Ubuntu – How to get NVidia GeForce GT 210 drivers working on Lucid Lynx


I have a workstation with NVIDIA GeForce GT 210 graphics card & Ubuntu 10.4, and am having rather annoying problems trying to get them working together. (On other machines and earlier Ubuntu versions I've been a pretty happy NVIDIA user though.)

First of all, simply using the NVIDIA driver automatically suggested by "Adminstration -> Hardware drivers" didn't work at all. Based on this answer, I tried with drivers straight from NVIDIA, and got it working for a while. But now (perhaps due to reboot, or apt-get upgrade) I'm out of luck again.

There now seems to be a conflict with the Nouveau driver. I've tried removing it:

  • apt-get --purge remove xserver-xorg-video-nouveau (as suggested here) and reboot

  • I've also tried modprobe -r nouveau but it gives FATAL: Module nouveau is in use.

But when trying to (re-)execute NVidia's installer (NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-256.53.run)
it keeps complaining about Nouveau. I'm starting to run out of ideas, so any help would be welcome!

Best Answer

Seems that once I got over this problem, I was able to switch to using a newer kernel (automatically installed by apt-get upgrade: 2.6.32-21 to 2.6.32-25), and with that kernel the Nouveau module was no longer in use (probably due to removing the xserver-xorg-video-nouveau package?).

Then, after installing appropriate linux-headers packages, the NVIDIA installer agreed to proceed and it rebuilt the kernel module and took it into use.

Then some dual-monitor configuration, and everything seems to be pretty smooth, finally. Whew. :-)

(Problems with the non-NVIDIA drivers included: 1) for VGA output the image was in the wrong place horizontally; you couldn't get it right even by manually adjusting the monitor 2) colours (or contrast) for DVI and VGA output were very different. There's only one DVI output in the card so I need to use VGA for the other monitor.)

I'm not sure if anyone will face exactly the same kind of mess that I did, but, to recap, for anyone else with the same or similar graphics card:

  • You can get NVidia GeForce GT 210 to work just fine on Ubuntu 10.04.
  • Get the drivers directly from NVIDIA (as described here), but before installing them, get rid of Nouveau completely.

Edit: Removing Nouveau drivers

I had to set up my machine all over again (due to the system disk, an Intel X25-M SSD, breaking down and having to be replaced...), this time bypassing any eCryptfs problems, so now it's a bit clearer to me how exactly you can remove and disable the Nouveau drivers (to be able to install NVIDIA ones):

  1. apt-get --purge remove xserver-xorg-video-nouveau
  2. As described in this answer: edit /etc/default/grub and add the line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="nouveau.modeset=0"
  3. sudo update-grub
  4. Reboot

After that, you should be able to install NVIDIA drivers without conflicts with Nouveau.

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