I have problems with running NVIDIA X server settings to adjust GPU fan speeds. When launching the utility it only opens an empty window like this:

Blank window

Below is additional info from nvidia-smi utility and lsb_release -a:

nvidia-smi image

Ubuntu version:
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS
Release:    18.04
Codename:   bionic

I will be happy to hear any tips about what could be the reason for this kind of behaviour.

6 Answers 6


I had the same problem. The reason was in the version of the nvidia-settings utility. I used https://launchpad.net/~oibaf/+archive/ubuntu/graphics-drivers to install drivers. Run the command to list installed packages:

dpkg -l | grep nvidia-

she brought out:

ii nvidia-compute-utils-430 430.26-0ubuntu0 ~ gpu19.04.1 amd64 NVIDIA compute utilities
ii nvidia-dkms-430 430.26-0ubuntu0 ~ gpu19.04.1 amd64 NVIDIA DKMS package
ii nvidia-driver-430 430.26-0ubuntu0 ~ gpu19.04.1 amd64 NVIDIA driver metapackage
ii nvidia-kernel-common-430 430.26-0ubuntu0 ~ gpu19.04.1 amd64 Shared files used with the kernel module
ii nvidia-kernel-source-430 430.26-0ubuntu0 ~ gpu19.04.1 amd64 NVIDIA kernel source package
ii nvidia-prime 0.8.10 NVIDIA's Prime all Tools to enable
ii nvidia-settings 418.56-0ubuntu1 amd64 Tool for configuring the NVIDIA graphics driver
ii nvidia-utils-430 430.26-0ubuntu0 ~ gpu19.04.1 amd64 NVIDIA driver support binaries
ii xserver-xorg-video-nvidia-430 430.26-0ubuntu0 ~ gpu19.04.1 amd64 NVIDIA binary Xorg driver

The apt search nvidia-settings command confirmed that there is only a version of nvidia-settings / disco, now 418.56-0ubuntu1 amd64.

Solution, deleted all nvidia by using:

apt purge *nvidia*

Download the latest driver from: https://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html After installing the driver from the .run file, the settings are opened normally.

  • 2
    Thanx. I got the same problem with second monitor. I made apt purge *nvidia* and installed new drivers as normal with sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall. Fixed.
    – liutis
    Jul 23, 2021 at 8:58
  • Some say not to install drivers from nvidia website because they don't support PRIME etc. This is so confusing.
    – chx101
    Feb 7, 2023 at 0:55

Running this command made the trick for me:

sudo prime-select nvidia

Source: https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=294384

  • If you don't see settings after changing performance profile - this solutions works.
    – l00k
    Feb 10, 2021 at 21:25

I found a solution for this issue. The driver isn't initializing, but the secure boot (SB) doesn't need to be disabled. If you correctly configure the SB on your computer, after installing the driver, a window opens asking for a password. Set your password. After finishing the setup, reboot your PC.

After a few seconds, a blue screen appears, press enter and select the first option (I don't remember what says, but is a thing with MOK, KOM, whatever). It asks for a password, write the password that was set up before, and reboot.

  • 2
    This was the helpful answer in my case. I was installing Ubuntu 19.10 on a new laptop (with Nvidia graphics card). In the Ubuntu installation, I enable the installation of 3rd party drivers and provided a password for secure boot. The reboot after installation brings you into the MOK manager. In my first attempt I ignored this and continued to boot. The Nvidia X server window was empty. After reading this, I redid the installation but now I paid more attention to the MOK manager, I accepted the new key. Now the Nvidia X server app is working. THANKS.
    – immerzl
    Mar 15, 2020 at 0:59

The driver isn't initializing. Disable secure boot in your bios.

  • 3
    Welcome to Super User! Why would disabling secure boot fix the problem here?
    – bertieb
    Mar 17, 2019 at 1:11
  • I had the same problem after upgrading CPU and MOBO. Something about secure boot was preventing the driver from initializing. I deleted the keys and disabled secure boot and it corrected the issue.
    – Sulten
    Mar 17, 2019 at 17:19
  • 2
    I already had secure boot disabled and still had this issue
    – Supamee
    May 7, 2019 at 16:34
  • I think it's a bug in 410 driver. Also I can't use any external video outputs. May 15, 2019 at 23:12

I think I have solution for the problem, at least for me it was working.

Driver manager is not installing properly the driver, so in Synaptic package manager I was searching the nvidia-340 driver that I was installing earlier in "Additional drivers" app. Marked for installation the nvidia-340 missing dependencies. And restarted the PC.


problem solved only with sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall you don't neet to run sudo purge nvidia

  • Can you elaborate on this a litle more?
    – Toto
    Oct 9, 2021 at 11:41

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