Linux Mint is very similar to Ubuntu. It would be easier if you follow any of the tutorials on Google to install the nvidia-driver from the corresponding repositories instead of having to deal with exiting out of X. There’s a few different ways of doing that among which killing lightdm/gdm, depending on what’s running, or booting without X running in the first place.
Regardless, something like what I mention below would be a lot easier and less prone to possibly breaking the nvidia driver every time you update your kernel:
- add repository with updated drivers
- update system with metadata from repository
- install nvidia-drivers from repo
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install
where represents the nvidia driver version package(s) are available in the corresponding repositories listed above by browsing here:
Other relevant tutorial for Ubuntu that does it by killing X and using the specific NVIDIA drivers downloaded – but this should only be done if you require a specific version of drivers for a particular reason… otherwise, stick with the distro method… a lot easier to manage.