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Diehard Linux users will accuse you of sacrilege for even thinking about running proprietary drivers. Almost all Linux distributions ship with open-source drivers. These are provided so that your hardware works out of the box. When it comes to graphics drivers, however, the situation is somewhat different.
Stefan Ledwina via Flickr. The result is that AMD and Nvidia graphics systems can run at a reasonable level with open-source drivers, but need proprietary drivers — those produced by AMD and Nvidia, respectively — to enjoy the power the brands promise. Intel graphics drivers are already open-source and included with the Linux kernel.
Here, we look at installing proprietary graphics drivers on three popular distros: Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Fedora. Proprietary drivers for other hardware devices — such as wireless network interface cards — are also often available. Pre-Installing Proprietary Graphics Drivers Installing proprietary graphics drivers has become far simpler in recent years.
Previously, you may have had to run some specialist software or go looking for the drivers and install them manually. Happily, you can now simply install them as you install your Linux operating system a feature available in most popular distros. To do this, just work your way through the installation process, paying close attention to the boxes that pop up.
This box requires your action, and gives you the choice of installing proprietary graphics drivers or open-source drivers. Choosing the proprietary drivers option will save you the bother of installing them later. Upon opening, the system will run a quick scan. This will find out if your system has hardware that would benefit from having proprietary drivers installed. It is here that you will find proprietary drivers. It can be tricky to make the right decision as to which drivers to choose, so opt for the defaults usually the most recent.
This method is far more straightforward than using the command line, which can result in problems. Once rebooted, your Linux system should be ready to offer an enhanced graphics experience! This is because the default repositories for Fedora only list open-source software. This should be done via the Firefox browser, using PackageKit to install the packages.
For Nvidia cards, search for kmod-nvidia. Remember to reboot your PC after this. Have an AMD card? Older devices, meanwhile, will have to rely on the Catalyst driver, which is no longer maintained. But is the interim release, Ubuntu Or should you stick with your current Ubuntu version? In this article, we explore the five flavors of desktop environment that you can try. Read More so you might find that you need to check the correct procedure to get this working.
The resulting Driver Manager screen will be laid out in a similar way to the Additional Drivers screen in Ubuntu. Make your choice, click OK, and reboot. In the case of Nvidia cards, you might be offered several versions of what appears to be the same driver. Happily, when it comes to AMD video cards, these are mostly supported with open-source versions of the Radeon drivers.
Which One Is Right for You? Nvidia graphics cards are the most popular for a reason. But which model should you buy and why? We explain the jargon, the cards, and their performance. Read More , it is unlikely to work with the most recent drivers. In such cases, the best option is to rely on the most recent driver available.
Want to Enjoy Gaming and Multimedia on Linux? You Need Proprietary Drivers! As such, proprietary drivers are a vital aspect of gaming on Linux. Do you prefer open-source or proprietary graphics drivers? Do you think proprietary drivers should be open-source?
Why or why not? Let us know in the comments! Stay informed by joining our newsletter!