I'm running an older Dell XPS M1730, using Ubuntu-Gnome 14.10 and an Nvidia M8700 graphics card.
With the Nouveau drivers, the system is stable although a little slow (the graphics are running through llvmpipe), but if I use any of the Nvidia proprietary drivers, the system becomes unstable: the graphics freeze. The system remains operational, and often switching to a tty and back to graphics mode restores the graphics for a while.
Things I have tried:
- Ubuntu 14.10 / Gnome, Nvidia 304, 331, 340, Bumblebee
- Ubuntu 14.10 / Unity, Nvidia 304, 331, 340, Bumblebee
- Mint 17.1 (utter failure)
- Ubuntu 14.04.1 / Unity, NVidia-331
- Nvidia-331 / Ubuntu 14.04.1 has a known bug reported on Launchpad
- Nvidia-340 / Ubuntu 14.04.1
- NVidia-304 / Ubuntu 14.04.1 - this one seems to be working, although the machine sometimes freezes when Google Chrome is being used.
Overall this appears to be a kernel issue between this particular graphics device (the 8700M) and the kernel - I have not been able to find any logs indicating a crash or halt, and little other information other than the current problem with kernel 3.13.0-45 and nvidia-331