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Understanding “UNCLAIMED” in Response to “sudo lshw -c video” on AskUbuntu

Ubuntu 12

When you run the command sudo lshw -c video on your Ubuntu system, you might come across a response status called “UNCLAIMED”. This status can be a bit confusing if you’re not familiar with the inner workings of your system’s hardware and drivers. In this article, we will delve into what this “UNCLAIMED” status means and how to troubleshoot it.

Quick Answer

The "UNCLAIMED" status in response to the sudo lshw -c video command on AskUbuntu means that no driver is currently loaded for the specified hardware. This status can indicate issues with driver installation, compatibility, or Secure Boot settings. Troubleshooting steps include verifying driver installation, checking log files for errors, and considering the impact of Secure Boot.

What Does “UNCLAIMED” Mean?

In the context of the lshw command, “UNCLAIMED” means that no driver is currently loaded for the specified hardware. For instance, if you run sudo lshw -c video and see “UNCLAIMED” next to your NVIDIA Quadro FX 1600M graphics card, it means that no driver has been loaded for this device.

Troubleshooting “UNCLAIMED” Status

If you find that your device is “UNCLAIMED”, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot this issue:

1. Verify Driver Installation

Firstly, you need to check if the driver for your device is installed correctly. You can do this by running the command dkms status nvidia. This command checks the status of the NVIDIA driver module. If the module is marked as “installed” and matches your current kernel version, it means that the driver is installed correctly.

2. Check Log Files

Next, you should examine the log file at /var/log/Xorg.0.log. This file contains logs related to the X.Org Server, which is responsible for graphical output on your system. Look for any lines containing “NVIDIA” or “(EE)”. These lines may indicate errors encountered by the driver during initialization.

3. Secure Boot

If you have Secure Boot enabled, it may prevent the NVIDIA driver from loading. Secure Boot is a feature in your system’s BIOS settings that ensures only trusted software can run on your system. However, it can sometimes interfere with third-party drivers like NVIDIA’s. To disable Secure Boot, you will need to access your system’s BIOS settings.

Understanding the Issue

Based on the provided information, it seems that the NVIDIA driver module is not being recognized or found. The log file shows a warning that the “nvidia” module could not be opened, indicating that the module might be missing or not installed correctly.

It’s worth noting that the driver version mentioned in the log file (390.143) is different from the one mentioned in the dkms status output (465.19.01). This discrepancy might indicate an issue with the driver installation or compatibility.


Understanding the “UNCLAIMED” status in response to sudo lshw -c video can help you troubleshoot issues with your video drivers on Ubuntu. By checking the driver installation, examining log files, and considering the impact of Secure Boot, you can gain a better understanding of the issue and how to resolve it.

Remember, the exact cause of the issue may not always be clear. However, these steps should provide a good starting point for troubleshooting. If you encounter similar issues in the future, it’s recommended to ensure proper driver installation and check log files for any error messages that can provide more insights into the problem.

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