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Fixing NVIDIA X Server Settings not opening on Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS

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If you’re a user of Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS and you’re having trouble opening your NVIDIA X Server Settings, you’re not alone. This is a common issue that many users face, but thankfully, it’s one that can be fixed relatively easily. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to resolve this issue.

Quick Answer

If you’re experiencing issues with NVIDIA X Server Settings not opening on Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS, there are several steps you can take to resolve the problem. First, check if your NVIDIA driver is installed correctly by running the command "nvidia-smi" in a terminal. If the driver is installed correctly, try opening the settings with the command "nvidia-settings". If that doesn’t work, switch to an X session instead of Wayland. If all else fails, try updating or reinstalling the NVIDIA driver.

Checking Your NVIDIA Driver Installation

The first thing you need to do is to check if your NVIDIA driver was installed correctly. You can do this by running the following command in a terminal:

nvidia-smi

This command will display a list of your NVIDIA GPU(s) along with their attributes, such as the Driver Version and the Processes utilizing the GPU(s). If your NVIDIA GPU is listed correctly, it means that the driver has been installed correctly.

Opening NVIDIA X Server Settings

If your NVIDIA driver is installed correctly, you can try to open the NVIDIA X Server Settings by running the following command in the terminal:

nvidia-settings

This command should open the NVIDIA X Server Settings interface, where you can make modifications and changes as needed.

Switching to an X Session

If the nvidia-settings command does not open the NVIDIA X Server Settings, and you are using Wayland, it is possible that NVIDIA does not support Wayland. In this case, you can try logging in using an X session instead of a Wayland session.

When you are prompted to log in, click on the gear icon and choose “Ubuntu” instead of “Ubuntu on Wayland”. If your machine freezes when you select the Ubuntu session, it indicates a different issue, which we will discuss in the next section.

Updating Your NVIDIA Driver

In some cases, updating your NVIDIA driver to a newer version can resolve the issue. You can install the latest NVIDIA driver specifically for your GPU from the official NVIDIA driver page. Make sure to follow the installation instructions provided by NVIDIA.

Purging and Reinstalling the NVIDIA Driver

If none of the above solutions work, you can try purging the existing NVIDIA driver and reinstalling it. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Blacklist the open source driver Nouveau by following the instructions provided here.
  2. Drop down to runlevel 3 using the command sudo init 3. This command changes the runlevel, which is a state of the system that defines what processes can be executed.
  3. Run sudo apt-get purge nvidia* to remove any remaining NVIDIA files. The purge command removes the package and its configuration files.
  4. Navigate to the shell file of the new NVIDIA driver and execute it using the command bash NVIDIA_DRIVER_HERE.sh. This command runs the shell script that installs the new NVIDIA driver.
  5. Follow the prompts on the screen and wait for the installation to complete.
  6. Reboot the system using sudo reboot.

After rebooting, log in using an X session and run nvidia-settings to access the NVIDIA X Server Settings.

Conclusion

The inability to open NVIDIA X Server Settings on Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS can be frustrating, but it’s a problem that can be resolved with a bit of troubleshooting. By following the steps outlined in this article, you should be able to resolve the issue and get back to using your NVIDIA GPU to its full potential.

How can I check if my NVIDIA driver was installed correctly?

You can check if your NVIDIA driver was installed correctly by running the command nvidia-smi in a terminal. This command will display a list of your NVIDIA GPU(s) along with their attributes, confirming that the driver has been installed correctly.

How can I open NVIDIA X Server Settings on Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS?

To open NVIDIA X Server Settings, you can run the command nvidia-settings in a terminal. This will open the NVIDIA X Server Settings interface where you can make modifications and changes as needed.

What should I do if the `nvidia-settings` command does not open the NVIDIA X Server Settings?

If the nvidia-settings command does not open the NVIDIA X Server Settings, and you are using Wayland, you can try logging in using an X session instead of a Wayland session. When prompted to log in, click on the gear icon and choose "Ubuntu" instead of "Ubuntu on Wayland".

How can I update my NVIDIA driver on Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS?

You can update your NVIDIA driver by downloading the latest driver specifically for your GPU from the official NVIDIA driver page. Follow the installation instructions provided by NVIDIA to install the updated driver.

What should I do if updating the NVIDIA driver does not fix the issue?

If updating the NVIDIA driver does not fix the issue, you can try purging the existing NVIDIA driver and reinstalling it. Follow the steps outlined in the article to blacklist the open source driver Nouveau, remove any remaining NVIDIA files using sudo apt-get purge nvidia*, and then install the new NVIDIA driver.

How can I log in using an X session on Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS?

To log in using an X session on Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS, when prompted to log in, click on the gear icon and choose "Ubuntu" instead of "Ubuntu on Wayland". This will allow you to log in using an X session instead of a Wayland session.

What should I do if my machine freezes when selecting the Ubuntu session?

If your machine freezes when selecting the Ubuntu session, it indicates a different issue unrelated to the NVIDIA X Server Settings. You may need to troubleshoot further to identify and resolve the underlying cause of the freeze.

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