Recently I upgraded from 8.04 LTS to 10.04.

The previous version had some problems regarding screen settings. X only recognised 1024x768 as resolution of my monitor, mainly because the monitor was not identified correctly.

With 10.04 the monitor and its resolutions are identified correctly and the system chooses a better resolution.

But now the fonts seem blurry. They are hard to read. I tried a larger font size which improves the situation a bit. I also played around with nvidia-settings. If I choose 1024x768 again, the fonts look good. Also some resolutions with specific refresh rates seem better. Another thing I tried was to change hinting settings. However the best variant was already chosen.

So I've run out of ideas for a solution. Do you have any hints?

My graphics card is nVidia Corporation C68 GeForce 7050 PV / nForce 630a (rev a2).

  • Post more information about your monitor: is it a CRT or an LCD?
    – Broam
    Aug 2, 2010 at 14:58
  • Is it all fonts, or just some?
    – mlissner
    Aug 3, 2010 at 20:12
  • It is a CRT monitor. All I can tell is that the manufacturer is Medion, a german based hardware company. I have no manual or something for it.
    – qbi
    Aug 3, 2010 at 21:49

4 Answers 4


You might be using wrong settings for subpixel hinting - it might be turned on when it shouldn't be, depending on your monitor. I've found that 10.04 defaults to having it turned on with LCD panels (haven't tested a CRT in a while.)

Your panel might be also returning the wrong information about the color order.

Check the Appearance settings. nvidia-settings may override the Free Software stack - there's a lot of points where nvidia driver does odd things. Try temporarily removing the nvidia driver to let nouveau drive the hardware and see if the situation improves.

As of note nouveau in Ubuntu 10.04 does not have 3D acceleration, but is quite fine in 2D.

  • I tried it, but nouveau sets the screen resolution to 800x600 (or 640x480). ATM I'm trying to find a way to fix this.
    – qbi
    Aug 3, 2010 at 21:44
  • Restarting gdm was not enough. When I restarted the whole system the resolution was correct, but the blurry fonts stayed.
    – qbi
    Aug 5, 2010 at 13:24
  • Now that you're trying nouveae, see Marcelo's answer.
    – Broam
    Aug 5, 2010 at 14:58

I've read that in 8.04 all vertical lines in fonts are drawn sharply, but in following releases, vertical lines in fonts are blurred a little. It may or may not be the problem you're having, but it's worth looking at. This blog post explains how to revert the setting.

  • The original author of the blog article had a LCD monitor. I'm using a CRT. When I tried his suggestion the situation got a bit worse. So I went back to my defaults.
    – qbi
    Aug 5, 2010 at 13:25
  • Darn. Well, it was worth a shot. I hope you find the right answer. Aug 5, 2010 at 16:20

Try changing the font rendering options.

Start with...

System > Preferences > Appearance > Fonts > Details

... and play with the smoothing and hinting options. I know I played a while until I felt the fonts were well rendered.


I played around with my installation in the last few days. What seemed to help was uninstall all nvidia stuff, remove the old /etc/X11/xorg.conf and reinstall nvidia again. I'll have to go through this old xorg.conf. Maybe there was some strange setting.

I could manage to start the Nouveau driver, but there was no real improvement regarding font settings. The only drawback it had, was the missing 3d acceleration. Thatswhy I went back to nvidia binaries. However in a few weeks I'll try nouveau again. Maybe it has improved in some way.

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