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    Re: Need to uninstall an NVIDIA driver, but which one?

    lshw says this:

    Code:
    sudo lshw -C video
    [sudo] password for ...
      *-display UNCLAIMED       
           description: VGA compatible controller
           product: GF110 [GeForce GTX 580]
           vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
           physical id: 0
           bus info: pci@0000:06:00.0
           version: a1
           width: 64 bits
           clock: 33MHz
           capabilities: pm msi pciexpress vga_controller bus_master cap_list
           configuration: latency=0
           resources: memory:fa000000-faffffff memory:d8000000-dfffffff memory:d6000000-d7ffffff ioport:dc00(size=128) memory:c0000-dffff
    The card currently installed is indeed a GeForce GTX 580. When I try to run nvidia-smi, however, it says:

    Code:
    NVIDIA-SMI has failed because it couldn't communicate with the NVIDIA driver. Make sure that the latest NVIDIA driver is installed and running.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    68

    Re: Need to uninstall an NVIDIA driver, but which one?

    mörgæs, as I understand it, lshw displays information about the system's hardware configuration. It says "GeForce GTX 580" because a GeForce GTX 580 is installed, which has nothing to do with what driver is installed. If that's correct, it doesn't tell me what I need to know.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    1,533

    Re: Need to uninstall an NVIDIA driver, but which one?

    The video driver should be listed on the "configuration" line, which it isn't, not even an integrated driver like i915. please post the output of lsmod | sort to see what modules are actually loaded.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Kubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: Need to uninstall an NVIDIA driver, but which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by orthoducks View Post
    No matter what graphics adapter I plug in, Software & Updates says that a "manually installed" video driver is in use and doesn't give me an option to change it.
    I suspect that you think that tool is more clever than it actually is. It can't identify a driver in use, and it can't offer you one, so it just assumes that you must have installed your own somehow.

    Of course, if you have used the .run file to install stuff you should use the same file to remove them again. That script is for package maintainers rather than end users, but it bites ex-Windows users hard because they don't yet understand package management.

    Open source drivers won't show up in that tool because you don't need to do anything with them; they're just there as part of the kernel, or the graphics stack, or the networking stack, or whatever.

    Proprietary drivers can't show up there unless you enable the restricted repository and run an apt update (or equivalent) to refresh the list of available packages.

    Swapping out graphics cards willy-nilly is prone to failure. Proprietary drivers won't play nice if you're actually trying to use an open source driver, and no single version of the proprietary driver will cover all cards. Support for Turing didn't get added till the 410 branch, for example, but support for the 580 that you're trying to use got dropped after the 390 branch. Branches earlier than 390 are still available through the repositories as Legacy branches.

    As noted, you don't currently have a driver that's being used. If you've actually done things to install drivers, rather than just looking in that tool but not doing anything, you should let us know what those things are so that we don't inadvertently give you bad advice. Otherwise, you'll want to enable the restricted repository, run an update, and then install a graphics driver no later than the 390 branch for that card, or likely a different branch if you put in a different card.
    None but ourselves can free our minds

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Hidden!
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    Ubuntu

    Re: Need to uninstall an NVIDIA driver, but which one?

    We typically do not suggest running the .run files from nVidia.
    As then you have to rerun the dkms on every kernel update.
    Where versions of nVidia installed from repository just work.
    And if you have a very new nVidia card, and need a driver newer than in default repository, there is a ppa with all the new versions pre-configured.
    Uninstall the .run nVidia driver.
    https://askubuntu.com/questions/2199...nvidia-drivers

    Updated driver search by nVidia model, do not download, just check correct driver version
    http://www.geforce.com/drivers
    When I plug your version in, I get the 390.xx is correct driver.

    I would run the purge commands, as they should not do anything if not installed.

    If wrong nVidia driver or upgrade, you must purge & install correct driver
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread....6#post13649946
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2380061
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2362351
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    68

    Re: Need to uninstall an NVIDIA driver, but which one?

