Natty: Cannot boot with proprietary NVIDIA driver for GeForce 8800 GT.

Bug #737755 reported by moma
This bug affects 13 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
nvidia-graphics-drivers (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I try to test Ubuntu 11.04 with Nvidia's proprietary [Recommended] driver.
After restart the splash screen (with Ubuntu logo) simply freezes. It never comes to Unity or GNOME desktop.

This computer has NVIDIA Corporation G92 [GeForce 8800 GT] graphics card.

1) I have downloaded Natty daily and installed it from a USB-pen drive.
$ uname -a
Linux natty64 2.6.38-7-generic #35-Ubuntu SMP Tue Mar 15 21:33:06 UTC 2011 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

2) Activated the "NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver (version current) [Recommended]" in the Additional Drivers dialog. The installation completes OK and I reboot the computer.

$ dpkg -l | grep -i nvidia
ii nvidia-common 0.2.28 Find obsolete NVIDIA drivers
ii nvidia-current 270.30-0ubuntu1 NVIDIA binary Xorg driver, kernel module and VDPAU library
ii nvidia-settings 270.29-0ubuntu1 Tool of configuring the NVIDIA graphics driver

3) Ubuntu freezes during reboot.
The screen shows a Ubuntu-logo with some dots. It never comes to the desktop.

$ lspci -vv | grep -i nvidia
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation G92 [GeForce 8800 GT] (rev a2) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. Device 8261

$ lsb_release -rd
Description: Ubuntu Natty (development branch)
Release: 11.04

Revision history for this message
Mikhail Turov (groldster) wrote :

i have the same problem with nvidia driver. while updating nvidia-current from 270.29 there was a problem:

Setting up nvidia-current (270.30-0ubuntu3) ...
update-alternatives: using /usr/lib/nvidia-current/ to provide /etc/ (gl_conf) in auto mode.
update-alternatives: warning: skip creation of /usr/lib32/vdpau/ because associated file /usr/lib32/nvidia-current/vdpau/ (of link group gl_conf) doesn't exist.
update-alternatives: warning: skip creation of /usr/lib32/ because associated file /usr/lib32/nvidia-current/vdpau/ (of link group gl_conf) doesn't exist.

Revision history for this message
moma (osmoma) wrote :

Today's updates (for Sat 19.march.2011) fixed a lot of things.
I did:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get -y upgrade
$ sudo apt-get -y dist-upgrade

I can now login and boot into the Unity desktop.

$ find /lib/modules/ -type f -ls -iname '*.ko' | grep -E "/nvidia-current.ko|/nvidia-173.ko|/nvidia-96.ko|/fglrx.ko"
921607 13248 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 13562440 Mar 19 11:18 /lib/modules/2.6.38-7-generic/updates/dkms/nvidia-current.ko

$ grep -E "LoadModule:.*\"nvidia|fglrx\"" /var/log/Xorg.0.log
[ 23.586] (II) LoadModule: "nvidia"

However the Unity-desktop is very unstable.
Sometimes windows' titlebar/border disappears. This command brings it back
$ compiz --replace &

ALT+TAB freezes the desktop.

Revision history for this message
moma (osmoma) wrote :

I want to add this comment to complete my test on

Testing the 3D driver
$ glxgears
32996 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6599.192 FPS
45425 frames in 5.0 seconds = 9084.796 FPS
46903 frames in 5.0 seconds = 9380.541 FPS
47232 frames in 5.0 seconds = 9446.309 FPS
47127 frames in 5.0 seconds = 9425.232 FPS

Glxgears run really badly. The gears are hardly moving and it's very difficult to move the window.
The fans in the cabin or GPU kick inn.

$ torcs
TORCS, The Open Racing Car Simulator runs well. It's absolutely ok.

Revision history for this message
Jean-Baptiste Lallement (jibel) wrote :

Thanks for your report.

The freeze you reported originally was probably cause d by the ABI change to X 1.10. There has been a short period of time during which the driver and X were out of sync, that's why the update fixed it.

About the Unity unstability, do you have accessibility enabled on your system ?
To check this open the accessibility preferences dialog:
  * With Unity click on the top-right 'Power' icon, select 'System settings' then 'Assistive technologies'
  * With classic desktop: Click on the top left icon, select 'System/Preferences/Assistive technologies'

And check that none of the checkbox is checked.

If assistive technologies is not enabled and you are experiencing the Unity freeze with Alt+tab or other action could you please file a new report against Unity with the command: ubuntu-bug unity

About the performance issue, is it just that the rendering of glxgears being stall or the performance being bad ? If so, what performances do you usually get with this system and what is the degradation compared to a previous version of the driver ?

Changed in nvidia-graphics-drivers (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: New → Incomplete
Revision history for this message
Richard (richpaulfahey) wrote :

Can I add that I experienced exactly the same problem with a Geforce 8600GT after installing Nvidia's proprietary [Recommended] driver on a fresh natty64 install, but as with the OP, it was fixed with a fresh natty install the following week (previous install also had message regarding ABI). I post because I also experience glxgears bringing the system to a state where it can run still, but is extremely slow. Will wait for next weeks test to see if it improves.

Revision history for this message
Julie (dionj-sympatico) wrote :

@ Mikhail Turov

I got the same problem with a Geforce 8400M GS. But I downgrade the driver to version 173.14.30 as a workaround.

Revision history for this message
kriekske (kriekske) wrote :

I got also this problem.
I also have a Geforce 8400M GS and the problem exist with Natty, Lucid and Maverick.
How can I downgrade the driver?

Revision history for this message
Jukka Siitari (reed-siitari) wrote :

Same problem here, but with a different nVidia card and driver, see

Revision history for this message
skidzo (eckjoh2) wrote :

Sligthly different problem here after dist-upgrading to kubuntu natty

with a nvidia quadro 4000.

Installing the restricted (recommended driver)

Restarting gives me a black screen (not even the underline), the system is up (i can log in from ssh)
none of the keyboard shortcuts work, to get me a shell.

Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

[Expired for nvidia-graphics-drivers (Ubuntu) because there has been no activity for 60 days.]

Changed in nvidia-graphics-drivers (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Expired
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