October 31, 2008 · General · Email This Post

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I have collected some common problems and solutions for Nvidia restricted drivers after Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) Upgrade.I really thank for those users and ubuntu forum members who posted the solutions.I hope this will be useful for some users to fix their problems.

Problem 1

upgrade to 8.10 -- can't enable Nvidia restricted drivers

Upgraded from 8.04.1 to 8.10 (x64). GF 7600GT. Athlon X2 64. Starts up using the unaccelerated drivers.
Using ‘Hardware Drivers' I try to enable the 177 driver, get error dialog:
"Reconfiguring X.org video drivers is not possible: /etc/X11/xorg.conf if invalid"

- tried deleting xorg.conf
- tried dpkg-reconfig xserver-xorg
- tried nvidia-xconfig

None of these work.

- /var/log/Xorg.0.log doesn't show any syntax errors with any of these xorg.conf files.

Any ideas?


1) Open Synaptic Package Manager

2) Search nvidia

3) Installed all the 177 that are not yet installed (except those with the -dev suffix) or run this command to install drivers sudo apt-get install nvidia-


4) Made sure nvidia-settins is installed as well

5) Restarted

6) Went to "Hardware Drivers"

7) Activated 177

Run the following command to set the nvidia card settings

gksudo nvidia-settings

Problem 2

nvidia-settings segmentation fault.In the nvidia-settings menu (System->Administration->NVIDIA X Server Settings), if I click "Save to X Configuration File" (in the "X Server Display Configurations" page), the window closes. This was not the behavior in Ubuntu 8.04. If I open the menu from the command line, then clicking "Save to X Configuration File" will print "Segmentation fault" before the window closes. This happens whether or not I use sudo when executing nvidia-settings.


I heard that the new X.Org was going to rely less on the xorg.conf file, but it still exits. I can still apply my desired changes by clicking "Apply", so I personally do not have any problems. I am wondering if the segfault is a bug.

I renamed my xorg.conf file to something radically different: xorg_conf_backup.txt Then, when I had nvidia-settings save to xorg file, it asked where it was. I just pointed it to the same location (/etc/X11/xorg.conf) and had it make a new one. That seemed to make it stick. It seems unhappy in having to deal with existing xorg files.

Problem 3

How to get 1920×1200 Resolution Dell 2405fwp Nvidia 6150se


It's an Dell 2405fwp with native resolution of 1920×1200.

But I finally got it working, with some trial and error:

[Dell Insipiron 531] how to get 1920×1200 [2405fpw] resolution working with onboard nvidia graphics [Nvidia 6150se] using vga out:

1. Isntall the restricted drivers System ---> Hardware Drivers

2. Select the recommended drivers, install and reboot.

3. Backup the original /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

$ sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.org

4. Edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

$ sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

5. look for the Section "Monitor"

add the following lines[DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING ELSE]:

HorizSync 30-81
VertRefresh 60

6. look for Section "Screen"

add the following lines[DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING ELSE]:

SubSection "Display"
Depth 24
Modes "1920x1200_60″

7. Then do:
$ sudo nvidia-settings

then from X Server Display Configuration select the 1920×1200 resolution
and 60hz

8. Saving the X configuration File [while nvidia-settings is still open]:

$ sudo rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf

save file as /etc/X11/xorg.conf

9. edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf if needed be repeat 5 & 6

10. then Reboot and press the autosize button on the LCD

And here is a copy of my working xorg.conf file:

Section "Monitor"
Identifier    "Configured Monitor"
HorizSync       30-81
VertRefresh     60

Section "Screen"
Identifier    "Default Screen"
Monitor        "Configured Monitor"
Device        "Configured Video Device"
DefaultDepth    24
SubSection      "Display"
Depth           24
Modes           "1920x1200_60″

Section "Module"
Load    "glx"

Section "Device"
Identifier    "Configured Video Device"
Driver    "nvidia"
Option    "NoLogo"    "True"

Problem 4

Ubuntu 8.10 My Graphics can't be enabled. nVidia Go 7400 graphics card


I got mine working by going to System->Administration->Hardware Drivers. However, the two options presented to me are the 173 and 177 drivers, so that might not help you. The 177 driver, which was also recommended, worked. After activating that driver, I edited the display setting with System->Administration->NVIDIA X Server Settings and then clicked Apply.

Problem 5 (Intrepid blank screen problem)

I wanted to install the Intrepid Ibex [8.10] upgrade. Today I started the Update Manager and let it upgrade to 8.10. Downloading the Binaries took 5-odd hours[I'm on a 384Kbps connection and the download size is just a mite less than 1GB].It took an hour to install and asked to reboot. This is where the troubles started. After rebooting, it went to the beige screen that precedes the splash screen and then to a black blank screen. I could move around the mouse and that was it.


