Proprietary drivers, sometimes referred to as “closed-source” drivers, are developed by hardware manufacturers and are optimized specifically for their products. They can offer better performance and features compared to open-source counterparts, especially for graphic cards.

Ubuntu, by default, uses open-source drivers which are often more than sufficient for everyday tasks. However, for specific hardware, particularly GPUs, using a proprietary driver can lead to enhanced performance, especially if you're gaming or running graphic-intensive applications.

It's essential to note that while proprietary drivers may offer benefits, they are not open to public scrutiny, which might raise concerns for some users who prioritize open-source transparency.

To ensure your hardware performs at its best, you might consider enabling the proprietary driver in Ubuntu. Thankfully, Ubuntu makes this process straightforward via the “Additional Drivers” tool.

Steps to enable proprietary drivers in Ubuntu:

  1. Launch the Dash by pressing the Super (Windows) key on your keyboard.
  2. Search for and open “Software & Updates.”
  3. Navigate to the “Additional Drivers” tab.
  4. The system will scan and list available drivers for your hardware. Check the proprietary driver you wish to use.
  5. Click the “Apply Changes” button. You may need to enter your password to authenticate the action.
  6. Wait for the changes to be applied. Depending on your internet speed, this might take a while.
  7. Once the installation is complete, restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
  8. If you experience any issues after enabling a proprietary driver, you can revert to the open-source driver by following the same steps and selecting the previous driver.

  9. While proprietary drivers might offer better performance, they might not receive updates as frequently as open-source counterparts. Ensure you monitor for updates regularly to keep your system secure and performing well.

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