How to Install Intel Graphics Driver on Ubuntu Linux? [12 Simple Steps]

TL;DR

Here is how to install Intel graphics driver on Ubuntu:

  1. Check your Ubuntu version with lsb_release -a, and identify your Intel graphics card with lspci | grep VGA.
  2. Update your system’s package list with sudo apt update and upgrade all packages with sudo apt upgrade.
  3. Add Intel’s official PPA with sudo add-apt-repository ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers and install the graphic drivers with sudo apt install xserver-xorg-video-intel.
  4. Confirm the installation with glxinfo | grep "OpenGL version", if needed install mesa-utils with sudo apt install mesa-utils, and reboot your system with sudo reboot.

Explore the guide below for the step-by-step guide to install Intel graphics driver on Ubuntu. Also, learn about the common errors that can occur during installation.

Are you trying to improve your Ubuntu graphics but find the process too complex? Don’t worry! Installing an Intel graphics driver can seem tricky, but I’m here to make it straightforward and manageable. In this guide, I’ll walk you through each step to enhance your machine’s graphics performance with Intel graphic drivers. I’ll start by preparing your system and go through the installation, also covering troubleshooting any issues that might arise. Plus, I’ll share some handy tips to keep your drivers performing optimally.

Why Install Intel Graphics Driver on Linux?

Installing an Intel graphics driver on Linux has several benefits that can greatly enhance how your computer performs and functions. By installing the latest Intel graphics drivers on your Linux system, you ensure you’re getting the most out of your hardware, keeping your system up-to-date, and enjoying a better user experience. Here’s why it’s a good idea:

  1. Improved Performance: Intel’s drivers are made specifically for their hardware, which means they help your graphics card perform at its best. This leads to smoother visuals in games, better video quality, and faster graphic processing in applications.
  2. Increased Stability: With the right drivers, your system is less likely to crash or experience glitches. Intel tests their drivers thoroughly to ensure they work well with your hardware, making your Linux system more stable and reliable.
  3. Enhanced Compatibility: Updating your drivers ensures that your graphics card works well with new hardware and the latest software. This is important if you want to use newer applications that need more graphics power.
  4. Ongoing Improvements: Intel regularly updates its drivers to add new features and fix any existing bugs. These updates can improve how your graphics display looks and performs, support higher screen resolutions, and improve color quality, which is especially useful if you use your computer for graphics work or gaming.

How to Install Intel Graphic Drivers on Ubuntu?

To install the Intel graphics drivers on Ubuntu, begin by updating your system to ensure all existing packages are up to date. Open your terminal and type sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade. Next, install the drivers using the command, sudo apt install xserver-xorg-video-intel.

Once the installation is complete, you may need to reboot your system for the changes to take effect. After restarting, verify the installation by checking the driver version with glxinfo | grep "OpenGL version". This process will ensure that your Ubuntu system utilizes the latest Intel graphics drivers for optimal performance.

That was the quick answer. Here is the step-by-step guide to installing Intel graphics drivers on Ubuntu:

  1. Access the Terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T.
open terminal
  1. Ensure compatibility by verifying your Ubuntu version. Type:
lsb_release -a

This command displays details about your Ubuntu distribution, which helps ensure compatibility with the drivers you’re about to install.

checking ubuntu version 1
  1. Discover which Intel graphics card model you have by executing the command:
lspci | grep VGA

This command shows detailed information about your graphics card.

viewing detailed info about graphic card
  1. Update the list of available packages:
sudo apt update

This ensures your system’s package list is up-to-date before you proceed to install new software.

updating system package list 1
  1. Upgrade all your system’s software to the latest versions:
sudo apt upgrade

This command downloads and applies updates, which might include important system stability and security improvements.

upgrading packages to the latest version 1
  1. Integrate Intel’s official PPA to access the latest drivers:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers

Adding this PPA ensures you have access to the latest Intel graphic drivers provided by the community developer.

adding official PPA for intel latest drivers
  1. Update the package list again to include the newly added PPA:
sudo apt update

It will include new entries from the PPA you just added.

updating package list again
  1. Now that your system is prepared install the Intel graphic drivers by typing:
sudo apt install xserver-xorg-video-intel

This command downloads and installs the Intel graphics driver.

installing intel graphic drivers
  1. Confirm that the Intel driver is installed correctly. You may need to install mesa-utils if not already installed:
sudo apt install mesa-utils

This installs utilities for managing and diagnosing OpenGL components, like glxinfo.

