So i just installed ubuntu and now I'm updating my video drivers.

I am present with the following choices. enter image description here

Which one should i pick. And if possible, why? Are there some advantages over the other?

  • This question appears to be opinion seeking, which is off-topic for SU. The closed source drivers are full-featured and maintained by nVidia, but are closed source, so support options are limited. The neuveau drivers are open source, community developed and maintained but may not have all the features of the official drivers. Choose whichever suits your needs and ideology.
    – Paul
    May 29, 2014 at 5:47

2 Answers 2


Perfectly good question.

You can take a look at this site for detailed explanation and benchmarks:


But to put it in simple terms, if you intend to play new generation video games on your system, or do any kind of work that puts heavy load on the graphics card, you should use the proprietary nvidia drivers.

Otherwise, you are perfectly fine with the open source nouveau drivers.

  • Does installing NVidia binary driver mean that it will use NVidia's implementation of Opengl?
    – Shashwat
    Mar 19, 2017 at 15:53

Short answer: NVIDIA drivers are better. By the way, you must disable Nvidia video-drivers updates (delete or disable ppa) if you don't want "destroy" your distro.

  • 3
    Could you please elaborate on how an official update could destroy anything?
    – Daniel B
    May 25, 2015 at 15:22
  • In this repository (ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa) except nvidia-packages you can find a lots of others packages, that will affect video from Intel etc. They will be installed on your system after next update if not disable ppa. Also after OS upgrade (instance dist-upgrade) on your system will be installed tons of unstable packages from ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa. Unfortunately my English sucks, but just trust me or GOOGLE about that issue.
    – daGo
    May 28, 2015 at 6:06
  • 1
    Ah, you’ve installed them from a different repository. IIRC, the proprietary drivers are also available from the official repositories. There’s also a hint on upgrades in the repository’s description. So there’s really nothing to worry about as long as you read the manual. ;)
    – Daniel B
    May 28, 2015 at 6:43

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