I was having serious Xorg freezing problems with my ATI Graphics card - but Unity was loading.

So I removed it in favor of a new Nvidia card. During the initial boot-up before I could install the Nvidia drivers, I got a message that said "Your hardware can not support Unity, so you will be loaded into Classic Ubuntu".

Since then I've installed the official Nvidia drivers and everything is running great, but I can't get Unity to restart.

Every time I reboot or login / logout I still get Gnome, even when I'm picking "Ubuntu" from the login menu.

Any suggestions?

  • So turns out it's a well documented problem with the new Nvidia driver and Unity 3d. Joy. – stevecomrie May 6 '11 at 5:16

There seem to be problems with many nVidia cards, so many are blacklisted from propietary drivers, and their users are recommended to use Unity 2D in the meantime. Please run in a terminal:

/usr/lib/nux/unity_support_test -p

and post the output to get a better diagnosis. I assume your video card is relatively new, so the problem is most likely driver-related.

Alternatively, you could force Unity 3D by adding


to your /etc/environment file, which will bypass support check and start Unity anyways. If your video card is unsupported/blacklisted, though, you might experience a drop in performance, visual artifacts, etc.

  • thanks for the help. I've since tried a vast number of things including everything you've mentioned and count not get Unity 3D up and running and Unity 2D doesn't even come close to the same feel. I've moved back to Gnome for the time being. – stevecomrie May 16 '11 at 6:37
  • Also, just for the record, here's the output of my unity_support_test X Error of failed request: BadWindow (invalid Window parameter) Major opcode of failed request: 138 (NV-GLX) Minor opcode of failed request: 4 () Resource id in failed request: 0x1ff Serial number of failed request: 32 Current serial number in output stream: 32 – stevecomrie May 16 '11 at 6:38

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