This guide and its subpages describe how to install the proprietary binary/restricted drivers provided by video card manufacturers. Please note the some video cards may need the proprietary drivers, even though these drivers are not part of the open source community and cannot be fixed by open source software developers. If you encounter bugs with these closed-source drivers, developers will not be able or even willing to assist you in resolving your issues. Use at your own risk. To determine your video card make and model, run this command from terminal:
lspci | grep VGA
More detailed information can be found by running
sudo lshw -C video
Basic Installation Instructions
The easiest way to install binary drivers is to use the built in Hardware Drivers manager in Ubuntu. In Ubuntu 9.04, 8.10 and 8.04, this is found under System->Administration->Hardware Drivers. In Kubuntu 9.04, 8.10 and 8.04, this is found under System->Hardware Drivers, or just search for Hardware Drivers. In Ubuntu 7.10, Gutsy Gibbon, it is called Restricted Driver Manager and is found at System->Administration->Restricted Driver Manager. In Kubuntu 7.10, Gutsy Gibbon, go to the Restricted Manager in K Menu->System Settings->Advanced tab. In Kubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron use the Hardware Drivers Manager from K Menu->System. For 6.06 Dapper Drake and more advanced help with the above, see the next section.
More Detailed Installation Instructions
If you have an ATI Radeon 9500 or newer (including thx X-series, such as x300, x1600, etc, an Xpress 200, or a Radeon HD card), then you can use the restricted fglrx drivers: BinaryDriverHowto/ATI.
- Radeon HD support is currently limited, but rapidly improving.
If you are using an ATI Radeon card that is older than above, you need the open source drivers: RadeonDriver (NOT fglrx).
- NB: NVIDIA really is supposed to be written all in capitals...
If you own a "Ge``Force", "Quadro", "TNT" or "Vanta" graphics card, see: BinaryDriverHowto/Nvidia.
If any of the following situations apply to you, then you may see: BinaryDriverHowto/MatroxParhelia
- lspci | grep -i matrox reveals a video card with "MGA XXX" where XXX is P650, P750 or Parhelia.
- You know you own a Matrox Parhelia-based (P650, P750 or Parhelia-512) graphics card.
- When you first turn the computer on you see a flashing logo with Matrox.
VIA has recently began to work with the Open Source community by providing source code and binary drivers that are available for download from their website. The details are still sparse (May 27th, 2008) but the following lists some sources of information that may be useful:
- The Different Unichrome family display drivers - This is the wiki of the OpenChrome project and it describes the different drivers that are available for video cards with the VIA chipset. This will be your best bet for starter information
- HOW TO: Compiling and Installing the OpenChrome Graphical VIA Driver - This forum discusses using the Open Source 'OpenChrome' driver for VIA video cards.
- VIA Linux Portal - Listed here is where you may downloaded the source code/binary drivers for VIA based graphics chipsets. As of May 2008, the forum is under construction.
- Setting up VIA graphics drivers for cx700 (EX10000EG) on Ubuntu 7.04 - This user listed his procedures for setup of VIA video card drivers. This may or may not be useful - Use at your own discretion
- VIA Arena Drivers Section - The VIA Arena provides drivers for VIA based products (video cards, ethernet, IDE, RAID, SATA, Audio) that may be useful.
Should any user find additional information, please update this post.
If you are still unsure of what to do, please visit the Ubuntu Forums and feel free ask questions! Try some of the following areas:
- Absolute Beginner Talk - where you can ask any kind of question.
- Multimedia & Video
- Hardware & Laptops - where you can see if your card is supported.
If you have a Matrox based video card, you can also try the pages at the Unofficial Matrox Technical Support Forum: http://forum.tuxx-home.at/
Here are some useful links and related pages.
- BinaryDriverHowto/DynamicMultiMonitor - How to dynamically set multiple monitor resolution.
- NvidiaManual - how to manually install the NVIDIA restricted driver
- Ubuntu Forums