Say Goodbye to NVIDIA Drivers on Ubuntu: Here`s How to Uninstall with Easy Code Examples

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Why Uninstall NVIDIA Drivers on Ubuntu?
  3. Preparing for Uninstallation
  4. Uninstalling NVIDIA Drivers with Easy Code Examples
  5. Method #1: Using the Terminal
  6. Method #2: Using the Additional Drivers Tool
  7. Method #3: Using the Ubuntu Software Center
  8. Verifying the Uninstallation
  9. Conclusion


If you have decided to switch from NVIDIA drivers to open-source drivers on your Ubuntu system, you will need to uninstall the existing NVIDIA drivers. NVIDIA drivers are software components that allow your Ubuntu system to communicate with your NVIDIA graphics card. They provide optimal performance and stability for gaming and other graphics-intensive applications. However, they can also cause compatibility issues with other software components and may need to be uninstalled in certain situations.

Uninstalling NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu can seem like a daunting task if you are not familiar with the command line interface. However, with a few simple commands, it is easy to remove the NVIDIA drivers from your system. In this article, we will show you how to do this using easy code examples. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced Ubuntu user, this guide will help you to uninstall NVIDIA drivers safely and effectively.

We will provide step-by-step instructions on how to uninstall NVIDIA drivers using the terminal, including how to remove both the driver and associated configurations. We will also explore some common issues that may arise when uninstalling NVIDIA drivers and provide troubleshooting tips to address these issues. By the end of this guide, you should have a clear understanding of how to uninstall NVIDIA drivers on your Ubuntu system.

Why Uninstall NVIDIA Drivers on Ubuntu?

Uninstalling NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu might be necessary for several reasons. Some of the common ones include:

  • Compatibility issues: In most cases, the default open-source NVIDIA drivers work just fine for regular desktop use on Ubuntu. However, if you're a gamer or a professional who needs to run specific applications, then you might need to use proprietary drivers. But sometimes, these drivers may not play nicely with your system, causing compatibility issues that affect your system's stability and performance.

  • Upgrade problems: Even when you're using the right NVIDIA drivers on your system, Ubuntu upgrades can cause problems. Sometimes, you might be required to roll back to a previous driver version to get your system working again. In other cases, you might want to switch to a different driver version that's more stable or provides better performance.

  • Unwanted features: NVIDIA drivers come with additional features that you might not necessarily want, such as telemetry or auto-updating software. These features may be useful for some users, but if you're security-conscious and don't want any unneeded software installed on your system, then you might want to remove these drivers altogether.

Whatever the reason for uninstalling NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu, it's essential to make sure you follow the right steps to avoid any issues with your system. With the right tools and knowledge, uninstalling NVIDIA drivers can be a simple and quick process that can help you optimize your system's performance and stability.

Preparing for Uninstallation

Before you begin the uninstallation process for NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu, it is important to make sure that you have the necessary information and tools. Here are some steps to take before you get started:

  • Know your system specs: Find out the version of Ubuntu you are running, as well as the GPU model and driver version you currently have installed. You can check this information by running the lspci and nvidia-smi commands in the terminal.

  • Back up your data: Make sure that you have backed up any important files or data before proceeding with the uninstallation. This will help prevent any potential loss of data in case something goes wrong during the process.

  • Have a backup plan: It is always a good idea to have a backup plan in case something goes wrong during the uninstallation process. This could involve having a live USB or CD with a Ubuntu installation, or having access to another computer in case you need to recover any lost data or reinstall the NVIDIA drivers.

  • Have the necessary terminal commands: To uninstall the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu, you will need to use terminal commands. Here are the basic commands you will need to know:

    • sudo apt-get purge nvidia-*: This command will remove all NVIDIA drivers in your system

    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa: This command will add the Graphics Drivers PPA repository to your system

    • sudo apt-get update: This command will update the list of packages available in your system

  • Have a stable internet connection: You will need a stable internet connection to install and update packages during the uninstallation process. Make sure that your internet connection is working properly before you start the process.

By following these steps, you can prepare yourself for the uninstallation process and ensure that you have the necessary tools and information to complete the process successfully.

Uninstalling NVIDIA Drivers with Easy Code Examples

Uninstalling NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu can be a daunting task, especially for those who are new to Linux or terminal commands. However, with some simple code examples, you can easily remove NVIDIA drivers from your system. Here are the steps to uninstall NVIDIA drivers from Ubuntu:

  1. Open a terminal window by pressing "Ctrl+Alt+T" on your keyboard.

  2. Type the following command to remove the NVIDIA drivers:

sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia-*
  1. Once you enter this command, the terminal will prompt you for your password. Type your password and press "Enter".

  2. The terminal will then begin the process of uninstalling the NVIDIA drivers. This may take a few minutes, depending on the speed of your system and the size of the driver files.

  3. Once the uninstallation is complete, reboot your system by typing the following command:

sudo reboot
  1. After the system reboots, NVIDIA drivers will no longer be installed on your Ubuntu system.

It is important to note that removing the NVIDIA drivers may impact the performance of your system, especially if you are using graphics-intensive applications or games. If you need to reinstall NVIDIA drivers, you can easily do so by following the installation instructions provided by NVIDIA.

In summary, removing NVIDIA drivers from Ubuntu is a simple process that can be done through the terminal. By typing a few code examples, you can quickly uninstall NVIDIA drivers and improve the performance of your system.

