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The Ubuntu developers plan on shipping the new Nouveau as the default driver for nVidia cards in Lucid. Before doing this, they want to test the new open source Nouveau drivers first.

To test the Nouveau drivers you need to use Ubuntu Lucid and then add this PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/nouveau

Then upgrade the packages and install xserver-xorg-video-nouveau:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-nouveau

All Lucid users can help with testing - if you don't have Nvidia hardware please test that it doesn't break your existing drivers.

Users with nvidia hardware should test that they get:
1) Kernel modesetting from early boot including a nice native-resolution console.
2) The Nouveau driver is automatically loaded by X without needing an xorg.conf - this can be checked in /var/log/Xorg.0.log, as usual.
3) The Nouveau driver generally works as well as nv - Nouveau should pick the correct resolution, dual-head should work, video should play nicely, etc.

You should not expect to work:
* The Nvidia binary drivers. The Nouveau kernel module will bind to the hardware and there is no mechanism for handing off to Nvidia kernel module.
* 3D acceleration. Brave souls can build mesa from source (and may well find that they can run compiz), but we will not be shipping the 3D component in Ubuntu Lucid.

[via Ubuntu devel mailing list]