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Old 03-01-07, 02:18 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 16
Default nVidia driver 1.0-96xx causes glitches, artifacts and crashes on Ubuntu Edgy/Feisty

I tried using the nVidia 1.0-96xx graphics driver on Ubuntu Edgy/Feisty with a GeForce2 MX Integrated Graphics Card. However, the driver is completely unusable on my system, it messes up the entire screen with graphical noise and a lot of glitches, for example:

1) When scrolling up or down in any widget, the lines get mixed up. This applies to lists as well as textboxes and every other control that has scrollbars. I observed it in Gedit, Gnome Control Center, Synaptic, Gnome Terminal etc. pp.

2) Using the 1.0-96xx driver causes the System to crash withaut any apparent cause. I haven't been able to find any steps to reproduce these crashes, they seem to happen randomly.

3) The area that was obscured by a window or menu is not properly redrawn when the window is moved or the menu is closed. The formerly-obscured area is filled with graphical noise, every now and then mixing in what seems to be distorted pixmaps from some kind of cache.

4) The pixmaps that show up in these areas seem to originate from some kind of cache. For instance, on one occasion i spotted the background image from a website which i visited with firefox some minutes earlier. On another occasion, it showed what looked like a distorted screenshot of Evolution, probably cached by the X server.

5) Most interesting observation: This "screenshot" of evolution was actually from Evolution run by *another user * on *another Ubuntu installation* installed on *another partition* of the same machine. Both installations share a swap partition; My guess is that Ubuntu's X server cached the pixmap of evolution, that the cached pixmap got stored in the swap partition, and that the graphics driver for some unknown reason reads the cached X data from the swap partition and uses it to render my desktop.

This behaviour makes the nVidia 1.0-96xx driver unusable for me. The 1.0-8776 driver, the latest version to work correctly on my machine, is not buildable on Ubuntu Feisty, i think it has problems with Feisty's 2.6.20 kernels. The free/open-source nv driver works flawlessly, but its usage entails sacrificing any and all 3D applications. However, given the above, the nv driver is all I get on Feisty.

I noticed these things in every 1.0-96xx version of nvidia's driver that i have tried, including the driver currently included in ubuntu's repository (1.0.9631+ The 1.0-8xxx drivers worked flawlessly. Compiling the drivers from source doesn't work on Feisty, and didn't solve the problem on Edgy: Same effects.

Painting random pixmaps from some X cache is also a serious security breach; showing a "screenshot" of evolution, with emails recently received by a different user running a different operating system installed in a different partition is clearly unacceptable.

I have added my xorg.conf and two screenshots to give you an impression of this bug. For more information, please see:

Help is very much appreciated. At the very least, I'd like to have instructions on how to install the 1.0-8776 version on Feisty's 2.6.20 kernels. A bugfix or workaround would be even better, of course.
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