Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ubuntu Display Drivers

The GUI for your desktop display is implemented by the X Window System. The version used on Ubuntu is You can use either vendor-supplied drivers or generic drivers for your graphics card. Ubuntu packages the vendor drivers as restricted graphics software packages, which are designed for compatible installation on Ubuntu and are available on the Ubuntu restricted repository. You can find out more about at

When you first install your system, the generic drives are used. Should your graphics card be supported by a vendor (or proprietary) driver, such as ATI or Nvidia drivers, a notification icon for restricted software will appear on the Ubuntu’s top panel with a message. For many recent graphics cards from Nvidia or ATI, the vendor driver is recommended. The vendor driver will often support 3-D effects much better that the corresponding generic drivers. Because vendor driver software is not open source and consists of hidden proprietary code, it is considered restricted. Since the code is private, it cannot be guaranteed to work—though, in most cases, the Nvidia and ATI drives have proven reliable. To install the hardware driver, click the notification icon on the panel to open the Hardware Drivers window, where your hardware drivers will be listed. Click the check box under the Enable column to enable the driver. When you restart your system, the new vendor driver will be used.

Should you be using a recently released graphics card, you may have to rely on restricted driver support, though the generic drivers will usually work. You should always use the Ubuntu-compliant version of a vendor driver that is available in the restricted repository. Though possible, it is not recommended that you download a vendor driver for Linux directly from a graphics card vendor such as ATI or Nvidia.

Source of Information : McGraw Hill Ubuntu The Complete Reference

No comments: