Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) has been launched, and some of the problems we had in the past with the Nvidia proprietary drivers have been fixed.
The installation has been made a lot easier, but users can still do it the old fashion way, in a terminal.
Canonical has opted to enable by default the Nouveau drivers for Nvidia, in Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtaail). Even if the intentions of the Nouveau developers are commendable, their drivers are not as good as the one developed by Nvidia.
After a few days that were filled with an endless string of errors and issues, we track down the problem to the video drivers. The installation procedure for the latest Nvidia drivers is quite simple and anyone can do it.
The easy way
Nvidia has made great progress with their drivers in the past year or so, and the partnership with Canonical has been really beneficial for Ubuntu.
Users don't need to rely anymore on third-party PPAs to get the newest Nvidia drivers. Their drivers are now available in the official repositories.
The simplest method is to open the Dash and search the Software keyword. The first option is called Software & Updates. Click on it and go to the last tab, which is called Additional Drivers.
At this time, there are two separate branches in Canonical's repositories, 304 and 310. Both are stable and working properly, but they are not quite the latest.
In any case, just select which one you want and let the OS do its job. You will have to restart Ubuntu after this operation.
The hard way
If you want the latest version of the Nvidia drivers, you will have to install the version provided by Nvidia on their official website. Download the one marked 313.30 and make sure you get the right version for your architecture, 32-bit or 64-bit.
Log out of the system and press Ctrl + Alt + F1. Log in into a command line interface, navigate to the folder where you have downloaded the driver, and kill the LightDM display manager:
sudo service lightdm stop
sudo chmod a+x NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-313.30.run
All you have to do now is wait and follow the on-screen instructions. You might need to perform this operation twice if the Nouveau driver is active.
When the installation is done, enter the sudo reboot command and enjoy the newest Nvidia drivers.