Sonntag, 30. November 2014

Pitfalls installing a GTX 970 on an Ubuntu 14.04 LTS system

If you are going to put a GTX 970 into a Ubuntu box running 14.04 LTS, you should update to nvidia driver 323 (if you don't mind running the proprietary driver) to take advantage of its features.

This driver is available via the ppa repository xorg/edgers.

However, skip that part, if you want to use its GPU in Blender.

For this you need CUDA 6.5, the new shiny package from nvidia - only 1 GB!

You can get it here. But be aware that there also is a CUDA 6.5 package without GTX 9xx support. So make sure that it says "with Support for GeForce GTX9xx GPUs" in the title.

Grab the DEB file and install it using.

sudo dpkg -i sudo dpkg -i cuda-repo-ubuntu1404-6-5-prod_6.5-19_amd64.deb

This will copy a handful of other DEB files to /var/cuda-repo-6-5-prod.

Import them into the package system with

sudo apt-get update

and install them in one go with

sudo apt-get install cuda

It contains the nvidia driver (343.19), the CUDA files and various other stuff.

After a reboot check the running version of the NVIDIA driver using the nvidia-settings utility. If the version is not 343.19, the nvidia driver hasn't been replaced (most likely because you were still using it). In this case you have to bring the system into a terminal-only mode.

The usual procedure is:
  • log-out
  • switch to a terminal (Ctrl-Alt-F1)
  • shut down the graphical login using: sudo service lightdm stop
    (depends on the Ubuntu flavour: lightdm for the vanilla version)
  • and proceed from there.

Disclaimer: Replacing a video driver is no fun if it fails and you end up without any GUI. Don't blame me.

The install will also take care of the initfs (needed during boot time).

In order to use the GTX 9xxx in Blender, you have currently use a development build from as v 2.72 will fail, reporting an Unknown or unsupported CUDA architecture in the terminal.

All versions as of Nov. 28, 2014.