Today is Sunday, 14th April 2024

How to Fix: Ubuntu 12.10 Graphics Unknown


Recently installed Ubuntu 12.10, as my Windows 8 Consumer Preview (CP) Build 8250 expired. When it expires, Microsoft makes it so that every 1 to 2 hours your computer will restart. Basically, it’s a timebomb so that users don’t have a free operating system.

Having tried Ubuntu in the past, I thought it would be a great time to do so again. The two common versions right now are the long term support release: Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS (Precise Pangolin)…and Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal).

Naturally, being the “eager beaver” that I am, I went with the newer version. The amd64 (64-bit / x64) build rather than the i386 (32-bit / x86 ) build.

On my Desktop computer, which is an Q6600 Intel Quad Core Processor with a NVIDIA 8800GT graphics card, everything went smoothly. It installed well, and it booted up well.

The only caveat I had was that when I went to the “About this Computer” screen, it showed my graphics card as being “Unknown”.

This obviously bugged the crap out of me. Why would such a common card be labeled unknown? Perhaps because of this, my the “Graphics Experience” was set to “Standard”.

I had been using the latest NVIDIA graphics drivers as well, so what was going on?

Anyway, nobody cares about the story of some Linux newbie so let’s get to the solution. This is geared towards NVIDIA cards rather than ATI / AMD / Intel HD video cards. Steps are similar for those, but slightly different.

Assuming you have the latest version of your driver installed (as of right now, it’s the Experimental NVIDIA binary Xorg driver, Kernel module and VDPAU library from NVIDIA-experimental-310 (proprietary)), then follow the steps below.

If not, you can optionally do the following to get the latest and greatest drivers…

Update to Latest NVIDIA Drivers

1) Open terminal and type in the following…
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

2) Restart

There. You should have the newest drivers now.

Additionally, you may have to type the following two commands before the update:

sudo apt-get install linux-source
sudo apt-get install linux

Note that updating your drivers can always be risky. So if you don’t actually need to, then don’t. And if you need to go back to your old drivers, you can try…

sudo apt-get autoremove nvidia-current
sudo apt-get purge xserver-xorg
sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg xserver-xorg-video-all
sudo reboot

Fix Unknown Graphics – Ubuntu

1) Open Terminal — CTRL+ALT+T
2) Type in: sudo apt-get install mesa-utils

And there you have it! Things should work fine for you now. I know it did for me, at least.

A good way to check to see if your OS actually does know what graphics card is being used, but is still displaying unknown, is to load terminal and type in…

sudo lshw -C display

It may take awhile to output text, so wait until it finishes. For me, it shows near the top.
description: VGA compatible controller
product: G92 [GeForce 8800 GT]

Which is obviously my card.

Looking at this post…can you say #GeekyPeopleProblems?

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