Best Linux Distro for Nvidia Drivers

Hey all,

I've gone ahead and purchased a GTX 1070. I love my R9 390, but the AMD drivers on Linux are... well, mediocre at best.

Anyway, I was wondering if there is an 'optimal' distro for Nvidia drivers? As in, what distro breaks with Nvidia drivers the least?

I don't care if it's Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, or Arch. (Not Gentoo, lol)

Any recommendations and thoughts would be great!

I've been using Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu for a while and they are mostly stable but I've had a few issues in the past with them. The most recent issue was today when I had a driver update which disabled the Unity plugin for some strange reason and I had to re-enable it in the compiz settings manager, which was a pretty straightforward fix for me but can't help but think that issues like these would likely be a real headache for those new to Linux as troubleshooting graphics problems can be a pain.

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Good to know.

I think Linux Mint is known to be good. Of course it's based off Ubuntu, but it seems Cinnamon doesn't break too much with it.

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Distro or environment have no play in the matter, it's the kernel updates that break proprietary drivers since the drivers are written for a specific kernel. So if you want minimal headache use an LTS release


I've had no issues with a 660 Ti on Solus. Obviously, that has significant time to develop, but it stands to reason that using the proprietary drivers shouldn't matter across platforms.

Solus does an amazing job at making sure everything works well with everything. You should see what they've done with steam. (hint, it works out of the box and font rendering works properly)

@baz Eh, that's partially true. Certain distros do more testing than others before they release new packages.

Good to know.

Antergos makes it easy to install a LTS kernel in the installation, so I may do that.

These things are fairly Distro Angnostic,

But for newer NV card I recommend going the Proprietary Driver, specially if you want 3d accel

Distros do not really play much of a role. It is pretty much the same all. The only thing is to make sure your do not update to a kernel that might have a regression concerning the GPU nvidia drivers. But as long as you take the necessary care when you update the kernel it should not be an issue.

Mint for example makes it very easy through the driver/update manager to control this. It is also a good choice as it just now had its new release thus the software is quite up-to-date. LTS releases also probably more stable in that respect as well. But really that is too much of a detail.

If you want arch based stuff you can check Manjaro as well as they are officially supporting steam (i suppose you want this for games mostly).

Mint and Ubuntu's current release is LTS

Yeah, I probably should have phrased it "How do kernels affect Nvida drivers?"

Good idea on Manjaro, they do a good job with the gaming side of things.

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I have a GTX 560 and am using Manjaro xfce4 with compix to fix the tearing in games. The driver was installed right from the start no problems and works great.

I recommend Linux Mint. Both the Nvidia driver and the open-source driver available work really well.

That's a strange question. It would make sense if you are running some esoteric distribution that's no longer supported. (Older kernel :) that might need a patch or two :| )

On most modern distributions that are active, it should be fairly straightforward though. In your case, I would double check if the drivers are already in the repositories. If not most of them have different ways of installing 3rd party drivers.

I believe, the 1070's are supported by the nvidia's 367 driver . I had to download the drivers directly from nvidia's website as they were not present in the Ubuntu repositories. I am running Ubuntu 14.

You have to add the graphics-drivers ppa to get the latest drivers on Ubuntu through the repository which can be found here:

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Sabayon is the one distro that comes out of the box ready to party with NVIDIA proprietary drivers.

but yeah it should work with a little work with any distro

Nvidia is well supported on all the major distros with their binary BLOB drivers and they work rock solid for me on old hardware.

I've tried Ubuntu (standard and Gnome). Arch and Antigos and my GTX670 played games flawlessly in steam on all.

I'm in the market for a new GFX card this year. So hard to pick with linux in mind as the OS for the next 4-5 years

You say it works flawlessly in Arch and Antergos.

Does the constant Kernel updating mess you up, or do you stick with an LTS kernel?

Generally works fine, I ran Arch on my main system with an nvidia card for a couple of years and had the drivers break after an update about bimonthly, not an issue tho since it takes 30 seconds to install the lts drivers and boot to the lts kernel, which I didn't encounter issues with

I'm sticking with netrunner as a recommendation (the arch branch).