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How To Fix Login Freeze After Updating to Ubuntu 20.04 on Dell XPS with Nvidia GPU

Ubuntu 8

If you’ve recently updated your Dell XPS to Ubuntu 20.04, you might have encountered a login freeze. This issue is often related to the NVIDIA GPU and its drivers. In this article, we will walk you through a few possible solutions to resolve this issue.

Understanding the Problem

The login freeze issue is commonly associated with the NVIDIA drivers. If the drivers are not compatible with the new Ubuntu version or are not installed correctly, it can cause the system to freeze during login. This article will guide you through the process of purging NVIDIA drivers and using open-source drivers, installing the latest NVIDIA proprietary drivers, and updating to a newer kernel version.

Solution 1: Purging NVIDIA Drivers and Using Open Source Drivers

The first solution involves purging the NVIDIA drivers and installing the open-source Nouveau drivers. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Boot your system into recovery mode.
  2. Once in recovery mode, you can purge the NVIDIA drivers using the following command:
    sudo apt-get purge 'nvidia-*'
    The apt-get purge command removes the package and its configuration files. The 'nvidia-*' parameter is a wildcard that matches all packages starting with ‘nvidia-‘.
  3. Next, install the open-source Nouveau drivers using this command:
    sudo apt install xserver-xorg-video-nouveau
    This command installs the xserver-xorg-video-nouveau package, which provides the open-source Nouveau drivers.
  4. Finally, reboot your system with the following command:
    sudo reboot

After rebooting, try logging in again and see if the issue persists.

Solution 2: Installing the Latest NVIDIA Proprietary Drivers

If the first solution doesn’t work, you can try installing the latest NVIDIA proprietary drivers. Here’s how:

  1. Boot your system into recovery mode.
  2. Purge any existing NVIDIA drivers with these commands:
    sudo dpkg -P $(dpkg -l | grep nvidia-driver | awk '{print $2}')
    sudo apt autoremove
    The dpkg -P command removes packages. The $(dpkg -l | grep nvidia-driver | awk '{print $2}') part lists all installed packages, filters for ‘nvidia-driver’, and prints the second column (which is the package name). The sudo apt autoremove command removes all unnecessary packages.
  3. Add the restricted Ubuntu repositories that contain the latest NVIDIA drivers:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa
  4. Update your package list:
    sudo apt-get update
  5. Install the latest NVIDIA drivers:
    sudo apt-get install nvidia-graphics-drivers-440
  6. Reboot your system:
    sudo reboot

After the installation, you should no longer need to use the nouveau.modeset=0 kernel parameter.

Solution 3: Update to a Newer Kernel Version

If the above solutions don’t work, you can try updating to a newer kernel version. Some users have reported issues with certain graphics drivers in the 5.4 kernel that ships with Ubuntu 20.04. Updating to a newer kernel version (e.g., 5.6) might resolve the issue.

  1. Update your package list:
    sudo apt update
  2. Install the 5.6 kernel:
    sudo apt install linux-modules-5.6.0-1008-oem linux-image-5.6.0-1008-oem linux-oem-5.6-headers-5.6.0-1008
  3. Reboot your system:
    sudo reboot

After the update, reboot your system and see if the login freeze issue is resolved.

Conclusion

These are a few solutions to fix the login freeze issue after updating to Ubuntu 20.04 on Dell XPS with Nvidia GPU. Remember, it’s always a good idea to backup your important data before making any changes to your system. If none of the above solutions work, you may need to seek further assistance from NVIDIA or Ubuntu support channels.

What should I do if I am unable to boot into recovery mode?

If you are unable to boot into recovery mode, you can try accessing the GRUB menu by pressing the Shift key during boot. From the GRUB menu, you can select the "Advanced options for Ubuntu" and then choose a recovery mode option.

How can I check which NVIDIA drivers are currently installed on my system?

You can check the installed NVIDIA drivers by running the command nvidia-smi in the terminal. This command will display information about the installed NVIDIA drivers and the GPU.

Can I use the open-source Nouveau drivers instead of the NVIDIA proprietary drivers?

Yes, you can use the open-source Nouveau drivers as an alternative to the NVIDIA proprietary drivers. However, keep in mind that the Nouveau drivers may not provide the same level of performance and features as the proprietary drivers.

How can I revert back to the previous kernel version if I encounter issues with the newer kernel?

If you encounter issues with the newer kernel version, you can revert back to the previous kernel by accessing the GRUB menu during boot. From the GRUB menu, select the "Advanced options for Ubuntu" and then choose the previous kernel version.

Will updating to a newer kernel version affect my system stability?

Updating to a newer kernel version can potentially improve system stability and provide better support for hardware and drivers. However, it is always recommended to backup your important data before making any major changes to your system.

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