Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ubuntu 9.04 and NVIDIA Driver

I have been using Ubuntu for quite a while and I loved it for it's simplicity. I downloaded and installed 9.04 in my machine last night and to my surprise I no longer get the nice pop-up prompting me to install proprietary NVIDIA driver for my NVIDIA 8800 GTS graphics card.

The "nv" driver worked fine but it doesn't allow me to enable desktop effects. Also, I really want the full hardware acceleration so I can do some OpenGL programming. After search around the ubuntu package repository, I found several versions of the old familiar nvidia-glx. So I installed the latest one with:
sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx-180
Another surprise was that it no longer updates the xorg.conf file for me so I ended up running nvidia-xconfig myself by:
sudo nvidia-xconfig
This overrides the xorg.conf file to make sure X server loads the proprietary "nvidia" rather than open source "nv" driver. I wonder what the Ubuntu team was thinking, this definitely felt like a step backward. Were they trying to push people to use the open source "nv" driver?

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