Method #1: Using the Terminal

Uninstalling NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu can be done through the command line using the Terminal. This method involves entering commands to remove the driver packages and any associated settings files. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T or searching for it in the applications menu.
  2. Identify the version of the NVIDIA driver currently installed by running the following command: ubuntu-drivers devices. This will display the name and version number of the driver.
  3. Next, use the following command to remove the driver package: sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia-*. This will remove the packages associated with the driver, including any dependencies.
  4. If you want to remove any configuration files associated with the driver, you can run the following command: sudo rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf. This will delete the configuration file for Xorg, which is used to display graphics on Ubuntu.
  5. Finally, reboot your computer for the changes to take effect by running the following command: sudo reboot.

It's important to note that removing NVIDIA drivers may impact the performance of certain applications that rely on these drivers. Additionally, some users may experience issues with their display resolution or desktop environment after removing the drivers. If you encounter any problems, you can reinstall the NVIDIA drivers using the appropriate package for your system.

Method #2: Using the Additional Drivers Tool

The Additional Drivers tool is a graphical user interface (GUI) that makes it easy for users to manage and install drivers on Ubuntu. Here's how to use it to uninstall NVIDIA drivers:

  1. Open the Dash by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard or clicking on the Ubuntu icon in the Launcher.
  2. Type "Additional Drivers" and select the "Additional Drivers" application from the results.
  3. Enter your password when prompted.
  4. You should see a list of available drivers, including any NVIDIA drivers that are currently installed. Select the NVIDIA driver you want to remove.
  5. Click the "Remove" button and follow the prompts to uninstall the driver.
  6. Once the driver has been removed, you can reboot your computer to complete the process.

It's worth noting that the Additional Drivers tool may not always show all available drivers, so it's a good idea to double-check and make sure that the driver has been completely removed by using the command-line method as well.

Using the Additional Drivers tool can be a simpler and more user-friendly way to manage your Ubuntu drivers, especially if you prefer to use a GUI rather than the command line. However, if you're more comfortable with the command line, or if you need more control over the uninstallation process, the command-line method described in the previous section may be a better option for you.

Method #3: Using the Ubuntu Software Center

If you prefer using a graphical interface to uninstall NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu, you can use the Ubuntu Software Center to accomplish the task as well. Here's how:

  1. Open the Ubuntu Software Center.

  2. Search for "nvidia" in the search bar.

  3. Find the NVIDIA driver you want to uninstall in the list of installed software.

  4. Click on the "Remove" button next to the driver.

  5. Confirm that you want to uninstall the driver.

The Ubuntu Software Center will take care of the rest, removing the NVIDIA driver from your system completely.

Keep in mind that this method may take longer than using the command line, as you'll need to wait for the Ubuntu Software Center to download and install any necessary updates before you can start uninstalling the driver. However, if you're uncomfortable using the command line, this method is a good alternative.

Verifying the Uninstallation

Once you have uninstalled NVIDIA drivers from your Ubuntu system, you should verify that the uninstallation was successful. Here are some methods to do so:

Check the graphics card

To check if your graphics card is no longer using the NVIDIA drivers, follow these steps:

  1. Open a terminal window.
  2. Type the command lshw -c video and hit enter.
  3. Look for the line that starts with "configuration" and check the driver it is using. If it says "nouveau", it means you have successfully uninstalled the NVIDIA drivers.

Check the Xorg log

You can also check the Xorg log to see if the NVIDIA drivers were unloaded. Here's how:

  1. Open a terminal window.
  2. Type the command sudo cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep "nouveau" and hit enter.
  3. If the output shows that the nouveau driver is loaded and the NVIDIA driver is not, then the uninstallation was successful.

Check the NVIDIA modules

Lastly, you can check if the NVIDIA modules have been removed from your system. Here's how:

  1. Open a terminal window.
  2. Type the command lsmod | grep nvidia and hit enter.
  3. If there is no output, it means the NVIDIA modules have been successfully removed.

By following these methods, you can verify that the NVIDIA drivers have been uninstalled from your Ubuntu system. This will ensure that you can safely install new drivers or switch to alternative graphics drivers without any conflicts.


Uninstalling NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu may seem like a daunting task, but it is actually quite simple. By using the command line interface, you can easily remove the drivers without having to worry about any residual files.

In this article, we have provided you with a step-by-step guide on how to uninstall NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu. We have also provided you with easy to use code snippets that you can copy and paste into the terminal to make the process even easier.

We hope that this article has been helpful to you and that you now feel confident in your ability to remove NVIDIA drivers from your Ubuntu system. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and we will do our best to help you.

As a developer, I have experience in full-stack web application development, and I'm passionate about utilizing innovative design strategies and cutting-edge technologies to develop distributed web applications and services. My areas of interest extend to IoT, Blockchain, Cloud, and Virtualization technologies, and I have a proficiency in building efficient Cloud Native Big Data applications. Throughout my academic projects and industry experiences, I have worked with various programming languages such as Go, Python, Ruby, and Elixir/Erlang. My diverse skillset allows me to approach problems from different angles and implement effective solutions. Above all, I value the opportunity to learn and grow in a dynamic environment. I believe that the eagerness to learn is crucial in developing oneself, and I strive to work with the best in order to bring out the best in myself.
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