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Ubuntu officially transitioned from -nv to -nouveau as the default driver for the Nvidia graphics cards. The main reason for this change is that nouveau is more actively developed than nv and is considered to be at least as good as nv. However, based on feedback, it seems there will be regressions on certain hardware that used to work on nv, but the Ubuntu devs are hoping for better results for the average user.

Another reason for this change is to get Kernel Mode-setting (automatic screen resolution selection) support for Nvidia graphics drivers. With mode-settings in the kernel, the boot process is smoother and more graphically attractive.

There is a downside to this transition though: -nouveau only supports 2D so Nvidia users will need to switch to the proprietary Nvidia driver for getting the most out of their hardware. 3D functionality is however under development but it hasn't been tested yet; the 3D enabled drivers will be available in the xorg-edgers PPA at some point.


I would say this is a good change, but it depends on the number of users which will be affected by the regression mentioned in the beginning of the post. Hopefully Lucid won't be for the Nvidia users what Jaunty was for Intel.
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