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How to enjoy cloud gaming with GeForce Now on Ubuntu

Cloud gaming with GeForce Now transforms your Ubuntu device into a high-end gaming PC, allowing you to stream your favorite games directly from the cloud. This guide covers how to set up and start using GeForce Now on Ubuntu, ensuring you can enjoy top-tier gaming without the need for powerful hardware.

by Arun Kumar
geforce now ubuntu

Let’s face it, when it comes to gaming, especially cloud gaming, we often feel left out in the cold. Fear not, because today, I’ll guide you through setting up and enjoying GeForce Now on our beloved Ubuntu system. Honestly, I’ve had my fair share of love and frustration with Linux gaming, but the possibility of cloud gaming with GeForce Now has genuinely excited me. Let’s get started!

What is GeForce Now?

Before we start, let’s quickly talk about what GeForce Now is. Simply put, GeForce Now is NVIDIA’s cloud gaming service that lets you stream games from their servers to your device. This means you can play AAA games on hardware that would normally not handle such games. Yes, even on our sometimes underestimated Ubuntu machines!

Why Ubuntu for cloud gaming?

Ubuntu, with its robustness and stability, makes for a great platform for gaming, despite popular belief. With the advancement of cloud gaming services like GeForce Now, it’s becoming increasingly accessible. However, since GeForce Now doesn’t officially support Linux (a bummer, I know), we’ll have to employ a workaround. But where there’s a will (and a terminal), there’s a way!

Step-by-step guide to set up GeForce Now on Ubuntu

Method 1:Using the Web Browser

1. Installing a compatible browser

As of my last adventure with GeForce Now, the service works best on Chrome or browsers based on Chromium. Ubuntu comes with Firefox by default, which is fantastic, but for GeForce Now, we might need to make a little adjustment.

Install Google Chrome

Open your terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and enter the following commands:

wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb

If you encounter dependency errors, fix them with:

sudo apt-get install -f

And that’s it for Chrome! If you’re more privacy-inclined and prefer a Chromium-based alternative, Brave or Chromium itself are good to go as well.

2. Creating a GeForce Now account

Next, head over to the GeForce Now website on your newly installed browser and sign up for an account. Choose the plan that suits you. Remember, patience is a virtue, especially when dealing with new account creations and selections.

3. Accessing GeForce Now

With your account set up, accessing GeForce Now is as simple as navigating to the GeForce Now web application in your browser. Log in with your credentials, and you should be greeted with the GeForce Now interface.

4. Tweaking browser settings for optimal performance

Here’s a personal tip: Enable hardware acceleration in your browser settings to improve streaming quality. In Chrome, go to Settings > Advanced > System and ensure “Use hardware acceleration when available” is turned on. This makes a noticeable difference, trust me.

5. Launching a game

Now, for the moment of truth. Browse through the games library, select a game you own or is free-to-play, and hit “Play.” If all goes well, you should be streaming the game directly to your Ubuntu machine. The first time I did this, I was grinning ear to ear. The future is now!

Method 2: Using the Unofficial Client (Snap)

The unofficial client is a community-developed wrapper for the web app and might not be as stable or feature-rich as a native client.

1. Ensure Snap is installed

Ubuntu comes with Snap pre-installed from version 16.04 LTS onwards. If for some reason you don’t have it, you can easily install Snap by opening a terminal and typing:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install snapd

2. Install GeForce Now using Snap

With Snap ready, installing GeForce Now is as simple as running one command:

sudo snap install geforcenow

This command downloads and installs the GeForce Now snap package, which is essentially a version of the app packaged to run on Linux platforms, including Ubuntu. It’s a community-supported package that wraps around the Windows version of GeForce Now, using Wine to ensure compatibility.

3. Running GeForce Now

Once installed, you can start GeForce Now either by searching for it in your application menu or by running the following command in a terminal:


4. Logging in and playing

From here, the process is similar to what you’d expect on a supported platform. Log in with your NVIDIA account, and you’ll have access to your library and the ability to stream games.

Performance tips

While cloud gaming doesn’t require a powerful PC, your internet connection plays a crucial role. Ensure you’re on a stable, high-speed connection. Wired connections trump WiFi for stability, but if you’re on WiFi, try to minimize network congestion.

Also, close unnecessary applications to free up system resources, ensuring a smoother streaming experience.


Can I use GeForce Now on Ubuntu without Google Chrome?

Yes, you can use any Chromium-based browser, such as Brave or Chromium itself. The key is to ensure the browser supports hardware acceleration and is compatible with the GeForce Now streaming service.

Is GeForce Now free to use on Ubuntu?

GeForce Now offers both free and paid tiers. The free tier has limitations, like session length, while paid tiers offer longer session times and additional features. The setup process on Ubuntu is the same regardless of the plan.

Do I need a powerful Ubuntu machine to use GeForce Now?

No, since the games are streamed from NVIDIA’s servers, your local hardware requirements are minimal. However, a good internet connection is crucial for a smooth gaming experience.

How can I improve streaming quality on Ubuntu?

Ensure hardware acceleration is enabled in your browser settings, use a wired internet connection if possible, and close unnecessary apps to free up bandwidth and system resources.

What should I do if a game doesn’t stream well on GeForce Now?

First, check your internet connection and try lowering the streaming quality in GeForce Now’s settings. If issues persist, try switching to a different browser or checking NVIDIA’s forums for specific game-related issues.

Can I use a game controller with GeForce Now on Ubuntu?

Yes, GeForce Now supports game controllers. Most controllers that can connect to your Ubuntu machine should work, but you might need to configure them depending on the model and connection method.

Will GeForce Now officially support Linux in the future?

As of when this article was written, NVIDIA has not announced official support for Linux. However, the Linux community often finds workarounds for such services, and NVIDIA is aware of the demand.


With the steps outlined above, you can easily play games on your Ubuntu system using the GeForce NOW cloud gaming service. With a strong internet connection and a compatible controller, you can enjoy a seamless gaming experience on your Linux machine. Although there are a few drawbacks to cloud gaming, such as latency and the requirement for a constant internet connection, GeForce NOW offers a fantastic solution for Linux users who want to play the newest games without spending a lot of money on pricey hardware.

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