I've been a follower of Ubuntu for several years now and I've continually had issues upgrading (mostly major upgrades) due to the reboot issues that arise when an nVidia card/driver has been installed (EVGA GeForce 9500 GT). I usually have to resort to a complete re-install to get everything working. My last upgrade was an accidental upgrade (Doh!), as I didn't pay attention to what I was upgrading (110+ packages).

My typical solution has been to remove the graphics card (switching to my motherboard's graphics) and change the Boot type to some mode that will allow me to get to the command line. Then I move the /etc/X11/xorg.conf to reset things.

mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.bak

This will usually allow me to boot and login with decent graphics, but not with all the fancy graphics perks (Unity). I really don't care about all of the fancy visual effects with Ubuntu 11/12 provides. I just want something that works, which is why I moved to Ubuntu in the first place. I prefer simplicity and things that just work.

Should I remove the nVidia graphics card for good this time?

Is there a better alternative graphics card that I should get?


Switching to the nouveau driver in jockey before upgrades is something I have long recommended.

I also always either...

  • ... accept that the proprietary binary driver is going to be buggy for a while after upgrades
  • ... stick with the nouveau open source driver for quite some time after a new release

For more information see Nvidia over ATI: Choosing a video card and At Present Which is the best choice for a Ubuntu graphics card, AMD or nVidia?

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