Ubuntu 12.04: nVidia Downgrade

Having installed Ubuntu 12.04 on that Lenovo box, which has an nVidia graphics chip, we find there’s an error somewhere inside the current 295.40 (and perhaps previous versions) of the proprietary nVidia driver that causes random video lockups which generally require rebooting that sucker. Of course, the default Unity desktop requires that driver for 3D operations like compositing, because the Free Software drivers don’t / can’t do 3D in hardware.

How is it that a (nominally) Open Source / Free Software OS requires proprietary drivers just to present the UI? Oh, right, 3D is glitzy and that’s what matters most in these degenerate days.


The least-likely-to-fail solution seems to be disabling the nVidia driver, which enables the Nouveau driver, which does 2D just fine, which lets Unity stumble along. Reverting to 295.33 seems to work for some folks, but I have other things to do…

8 thoughts on “Ubuntu 12.04: nVidia Downgrade

  1. Ubuntu 10.04 LTS & NVIDIA Driver Version: 195.36.24

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    1. Unfortunately, 10.04 LTS expires next year and had, IIRC, trouble with the trackballs & monitors, so I’m using 10.10 on this box. Alas, support for 10.10 has now expired, which means I must once again find out what works… and what doesn’t. [sigh]

  2. I’ve lived long enough for Slackware to become the most reasonable option. Again. But no stack of floppies this time, OK?

    1. Slackware to become the most reasonable option

      I’d been using Arch for a while, because it was sort of like Slackware with larger blocks. Eventually that setup got wedged: the latest update for something required an update for a bunch of other things, with the net effect that the whole mess stopped working. One can, in theory, recover from that, but by then I’d begun spending an inordinate amount of time futzing with Arch to keep things working… and Ubuntu 10.10 Just Worked, much to my surprise, so I switched.

      Dunno. Ubuntu seems to be heading in a direction that doesn’t include desktop boxes. Mint seems to be figuring out what they want to become, with the net result of being confused about what’s important. So I’m not sure what to do…

    2. You imply that Slackware was ever not the most reasonable option. (Admittedly, I did use SLS for a while before Slackware. But ever since, at every instant, Slackware has been the best option…)

      1. I kowtow to your zealotry… [grin]

        Actually used Slackware to convert an old laptop to a picture frame, as it was the easiest way to get a minimal Linux box that would run purely from RAM. Worked like a champ, but convinced me that hand-hewing a configuration was something I really didn’t want to do ever again…

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