Howto Fix window titlebar drawing problems with NVIDIA gfx using 180.08 beta driver in Intrepid

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The latest NVIDIA drivers are 177 in the repos. This causes a bug with the new Intrepid Kernel causing the window title bars on some systems to draw incorrectly. It tends to be an intermittent problem. This is a temporary fix using the NVIDIA 180.08 beta drivers.

First you need to download 180.08 (BETA) for Linux x86/x86-64 from here

  • Download the file you need for your architecture. It's for x86.
  • Close all applications and save everything.
  • Press CTRL+ALT+F1.
  • Log in. Then run "sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop" to kill you XWindows session.
  • Go into the directory where you put the driver and run
  • "sudo sh" or the relevant command if you downloaded the 64-bit version.
  • It will try to download a module, then ultimately recompile a new one.
  • To get XWindows running again you log back into XWindows using the following command

sudo /etc/init.d/gdm start

  • When you log back into XWindows, the new driver should be active and the window drawing problem gone.

Hopefully NVIDIA will release a finished driver that will find its way into the repos soon.

If you want to go back to you old driver, you can do it using System / Administration / Hardware Drivers. It will still display the old one active in there, just swap to a different one, activate it, then swap back.

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10 Responses

  1. alex says:

    thank you, thank you, thank you!
    this bug was driving me insane. your instructions worked perfectly, and i no longer have glitching window titles.
    for anyone interested, im running {Linux ubuntu 2.6.27-10-generic #1 SMP Fri Nov 21 19:19:18 UTC 2008 x86_64 GNU/Linux} on an mt3422 gateway laptop with an nvidia 6100 go card. running full compiz effects, and dust theme.

  2. Vadi says:

    Good job, because you won’t just go back to the new driver when Ubuntu adds it. It’ll all break down, say module not found, and be a hell + a pita.

    The only proper way I found for this is to properly deactivate the driver first, then install nvidia. When upgrade comes, run “sudo nvidia-uninstall” and install Ubuntu’s only.

    This way, it completely screws the computer over. Speaking from personal experience! 🙂

  3. Pippi89 says:

    I followed your instuctions and the problem disappeared. But a difference problem appeared, my screen shifted to the right until I use Ctrl + Alt + F1. I don’t know how to fix it

  4. poopdancer says:

    Thank you So much,

    This was driving me Nuts. almost made me want to get rid of ubuntu.

  5. DsMantle says:

    Thanks for this post! Also fixed my issue with the Avant Window Navigator with the floating white bars!

  6. Jeremy says:

    Cheers – worked exactly as you described. One final step for nvidia users with multiple monitors is that after installing the new driver you have to reconfigure the Nvidia X Server Settings via Applications > System Tools. Not a big deal though.

  7. deSigi says:

    Thank you!

    I had tried the step by step procedure by Nvidia but it didn’t work. Had to reinstall Ubuntu because of it. I’m not sure what is different in your procedure but thanks again!

  8. Brian says:

    I am being affected with this… however I’m using a FX5200 which is stated as only being supported through the 173.14.x driver. Do you know if this beta driver will work with my FX5200 even though it’s not listed — or will Nvidia release an updated driver for the 173.14.x?

    Also, what is the previous driver to 173.14.12 — and would that yield me better results?


  9. Fernando says:


    I followed your instructions and it worked like a charm. The anoying title bar bug is gone


  10. jay says:

    The bug seems to be fixed in 9.04. I’m using the 180 nvidia driver without issue. Ubuntu 8.10 + nvidia 180 was still buggy for me.

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