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My system has a NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700LE. I just performed a clean install of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (ubuntu-12.04.1-desktop-i386.iso).

The first boot after installation, the icons on the Unity Launcher are invisible. open source driver

In a terminal, I run /usr/lib/nux/unity_support_test -p It confirms that I am running Unity 3D with the open source video driver.

mmorris@ion:~$ /usr/lib/nux/unity_support_test -p
nvfx_screen_get_param:95 -  Warning: unknown PIPE_CAP 30
nvfx_screen_get_param:95 -  Warning: unknown PIPE_CAP 30
nvfx_screen_get_param:95 -  Warning: unknown PIPE_CAP 55
nvfx_screen_get_param:95 -  Warning: unknown PIPE_CAP 56
nvfx_screen_get_param:95 -  Warning: unknown PIPE_CAP 59
nvfx_screen_get_param:95 -  Warning: unknown PIPE_CAP 58
nvfx_screen_get_param:95 -  Warning: unknown PIPE_CAP 30
OpenGL vendor string:   nouveau
OpenGL renderer string: Gallium 0.4 on NV36
OpenGL version string:  1.5 Mesa 8.0.4

Not software rendered:    yes
Not blacklisted:          yes
GLX fbconfig:             yes
GLX texture from pixmap:  yes
GL npot or rect textures: yes
GL vertex program:        yes
GL fragment program:      yes
GL vertex buffer object:  yes
GL framebuffer object:    yes
GL version is 1.4+:       yes

Unity 3D supported:       yes

Clearly there is an issue ... besides the invisible Unity Launcher icons there are those warning.

I install the restricted NVIDIA driver (version 173-updates) and reboot. The icons on the Unity Launcher are now visible. enter image description here

In a terminal, I run /usr/lib/nux/unity_support_test -p It confirms that I am running Unity 2D with the NVIDIA 173.14.35 video driver. That is great, but Unity 2D?

So I find this, Why is my card Unity blacklisted with all the requirements fulfilled? Which leads me to this, Force Unity / Compiz to Run, Natty Narwhal So in a terminal I run:

sudo cp /etc/environment /etc/environment.orig
sudo bash -c "echo UNITY_FORCE_START=1 >> /etc/environment"

After a reboot, the icons on the Unity Launcher are invisible again. enter image description here This leads be to believe the issue is not with the video drivers, rather with Unity, specifically Unity 3D. Can anyone further this?

You can go back to Unity 2D and visible Unity Launcher icons with:

sudo mv /etc/environment.orig /etc/environment

btw I beginning to feel that LTS for 12.04 means, Long Time before Stable.

@fabricator4 Not able to comment yet in here so will answer here.

Please re-read my question. The issue with Unity 3D on my system started with the Nouveau open source drives and exists with NVIDIA too. Hence my hypothesis that it is something in Unity 3D, rather than the drivers.

I have been actively using Ubuntu since 8.04 or so. Actively as in tossed out Windows and run Ubuntu on 2 desktops and 3 laptops. For as much as I have seen on the Internet about Ubuntu 12.04 and video drivers (open source, NVIDIA, ATI) / Unity issues / X issues, I cannot believe that 12.04 LTS is nearly as stable as 10.04 LTS was. What is a desktop install of and operating system worth if the UI is glitchy at best. Unity could use some more time in the oven.

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closed as not a real question by mikewhatever, hexafraction, Ringtail, Takkat, Thomas Ward Oct 27 '12 at 22:22

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I have the same problem with 12.04 LTS and Nvidia. I managed to find one of the drivers that kind of performed OK but had graphics corruption when coming back to X from a console and the performance was terrible.

In the end I reverted to the Nouveau driver and have been happy with it ever since. It was a trade off of expected features for stability and performance.

"btw I beginning to feel that LTS for 12.04 means, Long Time before Stable."

Not true. Unfortunately the Nvidia modules are third party, we have to put up with what someone else writes. Try the Nouveau open source module and see how it goes for you.

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