Ubuntu: Problems with Thinkpad w520 nvidia driver which were actually due to a broken uninstall of prime-select



Question:

I have a thinkpad W520 with a Quadro 1000M nvidia card. This card is the Fermi generation, no longer supported by nvidia from driver 390 onwards. It seems Ubuntu 18.04 will ship with 390 or 396. It's a 2011 laptop. It's fighting fit, a fast quad core so it's still a very usable machine. However, Ubuntu 18.04 (beta) is keen to install this incompatible driver. I would like to use a fairly recent driver, such as 384, since these drivers have support for Prime Sync. There are no packages for these drivers for 18.04 from the nvidia PPA. I wondering what I should do? Perhaps try to port one of the 17.10 packages? How does Ubuntu support old hardware like this? It is not exactly geriatric hardware: 24 GB RAM, SSD drive, quadcore i7...


Solution:1

This was not a bug with the nvidia driver. The nvidia driver was being blacklisted due to a residual file in /etc/modprobe.d from prime-select, the Ubuntu Optimus tool. I have not seen this before. Something odd in the upgrade from 17.10 to 18.04 perhaps, somehow prime-select did not clean up after itself. I will leave this answer here in case it's of help to someone else.

The W520 works fine with the 390 driver.

* NOTE * activating prime sync in ubuntu 18.04's new nvidia packages requires a subtle configuration change.

option nvidia_drm modeset=1  

if you are using a zz_nvidia.conf file in /etc/modprobe.d Note that the version number of the driver is no longer included in the module name.


Solution:2

I have exact the same problem.

I already tried solutions found here:

Mainly what is written in comment #53 from the first link

I am using gdm3 (no lightdm). I don't use the proposed repository. I had a former installation of ubuntu-gnome but which I purged. I also purged nvidia* and cleaned up the /etc/modeprobe.d.

So - I think we simply have to wait until this will become stable.

Greets Axel


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