Canonical includes nVIDIA and AMD proprietary drivers into their official repository

Nowadays. thanks to Valve and their Linux Steam client, more and more people are interested into PC gaming and Ubuntu/Linux GPU drivers. Currently, Steam is under closed beta phase with 5000 beta-testers worldwide, while much more users have been by-passing the login. This means that more than 5000 linux users are already using Steam in beta phase!

First task they all have to do is to install proprietary drivers, either nVIDIA or AMD.

As you can see from the screenshot above, Steam appears a pop-up message right after you have logged in to your account. The message box recommends you to install not only the proprietary driver, but the latest one available. More specifically, it asks you to install the experimental package (also known as latest beta). It’s a reasonal request because it’s supposed to be that Steam Linux client is accessed only by authorized beta-testers — not public yet.

So far, if you one ever wanted to install proprietary drivers they had to add-apt a 3rd party repository, like Xorg-Edgers or X-Swat. Basically, even our nVIDIA installer here at UbuntuXtreme is based upon this method. However, this method is not needed any more thanks to Canonical who preferred to simplify the procedure of install GPU drivers without any 3rd party repository interference. That has been told, Canonical has included both latest nVIDIA and AMD proprietary drivers (stable and beta) into their official certified branch. Simply put, you are now able to download, install/re-install any version you want much more easily and safely than before.

If you don’t believe me give it a shot and search for nvidia-experimental and nvidia-current packages without having any 3rd party repo installed.

sudo apt-cache search nvidia-experimental && sudo apt-cache search nvidia-current

AMD users also are joining the party! Search for “fglrx-amdcccle” and you will be amazed, cause Canonical has already included them into their official Ubuntu repository.

Personally, I always want to taste the latest and fresh software available in my repos, that’s why I am going to install the experimental 310 driver (being myself as nVIDIA owner).

  • nVIDIA current = Stable Driver
  • nVIDIA experiemtal = Beta Driver

As you can see there is no need for terminal based commands any more. You are able to install any driver available (opensource, proprietary) with just clicking the Activate button.

Last but not least don’t forget to restart your computer in order to active your new graphics driver.

Thanks to Canonical and Valve for pushing things!



  1. i have already installed latest beta amd driver, but i see nothing changed in ubuntu. usc and the “other-driver-window” don’t show me this new feature 😦


    1. I don’t know if they updated 12.10 cause I am currently switched back to 12.04. AMD is sleeping with the fishes… let’s hope they wake up soon, because only Intel and nVIDIA are seriously contributing into Linux GPU drivers.


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