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The program says:

"No proprietary drivers are in use on this system"

But it doesn't say if it is talking about graphical drivers only or what.

Then, it lists two drivers:

NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver (version 173).
NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver (version current) [recomended]

Both have exactly the same description. What is the difference between them, then??. Moreover,

  1. When I select the 1st one, it says: "This driver is not activated",and there's a button to "activate" it.
  2. When I select the 2nd one, it says: "This driver is activated but it is not currently in use", and the button is to "remove".

So, which one is in use?. Why, or what for, should I have one activated (enabled) but not in use? If a driver is in use it means it is activated? (as I see it can be activated but not in use).

What is the difference between deactivate and remove?, and what is the relationship between: installed, activated, in use, and enabled; and between: removed, disabled, inactive and not-installed?
Why can I activate the inactivated and remove (but not deactivate) the activated that is not in use?

All this is very puzzling...

What other drivers can I use for an Apple MacBook pro 3,1 and how? I see that there's a nouveau and I heard that there was going to be a new open source even better.

> -display               
>        description: VGA compatible controller
>        product: G84 [GeForce 8600M GT]
>        vendor: nVidia Corporation

PLEASE STOP DELETING THIS: 1.As I have written several times, the system is Natty, and the questions remain the same. 2. The package nvidia-current is installed.

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1 Answer

The difference between each proprietary driver is explained in my answer here: http://askubuntu.com/a/218181/7035

Since you are a Geforce 8600M GT then in my answer you can find which one to install.

Along with that, the "No proprietary drivers are in use on this system" message appears since there could be other proprietary drivers apart from the video card. There are other proprietary drivers that the Additional Drivers checks when looking for proprietary drivers, some are:

So the message simply states that it could not find any proprietary drivers IN USE in your system. Which means you have not yet installed any proprietary drivers.

For the mouthful of words when you asked: "What is the difference between activate and remove? and what is the relationship between installed, activated, in use, enabled and removed, disabled, inactive and not-installed?" all I can say is:

Active - When you are using a proprietary driver at that moment
Remove - Remove
Installed - You installed this proprietary driver but you are no using it at the moment.

Since you are asking that part I suggest you read on some proprietary driver installation problems from this question: http://askubuntu.com/a/194628/7035 also as yo mention, you are using 11.04. Going back to 11.04 and checking it out, I figure that, in that time, there was a version difference between both options (Version 173 and Version Current), but since Natty was still receiving updates (Ended on October of this year), both got to a point of having the same version, same description and basically installing the same one, but jockey on the other hand, did not update this so this could mean that:

  • Bug in Jockey that they forgot to remove the (Version 173) and leave the recommended
  • Both packages actually install the same package (But this still confuses the end user, since a single option should be made)

For both cases I really suggest upgrading the system, here are the reasons, specifically for your question:

  1. Between 11.10, 12.04 and 12.10 there were many MANY bugs fixed in regards to jockey, so much so that jockey is not used as seen in 11.04 but rather a more friendly approach to installing and configuring proprietary driver.

  2. Jockey is known to have some driver confusion from time to time and it was becoming hard to work with it (Examples like this) so some work was done to simplify jockey into the Update Manager and Software Sources.

My guess is that you are using 11.04 because of Gnome 2, which actually leaves me with little answers if you do not want to upgrade because of Unity/Gnome3 and performance penalties. My suggestion is, since you found a bug, publish it in Launchpad describing this same problem (Because if it confuses you, imagine how many other people will be confused by it also) and to install any of the 2 drivers, or simply go to the terminal and install the nvidia-current package.

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It is really VERY confusing that after saying that there are NO proprietary drivers in use, then lists two: one is active (?) the other not, but non in use(?). Only two. Only video drivers are mentioned. Why those? A normal user cannot know why those two and why only those two. And the others?... you have to go and look somewhere else or what? Lack of information in an information system. –  Robert Vila Nov 23 '12 at 3:42
"Active - When you are using a proprietary driver at that moment"?? As I said, jockey says that I have an active driver, an inactive driver, and non of them is in use. The difference between remove and deactivate is not clear, either. I am going to check the links you suggest, thank you. –  Robert Vila Nov 23 '12 at 3:46
You should add to your question what version of Ubuntu you are talking about and if you updated that version. –  Luis Alvarado Nov 23 '12 at 3:48
Your first link is very informative, but it doesn't explain the difference between the two drivers that jockey-gtk lists in my case, and that have exactly the same descriptions. I'm using Natty in an Apple macbook-pro 3,1 (it is a pity my profile is disabled (or I don't know what, every week)), now but probably reinstall Pangolin here as soon as I know how to install properly grub so that I can boot from usb in this Apple with dual boot. –  Robert Vila Nov 23 '12 at 4:49
Updated answer since the explanation is too big to be in the comments. –  Luis Alvarado Nov 23 '12 at 13:14
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