Newer Nvidia graphics drivers are now available to users of Ubuntu’s Long Term Support LTS) releases, by default, no input required.
Until now, anyone that has wanted to install Nvidia binary driver updates on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS has needed to make use of a separate PPA, futz around with random packages distributed online, or install the driver manually, by hand, the old-fashioned way.
But not any more.
Word on the street is that Ubuntu 18.04 LTS users can now install the latest releases of the proprietary Nvidia driver through the regular Ubuntu updates channel.
The magic is made possible by the SRU (Stable Release Update) initiative. It’s this endeavour that keeps other apps, like Mozilla Firefox and Chromium, up to date on long-term support releases.
Now the initiative is being extended to include the proprietary Nvidia driver for Linux.
Latest Nvidia Drivers on Ubuntu LTS
Now, for such a headline-grabbing change — anything that affects users of the LTS is big news, but doubly so when it affects hardware support — you’d expect Ubuntu to make a big celebratory blog post to trumpet the news, right?
After all, Ubuntu’s gaming credentials took a serious knock last month. Word that you do not have to adopt a different distro, like Pop OS, just to get the latest Nvidia drivers, would be reassuring way to remind folks that Ubuntu is still the go-to gaming choice.
Instead the news was “announced” by the Ubuntu Twitter account tweeting out a link to a video from YouTube channel ‘The Linux Experiment’:
The short clip gives an excellent overview of the changes at hand:
The Nvidia driver update is packaged and pushed out to the
-proposed updates channel. There the driver undergoes testing. If all is well, it migrates to the regular
-updates channel and …Well you can guess the rest.
Again, this is a major change to how things currently work for graphics drivers on Ubuntu.
You do not need to download the Nvidia driver manually, add an unsupported PPA, or do anything else; you can get the latest Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (and soon 16.04 LTS), out of the box.
Enjoy it on other distros too
The lure of new and improved drivers is one of the reasons why many Ubuntu users chose to ride the interim releases or (in some cases) switch distro entirely.
With this change there’s one less reason to.
Users of any Linux distribution based on Ubuntu u18.04 LTS, such as Linux Mint 19.1, Zorin OS 15 and elementary OS, will be able to take advantage of this.
So if you’ve been itching to install the Nvidia 430 driver on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS because of its support for newer GPUs (including the Quadro P520, RTX 3000, and T1000 and T2000), this news will be welcome.
What will be even more welcome is trying it out. You can enable the
-proposed updates stream and install the Nvidia 430 driver right now. Just keep in mind that this isn’t recommended and you may/will encounter issues.
Otherwise, just sit back and let the update come to you when it’s ready.