Upgrading Ubuntu from Hardy to Intrepid completely broke my X config with my nVidia GeForce FX 5500

Upgrading Ubuntu from Hardy to Intrepid completely broke my X config with my nVidia GeForce FX 5500

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I think all that was really necessary was: aptitude install xserver-xorg-video-nv

cd /etc/X11
mv xorg.conf xorg.conf.bak # note that's a "mv", not a cp.
aptitude install xserver-xorg-video-nv # the free, non-proprietary drivers
dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg # accept defaults

Then I added the following lines to the xorg.conf:

In the "Device" Section:

Driver "nv"
Option "rotate" "CCW"

In the "Screen" Section:

SubSection "Display"
Modes "1920x1200" "1680x1680" "1600x1200" "1280x1024" "1152x864" "1024x768" "800x600" "720x400" "640x480"

You probably don't want the "rotate" option (widescreen 24" monitor rotated 90° = awesome for programming). You also are likely to not need the Display Modes.

Before the upgrade, in Hardy, I was using the free "nv" driver, instead of the proprietary "nvidia" driver, because that was the only way I found to rotate the display. I think.

The upgrade not only made X not start at all, with a "Fatal server error: no screens found.", it also made the System / Preferences / Screen Resolution thing stop working with both types of drivers.

And the proprietary drivers are really buggy, the screen keeps winking off, etc..

If you want the proprietary, 3D accelerated hardware drivers, just do System / Administration / Hardware drivers, and let the magic do its thing.

Update 8/12/09: This video card really sucks with rotation. glxgears -fullscreen (1200x1920) is about 4 frames per second with any of the three available drivers, opensource nv, or closed source nvidia v 173 or 96.

$ lspci | grep -i vga
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation NV34 [GeForce FX 5500] (rev a1)
  • Interestingly enough, something similar happened to me. When I upgraded my LinuxMint (basically Ubuntu + more shiny + the proprietary stuff, like Flash, that everybody installs anyway) installation from v6 "Felicia" to v7 "Gloria" (in Ubuntu terms, from Intrepid to Jaunty), X broke for me, too.

    I fixed mine in a similar way. After backing up my xorg.conf, I changed the "nvidia" driver to the "nv" driver and then used the tool to switch back to the other driver once I could start X.

    • Also, FWIW, I've found the proprietary drivers to be decent. When you say "winking off", you're not referring to power-saving/DPMS mode, are you?
      • Every minute or two the entire display would go black for roughly a second.
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