Additional Drivers

Linux, is what we call an open source operating system. What that means, is that the millions of lines of code that make it work, are all available for inspection by anyone who wants to look at them. Indeed, anyone with the skill and desire, can even contribute to the code. This is an important feature because it means that Linux software can be examined for flaws, or back doors installed by oppressive governments to violate your privacy.

Sometimes though, where  software is needed to do something that Linux might not do yet, we  rely on close source software. This type is usually made by a commercial enterprise for profit. They almost never, ever, allow the public to view the source code. Just try asking Microsoft for the source code to Windows 8!

Such is the case with some video drivers. For the machine that I’m  on right now, Linux wouldn’t give me the full resolution that my video card and monitor are capable of.

If that’s the case for you, try this:

Click on: Menu –>  Preferences–> Additional Drivers

This will bring up the additional drivers dialog. After you open the program, it can take several minutes, as it looks at all of your hardware to see if any of it has closed source drivers for it, as shown below.

Additional Driver Dialog

Additional Driver Dialog

As you can see here, the program found that I had a compatible NVIDIA video card, and it offered me 4 different choices of drivers to use for it.

You will also notice that the driver recommended is the one I used. This will usually be the case!

The program will work not only with video drivers, but also WiFi, tablet, and many other peripherals.