Ubuntu Now Has An Official PPA For Graphics Drivers

Ubuntu providing support for Nvidia graphics
Image Credit: http://wallpaperest.com/nvidia-graphics-card-wallpaper-116497

Ubuntu and Nvidia doesn’t go hand in hand and it’s an open secret. It is not really Ubuntu’s fault. Closed source Nvidia drivers have been an issue in Linux for a long time and the lack of willingness to support Linux prompted Linus Torvalds to use F word for Nvidia.

Nvidia is actually not alone. Many other graphic cards too have issues with Linux and it often revolves around drivers. Often manufacturer do not release the drivers for Linux at the same time as Windows. This leaves Linux users struggling with older drivers.

This problem is finally being addressed by Ubuntu team that has just launched an official PPA for Proprietary GPU Drivers.

The official PPA has a motive

Yes! The official PPA has a motive and the motive is to provide fresh, latest upstream graphics drivers to the users who want it (read gamers). The more stable graphics drivers will still be available in Additional Drivers section.

This ensures stability of the system in general and at the same time provides a way for other interested users to use the latest graphics drivers.

For now it’s only Nvidia

As mentioned on Launchpad page, the PPA ships only Nvidia for now. There is no clarity if other graphics card, AMD for example, will be included in future or not.

Should you use this PPA now?

Not really. First thing first, the PPA is in testing phase. It will take few more days before it could be termed usable.

Moreover, Canonical’s Jorge Castro noted in Ubuntu Desktop mailing list:

There’s no driver difference, so if you were using xorg-edgers or michael’s PPA, nothing really changes. The real fun begins when new drivers are released.

So basically, there is no difference between what you are using right now and what you’ll be getting from the PPA.

How to use official PPA for graphics drivers

Once the PPA is usable, you can add it using the following commands:

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

Afterwards, use Ubuntu Software Center to install the drivers.

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  • Hello, I have a AMD A4-3305M APU with Radeon(tm) HD Graphics × 2 for my hardware. I apparently have 2 graphics drivers installed, not sure why and now vlc crashes. I might have changed some settings to preface this trouble. From what i know about my system, it is problematic, because of my bios or something, thats its not supported. I got it working by adjusting a splash screen setting in the grub. It’s been a long time since I got it gouing and don’t remember the details.. But i’m wondering if I should try this ppa or am I going to cause more trouble .. do i need both drivers? I have… Seymour [Radeon HD 6400M/7400M Series]…and … Sumo [Radeon HD 6480G] . Should I purge 1 if so which one? I don’t want to crash my system, it is finicky. lately sometimes only boots to a blck screen.