Ubuntu Nvidia borkage
I see a load of people over on the Ubuntu forums getting their daily borkage fix trying to install the “nvidia-current” driver so they can get that much desired full 3D acceleration out of their cards.
Debian and Nvidia over the years
As a Debian user who suffered for years with Nvidia, enough to change to Ati, I know all about Nvidia borkage.
Ati to Nvidia
Anyway, long story short, needed the 1Gb Ati card for my Debian media center, so ended up having to use a 256Mb Nvidia GeForce 8400 GS on the office box, which due to boredom just got Ubuntu 12.10 installed on it.
Necessities for installing anything
Couple of things here that are regulars for us Debian users, which the Ubuntu crowd rarely post about. Mesa-Utils, and (the essential) Module-Assistant, as it gets your headers, build-essential and all manner of “compile-ready” bits n bobs.
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install module-assistant mesa-utils
Module assistant will run off and fetch everything you need to compile and load any kernel module, from graphics card drivers to wireless firmware. This usually includes build-essential and your kernel-headers amongst other things. So just tell it to prepare your system with a simple:
sudo m-a prepare
Installing the proprietary Nvidia kernel module/driver
sudo apt-get install nvidia-current
Now just reboot and fire up glxgears (from the mesa-utils package) in the terminal and watch those pretty cogs show you how fast your 3D accelerated Nvidia card is.