Apparently the compiz [which is responsible for the visual effects] module has problems with older Intel graphics cards [on-board graphics module aboard my Intel 845 GVSR]. A suggested work around was to boot into recovery mode and remove the compiz module. Apparently the bus has been around for a couple of months now[Launchpad Bug #259385].

select root shell prompt and run the following commands

sudo apt-get remove compiz

sudo apt-get remove compiz-core



Problem 6

I just installed the new Ubuntu 8.10 and I have no sound.How to fix this problem


I have fixed this problem by installing following package

sudo killall pulseaudio

sudo alsa force-reload

and then go to System>Preferences>Sound and change everything to ALSA

Problem 7

Install Nvidia legacy GeForce 2 MX 400 in Ubuntu 8.10

Downloaded the beta driver from nvidia here the 96.43.09 legacy BETA

Downloaded from synaptic manager linux-headers-generic and linux-source-2.6.27

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic linux-source-2.6.27

Press CTRL + ALT F1

sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop

sudo sh NVIDIA DRIVER that you downloaded from the url above

sudo /etc/init.d/gdm start

Problem 8

Install NVIDIA XFX 8600 GT in Ubuntu 8.10

My machine is MSI RS-480-IL2 motherboard, with NVIDIA XFX 8600 GT card.

This is the procedure I followed:

Just go to System -> Adminitration-> Hardware Drivers and enable NVIDIA 177 driver. It will download and install the driver.

Here there is a small hitch. Sometimes the download progress window stops at 0% only, it is bug, but the download takes place in the background and installs the driver. You need to be patient for about 5 minutes (256 KBPS download speed).

After that, just check under System -> Administration for a new menu entry "NVIDIA Settings", if so, the driver is installed. If you select the menu item, it will say "Looks like NVIDIA driver is not being used, Update your Xorg.conf file, just run "nvidia-xconfig" from terminal as root".

Do that, and it will update your xorg.conf file, just restart X, using CTRL + ALT + BACKSPACE, it will logout you out and ask for login again. Just login and you have NVIDIA 3D fully working.

Try enabling 3D effects and enjoy !!! Ubuntu 8.10 really rocks, especially with 3D enabled.

For all the persons who were kind enough to reply and comment on earlier post, I would like to thank all of you.

Anyone facing problem with Ubuntu 8.04, I suggest upgrade to Ubuntu 8.10. It will solve many problems.
If you have any other solutions for nvidia cards or any other issues after intrepid upgrade please share here

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79 Comments to “Common Problems and Solutions for Nvidia restricted drivers after Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) Upgrade”

  1. uwe says:

    After my update to intrepid, my screen stayed black due to some invalid option in my xorg.conf.

    Booted to recovery mode, reset the X configuration, removed all nvidia* and compiz* packages, and reinstalled them afterwards solved this problem. A bit radical, I know.

    After that, I couldn’t enable desktop effects, although nvidia was installed, and glx was enabled. Removing my old ~/.compiz solved this.


  2. Jon says:

    What do you suggest for an older machine with a GeForce2? nvidia-glx-177 is unsupported. 73 and 96 (or whatever the two legacy versions were) wouldn’t install and I can’t get older versions of the binary from nvidia’s site to compile.


  3. admin says:


    Ubuntu 8.10 Release notes for nVidia “legacy” video support

    The 71 and 96 series of proprietary nVidia drivers, as provided by the nvidia-glx-legacy and nvidia-glx packages in Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, are not compatible with the X.Org included in Ubuntu 8.10. Users with the nVidia TNT, TNT2, TNT Ultra, GeForce, GeForce2, GeForce3, and GeForce4 chipsets are affected and will be transitioned on upgrade to the free nv driver instead. This driver does not support 3D acceleration.

    Users of other nVidia chipsets that are supported by the 173 or 177 driver series will be transitioned to the nvidia-glx-173 or nvidia-glx-177 package instead. However, unlike drivers 96 and 71, drivers 173 and 177 are only compatible with CPUs that support SSE (e.g. Intel Pentium III, AMD Athlon XP or higher). Systems with older CPUs will also be transitioned to the nv driver on upgrade.


  4. Jon says:

    TY, admin. I’ll go with nv for now but hope they release some better legacy packages in the near future.


  5. Saad says:

    Going to System->Administration->Hardware Drivers says that “No proprietary drivers are in use on this system”. I’m running Nvidia Go 7400.

    This while, all 177/173 drivers appear ‘green’ in synaptics manager. What should I do?


  6. Saad says:

    Ok. I’ve managed to install the required drivers. But it seems like Ubuntu is still not using them, since I’m getting waves on my screen (like when you get on Vista when your color setting is set at 16bit instead of 32).

    What can I do now?


  7. Saad says:

    Every single time I activate the drivers, it doesn’t change anything. When I reboot my computer, it restarts in low-res mode, telling me that it had parsing errors with my configuration file.

    Can anyone in here, help me out with it, please?


  8. Bart says:

    A solution to the nvidia-xorg bug for legacy cards can be found here: http://nxadm.wordpress.com/2008/10/31/bug-ubuntu-810-and-older-nvidia-video-cards/


  9. Lennart says:

    Thanks, Problem 2 solution helped me. The setting made by nvidia-settings was not correct for my 2-screen configuration. It made one big screen of it all with maximized windows covering both screens. But a reboot reading the xorg.conf created from “Problem 2 solution” gave a correct screen layout.


