gnome-display-properties shows warning if proprietary NVIDIA driver is installed but not used

Bug #529282 reported by Rocko on 2010-02-28
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-control-center (Ubuntu)
Ubuntu Desktop Bugs

Bug Description

Binary package hint: gnome-media

If you install nvidia-current but have no xorg.conf file, Lucid boots X using the nouveau driver. However, it also loads the nvidia module and when you run gnome-display-properties, it says that it appears your graphics driver does not support the necessary extensions to run this tool. It should work, though, since the nvidia module is not being used.

ProblemType: Bug
Architecture: amd64
CheckboxSubmission: 1bd8e90541d49b96c13cbfcc9baf103b
CheckboxSystem: d00f84de8a555815fa1c4660280da308
Date: Sun Feb 28 08:42:39 2010
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 10.04
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.04 "Lucid Lynx" - Alpha amd64 (20100224.1)
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
Package: gnome-media 2.29.91-0ubuntu1
 PATH=(custom, user)
SourcePackage: gnome-media
Uname: Linux 2.6.33-generic x86_64

Rocko (rockorequin) wrote :
Anzenketh (anzenketh) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better.

You have a lot of useful information on your bug report however it is still missing some key points. I would like to confirm that your bug exists but I don't have enough information.

Unfortunately, we can't fix it because your description didn't include enough information. You may find it helpful to read "How to report bugs effectively" We'd be grateful if you would then provide a more complete description of the problem. We have instructions on debugging some types of problems at
At a minimum, we need:
1. the specific steps or actions you took that caused you to encounter the problem,(Please be exact as possible this is so we can confirm your bug.)
2. the behavior you expected, and
3. the behavior you actually encountered (in as much detail as possible).

When reporting bugs in the future please use apport, either via the appropriate application's "Help -> Report a Problem" menu or using 'ubuntu-bug' and the name of the package affected. You can learn more about this functionality at

Changed in gnome-media (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
Rocko (rockorequin) wrote :

(1) To reproduce this:

Set up:

* Install nvidia-current (I used Synaptic).

* Ensure that /etc/X11/xorg.conf does not exist (delete it if necessary).

* Reboot and login in. At this boot you should be using the nouveau driver because xorg.conf is not specifying nvidia. Confirm that the nvidia module is loaded with:

lsmod | grep nvidia

Reproduction of problem:

* Run gnome-display-properties, either from the command line, or via the System / Prefs / Display menu option.

(2) What should happen:

gnome-display-properties should display its standard window and allow you to change screen resolution, etc, as it does after a fresh installation.

(3) What actually happens:

gnome-display-properties says:

"It appears your graphics driver does not support the necessary extensions to use this tool. Do you want to use your graphics driver vendor's tool instead? No / Yes."

This is the message it normally displays when you *are* running the nvidia module.

Note that it tells the truth - if you select 'No' and continue to use gnome-display-properties, it does not detect monitors or change screen resolution.

However, if you select 'Yes' and have it run nvidia-settings, nvidia-settings says you aren't using the nvidia module and it can't do anything either.

Assigned to nvidia-graphics-drivers due the .deb file needs to uninstall nouveau on install.

summary: - gnome-display-properties does not work if you install nvidia-current
+ Nvidia drivers on install will not uninstall nouveau
affects: gnome-media (Ubuntu) → nvidia-graphics-drivers (Ubuntu)
Anzenketh (anzenketh) wrote :

Before this is ready for a developer we need to know what versions of nvidia do not uninstall nouveau.

If someone else beats me to this please include version number of the package this can be done by running.

apt-cache policy <<package>>

Rocko (rockorequin) wrote :

fwiw, I'm running nvidia-current 195.36.03.

Surely nvidia shouldn't uninstall the nouveau driver? What happens if the nvidia module fails to load, for instance? Does it fall back to the old nv driver?

Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson) wrote :

This needs to be fixed in gnome-control-center really (if possible). I will look at that when I do the next g-c-c update

affects: nvidia-graphics-drivers (Ubuntu) → gnome-control-center (Ubuntu)
Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Ubuntu Desktop Bugs (desktop-bugs)
importance: Undecided → Low
status: Incomplete → Triaged
summary: - Nvidia drivers on install will not uninstall nouveau
+ gnome-display-properties shows warning if proprietary NVIDIA driver is
+ installed but not used
Alberto Milone (albertomilone) wrote :

While it's true that Nvidia's X.Org driver is not used unless you enable it in your xorg.conf, installing the nvidia package will blacklist the nouveau kernel module and make your system use Nvidia's implementation of the GL libraries, etc.

Under this conditions it's expected that nouveau doesn't work correctly.

I suggest that you enable and disable the nvidia driver with Jockey instead of installing the packages manually.

Anzenketh (anzenketh) wrote :

I believe I tested with Jockey and it also had the same issue.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

the warning got dropped since, closing that bug

Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Invalid
Rocko (rockorequin) wrote :

In which version of apport was the question/warning dropped? It is still present in version 1.23-0ubuntu3.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

that's a gnome-control-center bug you comment on, not an apport one?

Rocko (rockorequin) wrote :

Apologies. You are right - I confused this with a different bug.

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