I made a clean install of the new Kubuntu 8.04 on Shuttle SP35P2. Everything went reasonably smoothly, I could even install nVidia drivers though KDE->System->Hardware Drivers Manager.
However, setting up the compiz desktop effects (KDE->System->Desktop Effects) didn’t quite work out. After reboot I logged in and got the white screen of death. I had to switch to terminal by Ctrl+Alt+F1, restart the X server by
sudo /etc/init.d/kdm restart
and login in failsafe mode. One can access the desktop effects setup from terminal by running
After disabling all the effects I was able to log in in normal mode again.
It turned out that although the driver was installed, it wasn’t working properly. Running
glxinfo printed out
direct rendering: No (If you want to ...
server glx vendor string: SGI
Clearly there’s something wrong here…
I installed newest drivers from the repositories, and also installed drivers using EnvyNG. Even went to nVidia homepage and got the latest driver installer and when even that didn’t work I downloaded the nvidia beta drivers from the same site. No remedy.
In the end it turned out that the trouble was package
xserver-xgl that prevents direct rendering (DRI) in all cases. Removing the package and rebooting did the trick for me. I’m now using the nVidia beta drivers (173.08) and the compiz effects seems to work ok. The drawback is that I noticed some decrease in performance when
xserver-xgl was not installed.
To put the long story short:
If you are using nvidia drivers but don’t get direct rendering working, check if you have the latest (beta?) drivers and if
xserver-xgl is installed (remove it if it is).
— Edit 2008-05-28 —
Upgrading to kernel 2.6.24-17 broke the nvidia driver. The nvidia kernel module would not load correctly anymore which was probably due to the manual beta driver installation (see Ubuntu forums). I decided to go back to
nvidia-glx-new from Ubuntu repositories.
I had to remove the new kernel 2.6.24-17 and purge all nvidia related packages. After rebooting I reinstalled the new kernel and rebooted again. Then installed nvidia driver from Hardware Drivers Manager and rebooted. Everything was OK except that the 3d desktop effects still don’t work with
To summarize: It’s better to stick with Ubuntu drivers for future compatibility.