I've just installed Ubuntu 12.04 on my laptop. The live CD ran perfectly, with all 3d effects available. However, now that I have done a full installation, those effects aren't working.

My graphic card is an nVidia gt252M and I'm running the 64-bit version.

3 Answers 3


Below are instructions for restoring the elegant Unity 3D in your computer:

NOTE: Should work when you have a laptop fitted with MOBILE (GxxxM) Nvidia graphics card and has capability of switching graphics (ie. you have Intel Integrated graphics as well). This is a special case of graphics issue and must be handled differently.

Remove all nvidia drivers, install only x-swat PPAs (uses OpenGL and mesa-libs):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates

or you can manually add in Update Manager settings, in the tab Other Software, type in the following APT line:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates/ubuntu precise main

Then, perform a list update and install the appropriate driver:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-intel

Remove all Nvidia drivers, install mesa-utils:

sudo apt-get remove nvidia-current nvidia-graphics-drivers
sudo apt-get purge nvidia*
sudo apt-get install mesa-utils

Type in the following line in terminal, if there's an error saying no GLX found in display, proceed


Reinstalling all components to refresh:

sudo apt-get install --reinstall xserver-xorg-video-intel libgl1-mesa-glx libgl1-mesa-dri xserver-xorg-core
sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
sudo update-alternatives --remove gl_conf /usr/lib/nvidia-current/ld.so.conf

Reset Unity (CLOSE AND SAVE EVERYTHING BEFORE DOING): (add sudo in front if superuser required)

unity --reset

Now wait till everything stabilises (even though your terminal window will go randomly on top and unmovable, no big deal), then (force?) relog in Ubuntu. You should see your perfect Unity 3D waiting for you.

(Did I mention that this worked so well for me? Had exactly the same problem as you before, searched high and low for solutions that don't apply, finally went through this.)

Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin 64bit, Geforce 310M with CUDA, Intel Core i5-460M.

  • Thanks. This works, but only for the Intel GPU. It doesn't use the more powerful Nvidia GPU because you've remove them all. Are you actually using your 310M chip? How? I've got a Sony Z with switchable graphics between Intel and GeForce 9300M. I can't get X to load nvidia drivers at all. May 14, 2012 at 21:23

Probably you haven't installed the NVIDIA drivers. You have to launch the 'Additional drivers' app to select a 3D graphics driver to install.

  • I do so, but it doesn't show me any driver to install.
    – federico
    May 5, 2012 at 19:39
  • Try if you can install package nvidia-current
    – LiquidPL
    May 5, 2012 at 19:48

Click on the start button, then system, it should show an app for "additional drivers" if not search for it. On my system when I did it it brought up my drivers for my ATI/AMD graphics card. Hope that helps.

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