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# apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-nouveau
# apt-get remove --purge xserver-xorg-video-nvidia \
  nvidia-kernel-common nvidia-driver nvidia-detect \
  nvidia-alternative libgl1-nvidia-glx libxvmcnvidia1 \
  nvidia-vdpau-driver nvidia-support nvidia-settings \
  nvidia-installer-cleanup
# depmod -a
# rmmod nvidia
# modprobe nouveau

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Section "Device"
        Identifier     "Nouveau NVIDIA accelerated server"
        Driver         "nouveau"
EndSection

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# apt-get install glx-alternative-mesa \
  libgl1-mesa-dri libgl1-mesa-glx

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# /etc/init.d/lightdm start; exit

Yeah. This is yet another Linux milestone.

As Linus Torvalds said a while ago: Nvidia, Fuck You.

(Pre-backstory for non-geeks: Linus Torvalds doesn’t fucking mince words. =)

Backstory for non-geeks: Nvidia is one of the awesome hardware companies that actually support Linux. 3D graphics is hairy. A company that bothers to make 3D run on weird platforms is awesome.

The terrible fucking bad news is, their driver is not open source and isn’t integrated to Linux kernel. This means that outside contributors have to play by Nvidia’s rules and deal with the hassle. And if Nvidia decides to drop support for older models, tough.

(For comparison: I spent over a decade with my old serial port Wacom graphics tablet. The driver was open source, so even after the support for serial port tablets was officially dropped, someone made a patch. The hardware started failing due to old age much earlier than the software!)

I have a little bit aging Nvidia GeForce 7600GT graphics card. Debian keeps supporting older Nvidia cards by providing older versions of the official Nvidia driver. The upcoming version only works on 8xxx and newer cards, and the old cards got kicked to the wayside to the “legacy” mode. And looks like the current version of the driver doesn’t work too well on my 7600 either.

The final straw? Neverwinter Nights didn’t bloody work.

So instead of using the official driver, I now use Nouveau. The crappy news is, 3D is a bit unstable and may lead to crashy computator machines. But I don’t play much games on PC anyway. I have my consoles, and I just resurrected my netbook for that.

But Nouveau seems to do the 2D stuff really nicely. Linux kernel driver? Already part of the kernel tree. 2D X11 driver? Already in x.org server. GLX 3D stuff? Just using Mesa shit, or at least trying to. And it actually integrates to the Linux Direct Rendering Interface rather than trying to dictate its own bloody terms!

I guess I’ll stay here, dammit. Shit’s not perfect, but since the official driver is unlikely to get better on this particular 3D card, Nouveau can only get better from here!