Running Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS or higher with NVIDIA card

So before starting on this new project I decided to upgrade my Ubuntu OS. Everything went smooth, however on installation I found that I cannot reduce the resolution of my monitor. 

Sound strange. Sure it is since most people will be worried about not being able to go up the resolution. The things with my lab PC is that it has a huge monitor and it is impossible for me to work with highest resolution all the time. So this is a problem. 

Since I am not a geek with Linux, I decided to google and find my way. Many people had reported this problem and it seemed legitimate. So I tried updating the nvidia drives using jockey (in-build Ubuntu hardware manager) but no success. Finally I decide to format everything and have a new start. 

On suggesting from my few friends, I found out that Ubuntu 12.04 will be having a long-standing support (LTS). This means that most Linux distribution have updates for around an year since Ubuntu guys always keep trying something new. So I decided to install 12.04 LTS and happily burned a CD. 

However booting from CD was not working and I had to edit grub commands and add ‘nomodeset’ since this lets it boot with low graphics mode. Now I was able to install Ubuntu, after which I removed the default drivers that Ubuntu uses (again doesn’t work with Nvidia). Fingers-crossed I installed Nvidia drivers and prayed. However the problem seemed to be the same. 

I think I am impatient in writing the whole story but it took me more than a day to figure out things. The solution is:

 

1. Install new drivers from Nvidia unix website. 

2. However remove (rather purge) any other nvidia drivers (incl nvidia settings and anything). 

3. After installation run nvidia-settings and you can change the resolution. 

Pl. note that 2nd step is very important otherwise you will have different version of drivers and different versions of nvidia-settings. 

I am not a great supporter of apple but one place where it sweeps most of the point is having a stable OS with unix shell and amazing GUI. I hope Ubuntu will be able to cater to all type of customers in due time. It has come a long way anyways. 

Enjoy 

Karan

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