Upgrading Nvidia 96xx from Ubuntu 8.04 to 8.10

Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.

If you’re concerned about losing your accelerated graphics on an out-of-date Nvidia card with the upgrade from Ubuntu 8.04 to 8.10 … don’t be.

Now that the video drivers have been updated for 8.10 and the system can build a proper driver for older hardware, the jump from 8.04 to 8.10 will keep the flair.

Just as a test request for ian, I went through the four hour drag it took to install Hardy, update it, install the video driver, then make the jump to Intrepid and do it over again.

The long and short is that it works fine, although there are some hiccups here and there. For one thing, the update tool is going to tell you that you’ll lose the fancy graphics with the upgrade. And that is true.

But so long as you’re updating from a recent repository (and in this case, recent is anything that has been updated within the past three weeks), you’re going to get the fresh version of the modaliases package, which means that you’ll get the improved driver and your accelerated graphics will still work.

Curiously though, Ubuntu knows enough to turn them off, which means when you’re all done and updated and everything is happy … you won’t have the accelerated effects. You have to turn them back on again. And Ubuntu will briefly build its driver, install it again, and move back into accelerated mode, with a pause for a reboot.

So it’s an exceedingly minor inconvenience, but one you should be aware of if you were procrastinating on an update because you thought you’d be unable to play Egoboo without the proper drivers for you 420 Go. (Insert lol here.)

Of course, the corollary to all this is that if you’re not updating to a fresh repository — in other words, if you’re using the Intrepid ISO to update, or if you don’t have an Internet connection — it’s not going to be so happy. Without that new modalias package (which came out around Nov. 4 or so), you’re trapped without the updated Nvidia driver. From there, manual installation is the only option.

So be patient, make the upgrade if you can. Don’t fear breakage, because in my experience, it went exceptionally smoothly. As Ubuntu should. :)

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9 Responses to “Upgrading Nvidia 96xx from Ubuntu 8.04 to 8.10”

  1. 1 ian 2008/11/29 at 11:18 PM

    Many thanks
    I’ll give it a go
    see you on the other side …

  2. 2 ian 2008/12/07 at 9:46 AM

    thanks all worded a dream up to 8.1
    but did you try mplayer on web mpeg clips
    (they do not work (site that did pre 8.1)
    would this be nvidia related ?

  3. 3 K.Mandla 2008/12/07 at 10:27 PM

    I hadn’t noticed that; to be honest, I’m more inclined to blame mplayer than Nvidia if it’s not playing right. You mean in a browser, right?

  4. 4 ian 2009/04/26 at 6:22 PM

    hi again
    Had a great system at 8.10 compiz, 3d cubes and all that with an old GeForce 4600 (and your help)
    Now upgraded to 9.04 and all the Nvidia stuff has vanished,
    will not let me install
    NVidia binary X.Org driver (‘version 173′ driver) or 177
    Have you tried this yet

  5. 5 ian 2009/04/29 at 8:53 PM

    old part of your blog but I wondered if you had tried this ?

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