Failed Ubuntu 22.04 Upgrade, fault is likely with Nvidia GPU

I have Ubuntu Maté on /dev/sdb1. Tonight I ran though the upgrade procedure, but when I tried booting, there were problems.
First, booting from the MBR on that drive got stuck at the following:

Failed to start VirtualBox Linux kernel module

I got out (Ctrl-Alt-F3), then managed to boot into Ubuntu by “the back door” (recovery mode, resume boot). But the screen resolution was completely wrong. In Hardware settings, the monitor was Unknown and “detect monitors” didn’t do anything.
Using the “Software and Updates” tool, under the tab “Additional Drivers”, nothing is listed, and nothing appears when searching.
The card is Geo Force GTS 240.
The following page has several steps I could follow:

But I am concerned for a few reasons. When I installed Mint 21, it replaced nvidia with nouveau, which work a lot better (go figure!). But also, isn’t this mess an indication of some bigger issue with my nvidia card?
Finally, I THOUGHT I had Timeshift installed already, since I had used it several times. But when I tried to run it, it wasn’t there any more. Oh, dear Mother, what a fool I be!


I tried a bunch of things since last night, many from that article, and the results are dismaying.

First, running the command
$ ubuntu-drivers devices
yields nothing.
The command
$ sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall
also nothing.
$ sudo apt install xserver-xorg-video-nouveau
reports that it is already installed and the latest version.
$ lshw -numeric -C display
has the following

  • display UNCLAIMED
    desc VGA compatible controller
    product g92 [Geoforce GTS 240]
    vendor: nvidia
    physical id: 0
    bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
    version: a2
    width: 64
    clock: 33 MHz

Exploring in Synaptic also has lots of evidence that drivers are installed, but not being applied to the device.
Is this a case of needing to uninstall and reinstall? If so, which?

First question,
was this a regular upgrade, or was it a cross-release upgrade?

Csn you wind it back? ie do you have a backup of previous version?

Look at dmesg
What was the first error message it gave while booting?
What does it say about the GTS240?

Why the message about Vbox… do you have Vbox auto starting?

You do get a screen, so the video card is functioning at least in vga mode. Do you get a graphics screen?

Timeshift disappeared? It seems the upgrade made some serious mistakes.
I think I would be winding back if possible

From 20.04 to 22.04

Here I think I am stuck. The issue with Timeshift my be my confusing Ubuntu with Mint. I can save my current /Home contents, but not a rollback.

I have no idea! I do not have any Virtual Boxes at all, just the app with no boxes.

I get the same old home page, so there is some functionality. But the resolution is completely wrong (i think something like 1620x800), items are clipped off the screen and the behavior is extremely slow.

Thats a cross release upgrade. They sometimes fail.
22.xx has a raft of problems… see other posts
I dont like your chances of fixing it.

I would save your home directory, including dot files
reformat the partitions
and do a fresh instal of Ubuntu… which version?
safest would be to go back to Ubunto 20
if you want to persist, do a new install of Ubuntu 22

A new install is much safer than a cross release upgrade
You have to put in all you packages again , of course, Good time to cull a few unneeded packages. Have to redo things like printer config.

I dont think its a video card problem.


My “raft” of problems, despite my shoutiness, are probably quite trivial - NONE of them are stopping me doing stuff…

Sorry - I’m no longer an NVidia GPU user… Now running AMD Radeon, on Ubuntu 22.04.1

There’s things I love in Ubuntu 22.04 (mostly down to Gnome 42) and things I LOATHE in 22.04 (once again - mostly down to to Gnome 42)…

Been running with it on my desktop machine for 2+ months now, coming up to three, and I’m now on a point release, vainly hoping some of the niggles that get my goat, will have been fixed… :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: - yeah sure the Gnome team listen to users :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: NOT!

I see you’re a Mate user anyway… So my experience probably can’t compare to yours… Never had any major issues with NVidia GPU on Ubuntu 18.04 onwards when they incorporated proprietary drivers (previously had to use a PPA and I kinda hate PPA’s and only use them if there’s something I SIMPLY MUST have like Inkscape 1.2).

Yeah, I probably overstated that.
I think Cliff’s main issue is the cross releas upgrade went horribly wrong.
No reasn why he should not try a new fresh install of 22.xx

By the way, Cliff, clean the partition out before you do a fresh install. Easiest way is to reformat it. Dont install on top of an existing filesystem.