installing mesa utils
  1. Then check the OpenGL version to verify the driver:
glxinfo | grep "OpenGL version"

This displays the OpenGL version being used, which indicates which driver is active.

checking openGL version to verify driver
  1. Restart your system:
sudo reboot

It will apply all changes and ensure the driver is fully integrated.

rebooting system to apply changes
  1. If issues arise, you may revert to the original drivers by purging the PPA:
sudo ppa-purge ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers

This command removes the PPA and reverts your drivers to the previously installed versions.

reverting to previous drivers

Quick Fixes for Intel Graphics Driver Installation on Ubuntu

When installing Intel graphics driver on Ubuntu, you might run into a few common issues. Below are four common issues with simple solutions to help you navigate these problems effectively. Let’s take a look at each one:

  • 🔍 Driver Installation Fails: If the installation process stops or fails, first ensure your internet connection is stable. Next, run sudo apt update to refresh your system’s software list, as an outdated or incomplete list can prevent successful installation. If errors persist, check for any error messages in the terminal, which can provide clues about what went wrong.
  • 🖥️ No Visible Changes After Installation: If you don’t notice any improvements or changes in graphics performance after installation, confirm the driver was correctly installed by running glxinfo | grep "OpenGL version". You may need to install mesa-utils to use this command. Also, make sure to reboot your computer as changes might not take effect until after a restart.
  • ⚠️ System Boot Problems: Facing issues with booting up your system can be daunting. If your system fails to boot after installing the drivers, restart and hold or tap the Shift key to enter the GRUB menu. From here, select Advanced options for Ubuntu and then Recovery mode. Choose Resume normal boot to proceed. If stability issues continue, boot into recovery mode again and uninstall the Intel drivers.
  • 📉 Performance Decrease: If you notice a decrease in system performance or graphics quality, the new drivers might not be fully compatible with your hardware. To revert to your previous drivers, execute sudo apt-get remove xserver-xorg-video-intel and follow up with sudo apt autoremove to clean up residual files. Afterward, consider seeking a driver version more compatible with your system’s specific hardware profile.

Final Thoughts

In this guide, I’ve walked you through the detailed process of installing an Intel graphics driver on Ubuntu and troubleshooting any errors you might encounter to maintain optimal driver performance. This comprehensive approach ensures that your system operates efficiently and your graphics are top-notch.

If you want to improve your understanding of Ubuntu, why not explore topics like fixing Wi-Fi adapter issues to help you solve connectivity issues after driver updates, creating desktop shortcuts to streamline your Ubuntu experience post-installation, or checking system memory? These areas will give you greater control and enhance your computing experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use Intel graphic drivers with a dual-boot system that also runs Windows?

    Yes, you can use Intel graphic drivers on a dual-boot system with Windows and Ubuntu. Each operating system manages its drivers independently, so installing drivers on Ubuntu will not affect Windows.

  2. What are the implications of not updating my graphic drivers on Ubuntu?

    Not updating your graphic drivers on Ubuntu can reduce system performance, increase vulnerabilities, and cause compatibility issues with newer software or games that require up-to-date drivers to function properly.

  3. What should I do if the Intel graphics driver causes my system to freeze?

    If your system freezes after installing Intel graphics drivers, try booting into safe mode or using a previous system restore point. You can also remove the drivers using a command line in recovery mode to revert to the default drivers.

  4. How can I automate the driver update process for Intel graphics on Ubuntu?

    To automate the update process for Intel graphics drivers on Ubuntu, you can use a package management tool like unattended-upgrades that can be configured to automatically install updates for all software, including graphics drivers, ensuring your system remains up-to-date without manual intervention.

Ojash

Author

Ojash is a skilled Linux expert and tech writer with over a decade of experience. He has extensive knowledge of Linux's file system, command-line interface, and software installations. Ojash is also an expert in shell scripting and automation, with experience in Bash, Python, and Perl. He has published numerous articles on Linux in various online publications, making him a valuable resource for both seasoned Linux users and beginners. Ojash is also an active member of the Linux community and participates in Linux forums.

Akshat

Reviewer

Akshat is a software engineer, product designer and the co-founder of Scrutify. He's an experienced Linux professional and the senior editor of this blog. He is also an open-source contributor to many projects on Github and has written several technical guides on Linux. Apart from that, he’s also actively sharing his ideas and tutorials on Medium and Attirer. As the editor of this blog, Akshat brings his wealth of knowledge and experience to provide readers with valuable insights and advice on a wide range of Linux-related topics.

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