Ubunutu 18.04 & 19.04 lock during boot after installing nvidia drivers. Please help.

I’ve been developing CUDA code for some time on Windows, and it is now time to move to linux. I have a decent amount of experience developing on ubuntu, but I’ve never installed proprietary video drivers before, and never used CUDA on linux…
Driver install is failing on two identical hardware machines, one with ubunutu 18.04, and one with 19.04

Here is the report of the installed device:

ebrandt@ubu:~$ ubuntu-drivers devices
== /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:01.0/0000:01:00.0 ==
modalias : pci:v000010DEd00001C03sv00003842sd00006163bc03sc00i00
vendor : NVIDIA Corporation
model : GP106 [GeForce GTX 1060 6GB]
driver : nvidia-driver-390 - distro non-free
driver : nvidia-driver-418 - distro non-free recommended
driver : xserver-xorg-video-nouveau - distro free builtin

I proceed with
ebrandt@ubu:~$ sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall

…and it proceeds to install 418.
The install succeeds (apparently), no errors are reported.

I reboot, and during reboot, it locks on the text logging screen (see here: https://imgur.com/a/u4AjqrN)

The only option I know at that point is to reboot to ubunutu command line and

apt-get purge nvidia*

and then reboot and it will be back to the usual gnome graphics (but not with the nvidia driver)

What steps can I take to troubleshoot this? How can I get a nvidia driver installed so I can port my windows CUDA code to linux and test?

(BTW, I have tried the same thing with apt-get install of 390, and it fails in the same way).

Thanks in advance!

Everything you are describing here is maintained by ubuntu, not NVIDIA. If you want help with ubuntu install methods, you should probably ask on an ubuntu forum, such as askubuntu.com

If you want help with a nvidia install method, you should probably use a nvidia install method. There are plenty of questions on these forums that discuss nvidia install of drivers on ubuntu.

Hi Robert,

Thanks for the reply. Sorry to ask you to be a human google, but could you point me to Nvidia’s ‘official’ instructions for installing nvidia drivers on ubunutu? I am completely fine using nvidia methods, as opposed to ubuntu methods.

There are so many hits on google it is tough to know what is good advice, and what is…well…other advice.

Thanks again,

nvidia drivers are available at http://www.nvidia.com/drivers
Instructions are contained in the README (find your driver page, click on additional information tab, click on README link)

If your intent is to install CUDA, the CUDA installers will (can) install an appropriate driver. The CUDA installers can be obtained from http://www.nvidia.com/getcuda

The CUDA linux install guide is here: https://docs.nvidia.com/cuda/cuda-installation-guide-linux/index.html

note that if you are on an optimus laptop, there are probably things you want to be aware of. These are documented both in the driver README as well as the CUDA linux install guide. And there are numerous questions describing it. For example you might want to run the following google query:

ubuntu login loop

or this one:

site:devtalk.nvidia.com Robert_Crovella ubuntu login loop

Thanks Robert!
Indeed my primary motivation is to use CUDA on linux, but I will also use Optix and display it’s output.
I will proceed with the CUDA linux install guide you recommended.
I am not using an optimus laptop, but thanks for thinking ahead with the heads up.

If your display is being hosted on a non-NVIDIA GPU, you will want to pay attention to the aforementioned ubuntu login loop information. Again, it’s documented in the linux install guide, also.

One other question, Robert,

The CUDA Linux install guide is specific about saying that the 10.1 update 2 will only work on systems/distros in the table listed in section 1.1.

One of my systems on which I’d like to use Cuda is:

  • Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo)
  • Gcc 8.3
  • Kernel 5.0.0-25-generic

Would you expect this would work fine following the ubunutu 18.04 instructions? Or will proceeding down this route ultimately lead to disappointment and tears? If the latter, is there a timeline of when we might expect a public cuda release for 19.04?


I generally don’t expect a CUDA linux install to work properly unless the conditions in the linux install guide are met.

Ubuntu 19.04 is currently unsupported. That doesn’t mean it can’t possibly be made to work. People often use CUDA on unsupported configurations. But your mileage may vary. You might have to do something like install the driver separately.

I’m not able to provide forward-looking statements on these forums. I generally don’t respond to questions asking what to expect in the future. Reasonable guesses can be made with a bit of inspection of the CUDA release history.

The drivers are updated more frequently, however. I would expect the latest driver for your GPU to be installable on Ubuntu 19.04. I haven’t personally tried it, however.

Thank you for the insight.

This worked for me under RHEL…
When it is “locked up” on the text logging screen, try to do an “ctrl-alt-f2” and see if you can get to a command line. If not you may need to find how to boot into a lower run level in unbuntu (I had to edit the grub/bootloader command line).

If you can get to a command prompt, try (as root or use sudo):

X –configure

Save your old /etc/X11/xorg.conf to some other name.
Copy the generated xorg.conf.new from root to /etc/X11/xorg.conf