[svlug] Video card for Ubuntu?

Erik Steffl steffl at tsoft.com
Fri Jan 23 08:21:46 PST 2009

Skip Evans wrote:
> Hey all,
> I have to order a new video card for a Ubuntu 8.10 workstation 
> here and was wondering if anyone had any recommendations.
> The machine doesn't do gaming, no heavy duty design work, just 
> Gimp for some basic image manipulation, and then PHP code 
> editing, development stuff.
> I seem to get the impression that the extra drivers that pop 
> up in Ubuntu like Nvidia chips?
> I also prefer resolutions above 1024 x 768, which these 
> machines here default to upon initial install.
> Any suggestions would be appreciated.

   nvidia works fine as far as functionality goes but two computer 
(ubuntu 8.10 and nvidia GeForce 7600 GS and some other nvidia card I 
don't remember) occasionaly freeze, I suspect video card because:

   - one computer was working fine before I replaced ATI video card by 
nvidia (yeah, could be just a coincidence), seems the lockups were much 
more often when I used openGL screensaver (once every 4-7 days) then 
after I changed to blank screensaver (once every few weeks)

   - another computer is not completely frozen but X server is stuck 
talking to dri (forever, or at least for more than an hour at which 
point I restarted it) - figured that out by running strace (ioctl on 
file descriptor 12) and lsof (12 is /dev/dri/card0 or something like 
that), it seems to eventually kill the machine because in some case of 
same symptom I cannot even ssh into the machine (symptom is - after I 
type in password for screensaver only nothing appears on desktop other 
than the desktop wallpaper and mouse pointer (which moves fine), no 
keyboard shortcuts work (ctrl-alt-Fn, ctrl-alt-backspace etc.), the 
problem occurs every few days (sometime it works fine for more than a week)


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