    Fred, I looked at all of the references under "If wrong nVidia driver..." but I didn't find the answer to my question: How can I tell which NVIDIA driver is installed so that I can remove it? Am I missing something? (The other links don't appear to be relevant to the question.)

  9. #9
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    Ubuntu

    Re: Need to uninstall an NVIDIA driver, but which one?

    Did you download a .run file directly from nVidia?
    Then you have to uninstall that.

    All others just run the uninstall commands if you installed from Ubuntu repository or the ppa.
    First link above:
    #What is installed
    dpkg -l | grep -i nvidia
    dkms status
    lsmod | grep nvidia
    # Shows standard repository versions, which is the same as
    System Settings, Software & Updates icon, Additional drivers tab, if ppa should then show the XXX for recommended version.
    ubuntu-drivers devices

    If you have installed any version, you must purge first, old will conflict with new as new install does not overwrite old version.
    sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia-*
    sudo apt-get purge nvidia* bumblebee primus bbswitch-dkms
    This may not exist, so if error that would be ok
    sudo mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup
    sudo ubuntu-drivers devices
    If you just want default version - recommended one
    sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall
    Or you manually choose any in list.
    sudo apt-get install nvidia-XXX

    And if very new card, you want to add the ppa which has the very newest drivers. Standard Ubuntu repository normally has a working version, unless new card and installing old version of Ubuntu.


    You can see what is the recommend version of driver:
    Updated driver search by nVidia model, do not download, just check correct driver version
    http://www.geforce.com/drivers

    If very new driver required, info on ppa:
    https://launchpad.net/~graphics-driv...ive/ubuntu/ppa

    # make sure system is up to date
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade

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

    # If later you do not want ppa, how to uninstall ppa
    sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Beans
    68

    Re: Need to uninstall an NVIDIA driver, but which one?

    Fred: I ran the commands you suggested. dkms listed one driver as "installed," so I think that's the druver I need to remove.

    There's just one remaining problem: how to determine the name of the package I need to purge. I looked at a great number of sites that describe these commands at varying levels of technicality, and I have at my fingertips everything I might conceivably want to know about how to use them, but I couldn't find a word about how to interpret their output.

    dkms said:

    nvidia, 435.21, 5.0.0-32-generic, x86_64: installed

    On e line from dpkg said (with some spaces deleted to shorten the line):

    ic nvidia-

    I recognize "435.21" as a driver version number, and actually as one of the ones I have installed.

    Seventeen lines contain "435" in the second and third columns, so I assume all of these have something to do with the installed driver. But none of their descriptions says unequivocally that "this is the NVIDIA 435.21 driver." That's suspicious, because there is a package with the straightforward, unequivocal description "NVIDIA binary driver - version 340.107."

    But two of the packages are named "NVIDIA driver metapackage," and "NVIDIA driver support binaries." Am I required to delete one of those? Or both?

    Then there are the other 15 "435" packages, with descriptions that refer to "Shared files used by libraries," "Video decoding runtime libraries," "compute utilities," and other stuff. Can I leave these in place (the preferred choice if it's safe) or must I delete them too?

    I want to add a few words about what I'm doing, because your answers have included a lot of stuff that isn't useful to me and I don't want you to waste your time writing more. I'm using this computer to test video cards for functionality. Essentially I install a card, boot Linux, and install and test the driver; then I do the same for Windows; then I go on to the next card.

    None of the cards I'm installing are very new. When I have problems (much more often in Windows than Linux), it is because a card is too old and is no longer supported.

    I have never in my life installed a Linux graphics card driver with a .run file. I normally use the "Software and Updates" utility's "Additional Drivers" pane. When it doesn't work I sometimes try to get a driver from NVIDIA's web site and install it manually, but that rarely if ever helps. I consider it a curiosity rather than a useful tool.
    Last edited by orthoducks; 1 Week Ago at 10:01 PM.

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