It's about to get easier for Ubuntu LTS users to stay up-to-date with Nvidia's stable graphics drivers. The Linux Experiment said via YouTube yesterday that Ubuntu plans to make these drivers part of its Stable Release Updates (SRU) program, which means users won't have to rely on fiddly workarounds to install the latest drivers themselves.
Ubuntu confirmed The Linux Experiment's report on Twitter. (The company said it didn't make an official announcement because it "decided it better to share an awesome video from a member of the wider community.") It also said the change is "coming in an update, to your computer... [s]oon!" in response to another user.
Ubuntu LTS typically doesn't offer recent updates to apps, drivers and other software. The operating system is more focused on making sure everything remains as stable as possible than on providing access to the latest-and-greatest features. SRU offers a compromise by making it easy to install new versions of popular apps.
The Linux Experiment's video explains more about how this change will affect the installation of Nvidia's drivers:
Ubuntu LTS users aren't the only ones who will benefit from the inclusion of Nvidia driver's in the SRU program. Several other Linux distributions are backed by Ubuntu LTS, which means their users will benefit as well. Forbes reported that users of KDE Neon, Linux Mint, Zorin OS and elementary OS will all benefit from the new approach.
This change is already in motion. Nvidia's latest stable driver, version 430, is currently available for testing via the bionic-proposed repository. If the driver meets Ubuntu's standards, it should reach users via an update to Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS in the near future. Then it should finally be easy to combine the stability of Ubuntu LTS with the performance improvements of Nvidia's drivers.
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Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.