Install Proprietary Nvidia GPU Driver On Debian 10

If you are new to Debian, you should know that Debian doesn't provide any proprietary packages on their official repositories. That means you won't be able to install Nvidia provided drivers unless it is free. So, by default Debian uses Nouveau drivers instead, which is free.

Nouveau in any way is not related to Nvidia, So the drivers they provide lags in performance in comparison to what Nvidia provides.

To install the correct drivers for our GPU, we will need to get the information on our GPU and currently installed drivers. After that, we shall install the recommended driver package.

Steps To Install Proprietary Nvidia GPU Driver On Debian 10

  1. Enabling Non-free & Contrib Repositories On Debian 10 Buster
  2. Detecting Nvidia GPU and Currently Installed Drivers
  3. Installing Proprietary Nvidia Driver On Debian Buster
As I said before, we will need to enable the non-free repository on our Debian system. For that, we will edit the sources list and that will be our first step to follow.

  1. Enabling Non-free & Contrib Repositories On Debian 10 Buster

  2. To enable non-free and contrib repo enter the following command on your terminal.
    sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
    Use your favorite editor, I will be using nano here.

    Now, add contrib and non-free right after main on all 6 branches like below.
    deb buster main contrib non-free
    deb-src buster main contrib non-free
    deb buster/updates main contrib non-free
    deb-src buster/updates main contrib non-free
    deb buster-updates main contrib non-free
    deb-src buster-updates main contrib non-free
    It doesn't matter what mirror you are using, just add the contrib and non-free after main correctly.

    After typing all those, hit ctrl + s, to save the file. Again hit ctrl + x to exit nano.

    Now update your package database using,
    sudo apt update
    And our first step is done.
  3. Detecting Nvidia GPU and Currently Installed Drivers

  4. To detect and view currently installed drivers, we will use a small script named Nvidia detect. Install it by,
    sudo apt install nvidia-detect
    After installation execute nvidia-detect from your terminal and you should get something like below.
    nvidia driver on debian 10
    You can my GPU is GT210 and the currently installed driver is from Nouveau. And also it is recommending me to install the package nvidia-legacy-340xx-driver. Now lets head to our final step.

  5. Installing Proprietary Nvidia Driver On Debian Buster

  6. While executing nvidia-detect it will tell us which driver package is recommended to install. And we will just do that. In my case its nvidia-legacy-340xx-driver, in your case it could be nvidia-driver package or any other. So let's install the driver now.
    sudo apt install nvidia-legacy-340xx-driver        #as in my case
    sudo apt install nvidia-driver                          #or this could be, 
In order to determine the correct driver package, you must follow step two. After installing the drivers, reboot your system.

After reboot, you can access the Nvidia control panel form the launcher or menu, corresponds to whatever desktop environment you use. You can also launch it from a terminal by,
install nvidia gpu driver on debian 10

And that's how you install GPU driver for Nvidia on Debian 10 Buster system. Hoping you will get it done by following this post. If thats, not the case just leave a comment below.


  1. kinst@kinst:~$ nvidia-settings

    ERROR: Unable to load info from any available system

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