Neville, I cannot possibly disagree more.
This prospect is GODDAMN ENRAGING!
I was happily working on a 4-OS rig for at least 2 years, with only minor hiccups. With a heavy teaching workload all based on video chats that work, this was essential.
Now, this road to ruin was provoked by new versions of software that taxed my old Radeon card. I should have just lived with it. I knew how, and would have been OK.
HOW STUPID OF ME to decide I should try a better card. Everything went to hell from there. First, the new card messed up Gnome. Then, I tried the clean install of Mint 21, which ate up so much time. Now, I have lost HOURS of time I cannot afford losing Mate.

This pushes me strongly into my old reactionary stance of staying with old versions of programs. I kept with W98 long into 2001. I stayed with XP into 2014. I should NEVER have tried those upgrades of the last few months.
Sorry for the venting, but I gotta blame myself for not recognizing my own slide into capitalist consumer addiction, even if it is open source.

There is nothing stopping you putting the old Radeon card back in or getting yet another card but this time a newer Radeon rather than Nvidia. Its just a lot of work reinstalling everything.

But now you are in a state where you need to do work and Ubuntu is out of action. What is the best step from here?
Well you have Mint, which I presume is working OK. Can you not do your work with Mint, then deal with Ubuntu when things are less pressing?

There is a way to keep old versions and look at new versions at the same time. Just install the new version in a separate new partition and keep both running in a multiboot setup until you are happy with the new version.

So if Mint is not sufficient for your work, I would put back Ubuntu 20, which you know works. Then when you have time, try Ubuntu 22 in a separate partition… I still say the biggest problem was the cross release upgrade… they can do anything from a smooth ride to a complete mess. You got the latter. There is no way we can patch it, do a fresh install… it doesnt take long.

And a word about backups. I dont like Timeshift. It is OK for winding back minor problems, but not for major issues like yours. The big problem is, it resides on your disk. So if the disk fails, timeshift fails. A proper backup needs to have its software on an independent medium like a DVD, and needs to put its backup files outside the PC on an external disk. I favour clonezilla but there are others.

Cheer up there are worse issues than this.

@cliffsloane ,
Have you seen the post
Cant upgrade xps 13 to Ubuntu 22.04

Also see

Glanced at them both.
All this is serving to push me out of Linux completely. In my 30 years in Microsoft, i had problems, even things approaching disasters, but nothing as bad as these, and absolutely not as frequent. Call me fed up after six years.


Some things frustrate me too.
It looks like Ubuntu 22 has issues. Cant you use something else… like Mint… you already have it installed. The packsges will be the same as Ubuntu. How does Mint cope with your video card?

There was screen tearing in both Maté and Mint. Installing Mint 21 removed that problem.
But here is the bigger issue. Three Linux systems were messed up by the simple changing of a video card, two of them fatally. The one required a clean reinstall. Windows automatically installed the drivers and full support software without any pain or suffering.
This is why i say i have had it with Linux.


Nvidea card was not a good choice for Linux. You should have been advised about that.

Shouldn’t have Linux be advised about NVIDIA for at least two decades, by now?

Linux needs to get its shit together. AMD graphics cards are easier to handle but it’s not impossible to handle NVIDIA cards, either. They offer proprietary Linux drivers.

Additionally, the OS shouldn’t have a say about which hardware to use, in the first place. Especially about something as expensive as graphics cards.


Which distro. Drivers are part of the distros package system,. I dont think t3y come with the kernel, althoufh they are kernel modules?

Even my cursory checking showed Nvidias very own drivers, plus nouveau in the xserver suite. Akito is right; shame on Linux

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Yes, but whose responsibility is it to get video card drivers right… the kernel developers, or the distro makers or the users?.. Or maybe making linux work on a particular piece of hardware is nobodys responsibility?

Many Linux people want Linux to be more popular and constantly “wonder” why people still use Windows. These are exactly the people that have the responsibility, no matter, whether they are developers or simple users.


I suppose that is the definition of ‘free software’. It is a community effort… so those who ‘care’ do it.
I can live with that… I have lived with it for about 40 years, and I have benefited greatly from the efforts of those people who ‘care’.
So I dont mind puttting something back into it.

So I was right… noone is responsible… because we all are collectively.
Sounds like a chaotic way to run a business… but it works… free software is superior in many ways