Switching graphics drivers

frustration

TL;DR Don’t be hasty when mucking around with graphics drivers

What caused problems

After updating to Ubuntu 16.04, steam was no longer starting. Some forum posts were suggesting that certain dependencies weren’t being linked correctly and suggested manually moving things around. That didn’t seem to do anything, so I tried updating the graphics driver. I was a little hasty, and being unsure of which driver was in use, I decided to apt-get remove a bunch of other drivers, including the nouveau one. This caused everything to break and lightdm wouldn’t start properly, which means I couldn’t log in anymore.

Fixing things

First order of business was to get a terminal, since lightdm hanging meant I couldn’t log in normally. Recovery mode was too locked down for me to get anything real done, and it would freeze when I tried things. I ended up editing the boot option and removing every additional argument past “ro” and replacing it with “text”. This allows you to boot into terminal mode.

Next, was connecting to wifi. Now, I think my system was automatically connecting anyway, but I figured it out at any rate. nmcli dev wifi list shows what are available. nmcli dev wifi connect “SSID” password “PASSWORD”

I ended up doing sudo apt-get purge xorg lightdm and reinstalling with sudo apt-get install xorg lightdm, which took FOREVER, but it did get me back to a graphical boot after restarting. I now think this was probably unnecessary. It ended up defaulting me to an older proprietary NVIDIA driver that steam was still interacting poorly with, but at least I could use the computer now!

Finally, I discovered through this post that I could run ubuntu-drivers devices which displays a list of available drivers, and sudo apt-get install whichever driver I wanted. Picking the latest proprietary NVIDIA driver finally let me run steam without issue.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s