How to Install CUDA 5.0 Toolkit in Ubuntu

How to Install CUDA 5.0 Toolkit in Ubuntu

This guide is based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, but the same principles apply in newer versions of Ubuntu. Let’s begin.


1. Make sure you have a CUDA supported GPU

You must have a nVIDIA GPU that supports CUDA, otherwise you can’t program in CUDA code. Here’s a list with the CUDA supported GPU models.

2. Install nVIDIA proprietary drivers

Use Jockey (additional drivers) or just pick the driver you want from the NVIDIA official website.

3. Download CUDA Toolkit 5.0 for Ubuntu

I used the Ubuntu 11.10 32bit version. It’s the latest version so far, but it currently works fine. So please download.

4. Fix the error

There will be an error when you’ll try to install the CUDA 5.0 examples. The driver is trying to find the file and it doesn’t look for other versions, such as so.1, so.2 etc.

First confirm that you have a libglut file:

$ sudo find /usr -name libglut\*

If you do, symlink that file to

For 64bit:

$ sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ /usr/lib/

For 32bit:

$ sudo ln -s /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/ /usr/lib/

5. Install the CUDA Toolkit and Samples

Press CTRL+ALT+F1 to open a shell — yeah, we’re going to do this in old (yet powerful) command-line way, but there’s no need to be afraid of the black and white terminal with a blinking cursor. After all you know what they say, once you go black…

5.1 Shutdown the all the graphics

Ubuntu uses LightDM, so you need to stop this service:

$ sudo service lightdm stop

5.2 Run the installer

Go to (using cd) the directory where you have the CUDA installer (a file with *.run extension) and type the following:

$ sudo chmod +x *.run
$ sudo ./*.run

Accept the License and install only the CUDA 5 Toolkit and the Samples. DO NOT install the drivers because we have already done that.

6. Enable the nvcc compiler

In order to compile CUDA code you have to use the nvcc compile. In that so you have to tweak some environment variables into your ~/.bashrc file:

For 32bit:

export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/cuda-5.0/bin
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/cuda-5.0/lib

For 64bit:

export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/cuda-5.0/bin
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/cuda-5.0/lib64:/lib

If you want to compile a CUDA file (*.cu extension) you can use the following command:

nvcc -o file

Or use the NSight Eclipse Edition.

  • Martino Stecher

    Hi Panos,
    I like this page al lot, however, often I am asking my self, why the hell should I try things out as some of you autors are often very short with telling as the why? I dont have a degree in Linux SW engineering, but somehow have been able to set-up everything on my PC in linux as i need it … so why should I install CUDA ? What are the benefits ? Perhabs telling as the why is something unixman could improve ?


  • zinovsky

    I agree, sometime a quick intro before to show the installation steps, this is useful for newbies. for Cuda read the intro in this Link (What is Cuda):