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So I know this has been posted a few times, I have searched and tried options but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to install my video card drivers.

Where I stand now: Fresh install of 12.04 with default nouveau drivers What I have: GF nvidia 8500GT (amd) / 2x 23 inch monitors. one is rotated landscape*

using nouveau i get weird issues like screen breaks. I have tried installing the additional drivers before, it just makes my system hang at boot. I have also disabled the nouveau driver. This got me into unity, but i could not see my 2nd monitor. Displays said i had 1 single monitor with a huge resolution.

I then tried to set my monitor with nvidia-config, this worked however i cant rotate in twinview. I tried to setup xinemama and that just broke everything, it was saying i had 4 monitors and 2 devices. just all kinds of bad.

So what im looking for is, which driver should i be using? I see people using nouveau, Nvidia (Additional Drivers), Nvidia (From their site), X-Swat Drivers, and Bumblebee.

I think once i figure out exactly which solution is best for me, i can better understand how to install and setup my drivers.

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Side note: Using nouveau with a rotated monitor breaks unity. Had to remove my monitor.xml to log back in. –  remlabm May 20 '12 at 21:03
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2 Answers 2

I my experience, with a number of different Nvidia graphic cards, using the up-to-date drivers from the Ubuntu-X (X-Swat) team is the best solution. It is one of the first things I do when installing Ubuntu on a system that has a Nvidia graphics card.

Install in terminal:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

After installing the drivers be sure to reboot!

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I have tried that, want able to get back to unity, though i may have messed up the procedure somewhere. You dont have to blacklist nouveau before you install x-swat? –  remlabm May 20 '12 at 21:03
    
When installing nvidia-current from x-swats ppa, you shouldn't need to configure the chosen driver that your system uses. Get back to me if you choose to do it this way. :) –  loklaan May 22 '12 at 2:24
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the bumblebee driver is only or a particular group of nvidia chips---marketed as Optimus. If you do not have optimus, you do not need or want that. vga-switcharoo is for the same purpose. (I forget the difference)

If nouveau works for you, you should use that over nvidia, as Ubuntu developers cannot fix problems in the nvidia driver if you end up having them, this is due to the nouveau driver being Free and Open Source Software

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