I have an Alienware M17x R3 laptop with 460M nvidia card. I just got it brand new from Alienware today. Running nvidia driver doesn't work in 10.10 (GDM doesn't load at all), so I switch back to nouveau driver and upgrade to 11.04.

Once the upgrade finishes, when the computer boots up (after GRUB), the screen will continuously flickers like color-changing neon light.

Is my computer not Ubuntu-compatible?


I've been running 11.04 successfully on an nvidia-based Thinkpad for over 5 months, thru multiple configurations and driver options, so you should be able to get things working with relative ease -- barring any weirdness with the Alienware HW I'm not familiar with.

But first I'd suggest you get yourself to what I call a KGC (Known Good Configuration), as your question leaves out all the background stuff I/we need to know to TS effectively.

  1. Do a clean install of Natty 11.04. Accept all the defaults, except one. Wipe your current installation and reformat the drive. I'd suggest EXT4 as a filesystem. Reboot when complete.

  2. Login to your clean install and first and foremost open terminal (or use the graphical update manager if you prefer) and type: "sudo apt-get update" (no quotes; let it do it's thing), then "sudo apt-get upgrade". When complete, reboot.

  3. You should now be in one of two states: an accelerated driver has been installed (the unity panel is displayed on the left side of the screen); or, you're runnning in 2D mode (desktop looks like Maverick 10.10 with gnome panel on top of screen). If the former, you're golden; if the latter...

  4. Do not simply click the driver update icon if it displays. This sometimes installs an older driver which may not be compatible with your newer system. Type and enter "additional drivers". When the dialog displays, choose either the Nvidia (version current) [Recommended] option, or the Experimental 3D support option (nouveau). I've had excellent success with the nouveau driver on my 460-based system. Reboot when complete.

If anything doesn't work as above, write back and detail what you did, and where things fell apart.

  • Sorry, typo on step 4: Type and enter >> Type <ctrl>+<F2> and enter... – Tom Apr 23 '11 at 1:32
  • My previous attempt of installing 11.04 with no special option, 1 drive running ext4 => still has the same neon problem right after installation finishes and first restart. – Dat Chu Apr 23 '11 at 1:55
  • OK, good. Got some background now. We need to get the neon-flash stuff out of the way :-) Reboot, hold down the <shift> key after bios message clears. Choose the command shell option. Login (hardwire laptop if you have no connectivity), and install aptitude (easier syntax to work with): sudo apt-get install aptitude. Now do $ aptitude search nvidia. Tell us what has an "i" beside it. – Tom Apr 23 '11 at 3:16
  • Holding Shift after choosing the Recovery Console still have the same problem. The computer is unusable at this state. Back to 10.10 I go. – Dat Chu Apr 23 '11 at 19:38

Log a bug. Natty is NOT ready and NOT stable. If you need your OS to work then use Lucid or Maverick. If you are happy to stomach feature oles and bugs and want to help get the OS ready for release by logging bugs to inform the devsof issues, then use Natty.

Natty is in Beta....what did you expect??

  • I understand. The question was intended to ask if others who have a similar specification also runs into the same problem. – Dat Chu Apr 23 '11 at 16:57

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