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November 21, 2014

Ubuntu/Kubuntu Install upstream open source graphics drivers

Ubuntu comes with stable version of open source GPU drivers for providing support for various GPU's from different vendors (AMD, nVIDIA, Intel, S3 ...). But, since open source drivers are updated continuously from different contributors, it is sometimes useful to try upstream version of drivers. Any upstream drivers are regarded as unstable yet they provide new functionally and bug fixes.

Oibaf provides upstream drivers for various Ubuntu versions through Personal Package Archive (PPA). PPA is an online software repository system for Ubuntu Linux. One can install package (software) from PPA repository to local system by adding PPA address to Ubuntu software sources list.

Now, let's install upstream GPU drivers from Oibaf PPA on the Kubuntu (Ubuntu with KDE plasma desktop environment).

Open up terminal application

Kickoff -> Applications -> System -> Konsole

Add ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers (PPA address) to system

Put the following in the terminal: sudo apt-add-repository ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers [Press enter key]. Here sudo command gives permission to make changes to the system, apt-add-repository command adds a ppa address to the system.

Then the following will show up for confirmation

Just press enter key to confirm.

Now, update the system's software repository by putting the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt-get update

That's it, now you can download the drivers from Oibaf PPA repository. To accomplish that, you have to upgrade the system by putting the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt-get -y upgrade

Wait for a while for all the processes to be finished in the terminal. if everything is finished type exit and press enter key to exit from the terminal window.

One last thing, open source drivers need texture compressions library. Texture compression library is a requirement for many modern 3D games and software. Texture compression library comes separately from open source drivers and one has to compile them from the source to install them. However, To install texture compression library onto Ubuntu simply download the pre-compiled libraries.

follow this for running executable files on Ubuntu

Pre-compiled texture compression library for Ubuntu variant distributions

Now, Install precompiled library

Open Home folder (suppose I have download the file in home folder)

Kickoff -> Computer -> Home

Extract the downloaded file

Right click on the tc*.tar.gz file -> Extract -> Extract Archive here Autodetect Subfolder


navigate to recently created tc folder and open the file (make sure it is executable and the file managers runs it).

That's it, now you have upstream drivers!

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