  10. No fix for the issue with flickering and generally weird window titlebars with Nvidia drivers yet..

    There’s a Launchpad bug filed, but the current solution is to change the window theme to something that’s not the default Human or DarkRoom theme. Not the cleanest of fixes, but it’ll do in the meantime.


  11. adiedharma says:

    how about nvidia geforce mx400 like mine?
    because that problem, i undo upgrade my ubuntu and back to hardy again.. :(
    ..please help me..thanks a lot..


  12. rsb says:

    I had to remove all my old linux-restricted-modules packages.


    I had some similar problems, tried a lot of things.

    I was trying to use envyng to “power through” the problem.

    I kept getting errors about the kernel module not matching the driver, and too many matching *.ko modules.

    Finally, I just used synaptic to remove all the linux-restricted-modules-2.6.24* packages, confirmed that I had the latest version, then ran envyng(possibly not required). I was finally able to install 173.14.12-10ubuntu4


  13. Marcos says:

    Got a lot of problems after the upgrade to 8.10. I have a GeForce FX5500 on a AMD Athlon 64 3200+. No way to have 177 drivers working on my box, had to go for 173, and it worked after a full uninstall and reinstall of nvidia drivers. Canonical could try to make things easier on this transitions.


  14. VGH says:

    I have a Ge-Force FX5200 on a AMD Athlon 64 3200+. Same problem – Can’t have the 177 drivers to work. I hit activate, but nothing happens.
    If someone can post step by step instructions to uninstall the existing drivers and install the 173 drivers that would be of great help.

    Thank you


  15. Fabian Rodriguez says:

    Nvidia binry drivers were badly broken in Intrepid. Alberto Milone has posted an update to the situation. There are now packages in the proposed repositories, see:


  16. Marcos says:

    @VGH: Please note that I use the x86_AMD64 8.10 Intrepid. What I did was:

    >sudo apt-get purge nvidia-glx-177

    (Seems like and overkill to do the “purge” – you could try “remove” – but I didn’t want to run any risks)

    After the removal, I did:

    >sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx-173

    After the install, do:

    >sudo nvidia-xconfig

    Restart the x server and it should solve your problem (solved mine). In my system, the install of nvidia-glx-173 also installed nvidia-settings. Don’t forget to check it after your install.


  17. VGH says:

    Thank you Marcos.

    I did a fresh install of Intrepid yesterday.

    To my surprise all went well including the automatic installation of the restricted drivers.

    Last time there were issues with the automatic installation and the “Activate” button did not succeed in downloading and enabling the restricted drivers.

    I am glad that this has been resolved now.

    I really appreciate your help.



  18. VGH says:

    BTW the drivers that got prompted by the automatic install were the 173 drivers.




  19. qurly63 says:

    Thanks very much!

    My problem was a little different to your number 3 but by comparing your info, my old 8.04 xorg.conf and my existing setup I was able to get my preferred resolution working.




  20. Dave says:

    The solution for the sound problem works great, but does anyone know how to set this to take effect every time you log on, since i seem to have to do it every time i restart…



  21. Michael J Harmon says:

    Thanks for your help! I’ve been tweaking for weeks trying to get my Nvidia card to work with 8.10 without success until you published. Thanks again for all you do…



  22. Ryan says:

    No idea why this worked as it isn’t that different than anything I was doing before but it did.. thanks so much


  23. Andres Mendez says:

    Thank you so much for your help! Would’ve taken me ages to figure it out if not for you! Kudos to you!


  24. Sam says:

    A solution that worked fine for my (using a T61 laptop) is found here: http://www.tranquillity.se/2008/11/10/nvidia-problems-in-ubuntu-810/


  25. mundos says:

    Thanks for the help!


  26. Mike Z says:

    Excellent! I had failed to install the 93 beta drivers, but the hint about gdm stop and init got it working again. Thanks!


  27. Boz says:

    I had to add:

    BusId “1:0.0″

    to the “Device” section of my xorg.conf as such:

    Section “Device”
    Identifier “Device0″
    Driver “nvidia”
    VendorName “NVIDIA Corporation”
    BusID “1:0.0″

    I have two 8600 GT cards configured in SLI and I think this was the problem. If you have your monitor plugged into the 2nd PCI slot it would be “2:0.0″.



  28. Boz says:

    Should be

    BusId “1:0:0″ or “2:0:0″ … i messed up the second : above.


  29. VGH says:

    Does anybody have issues with switch user ( fast user switch applet )?. I have serious issues with switching users and found that the issue is to do with the NVIDIA Drivers. Every time I attempt to switch user there is a msg that says “There were problems trying to start the X Server”. I have seen the issue with both the 173 and the 177 drivers in two different machines. One has the Geforce FX 5200 card and the other one is a laptop that has the Geforce GO 6800 card. Disabling the Nvidia drivers makes the issue go away.

    Thoughts and solutions ( if solved ) welcome



  30. TWFJR says:

    VGH, yes, adding a user and removing Ubuntu “owner” default user I found that /home/owner was deleted and that caused NVidia Driver issues. Still trying to resolve the graphic drivers issues. Caused a blank screen. Nothing so far is resolving this issue. Tried updates, no solution. Now removing compiz and compiz core. Next will try updating X . . .


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