Ubuntu 12.04 and Steam games with Nvidia Quadro FX 1700 video card

29/04/2014 at 7:10 am Plaats een reactie

As described in my three previous articles,  my base home computer is a HP xw6400 workstation (64-bit). It has an Nvidia Quadro FX 1700 video card with 512 MB dedicated RAM. With the appropriate Nvidia driver, this is more than enough for my kids to play, for example, Steam games.


Steam games need high quality video. They are being developed natively for Linux, alongside Windows.

With the default installation of the Ubuntu 12.04 driver though, you do not get the high quality video that is required for these games. At first, I tried to solve this problem by enabling an extra driver in Ubuntu.

extra driver

This left my system in an unstable state, resulting mainly in a computer session returning spontaneously to the login screen. So if you have a system with an Nvidia Quadro FX 1700 card, do not try to install an extra video driver this way.

Next, I tried the driver from Nvidia themselves. The base file for installing this driver is NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-319.17.run.

To install this driver, I did the following.

– I downloaded the file to /home/username/Downloads/nvidia/
– I pressed Ctrl-Alt F1 – This brings up a terminal instead of the graphical screen. If you get there…don’t panic. Ctrl Alt F7 will always switch you back to your graphical session
– I logged in as myself. NB: Next, all commands hereafter are terminal commands.
– I temporarily stopped the graphical screen:
– sudo sulogin (enter your password)
– service lightdm stop  -> this step is essential to be able to install the driver! If you don’t stop lightdm, you will get the following error message.

nvidia running x server
– cd /home/username/Downloads/nvidia (enter)
– sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-319.17.run <- to to enter this command, just type sh followed by NV, and then press TAB. The command will autocomplete. Next, I used TAB to do my selections in the menu.
-From that moment on, I simply followed the on-screen instructions. When I got to a question about DKMS, I first hesitated if I would use this feature. DKMS is a framework designed to allow individual kernel modules to be upgraded without changing the whole kernel. Without DKMS support, I would be forced to redo the above work, each time I would get a new kernel through the Ubuntu update channel. Well, DKMS support worked flawlessly, as I was able to see the next time I had a kernel update (<- check in your Ubuntu software center that DKMS is installed!)
– After finishing the Nvidia wizard, I rebooted the workstation: shutdown -r now.

Well after that, I had a very fine working Nvidia Quadro FX 1700 card with an extremely stable driver.


Happy steaming on Ubuntu!


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