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nVidia released the new 270.18 beta display drivers. nVidia 270.18 graphics drivers highlights:
  • Updated the NVIDIA kernel module to ensure that all system memory allocated by it for use with GPUs or within user-space components of the NVIDIA driver stack is initialized to zero. A new NVIDIA kernel module option, InitializeSystemMemoryAllocations, allows administrators to revert to the previous behavior.
  • Added preliminary support for xserver 1.10.
  • Reorganized the NVIDIA driver's /proc file system layout to better reflect current needs: /proc/driver/nvidia/cards/0..N has been moved to /proc/driver/nvidia/gpus/0..N/information
  • Added new shared library: libnvidia-ml.so.
  • NVML provides programmatic access to static information and monitoring data for NVIDIA GPUs, as well as limited managment capabilities. It is intended for use with Tesla compute products.
  • Added a new X configuration option "3DVisionDisplayType" to specify the display type when NVIDIA 3D Vision is enabled with a non 3D Vision ready display.
  • Fixed several bugs relating to hardware-accelerated gradients, which were causing visual corruption in some of the default Ubuntu GNOME themes.
  • Modified colormap updates to no longer be synchronized to vblank. This allows applications to send XStoreColor and XStoreColors requests faster than the screen's refresh rate.

And many other improvements and bug fixes. The complete release notes can be found HERE.

Important note before trying to upgrade: these drivers will only work with GeForce 6 and above!

The easiest way to upgrade to the latest nVidia 270.18 display drivers in Ubuntu (Maverick and Lucid) is to use the following PPA (just copy/paste the commands in a terminal).

Before adding the PPA, please note that it currently holds nVidia 270.18 for Ubuntu 10.04 and 10.10 and nVidia 270.26 for Ubuntu 11.04!

1. Add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates

2. Install the nVidia display drivers in Ubuntu 10.04, 10.10 or 11.04:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install nvidia-current nvidia-current-modaliases nvidia-settings

Then go to System > Administration > Hardware Drivers and make sure "Nvidia current" ("current" means latest so that would be 270.18 for Ubuntu 10.04 and 10.10 and 270.2 for Ubuntu 11.04) is activated.

And finally, restart.

If for some reason the new drivers do not work properly, use PPA Purge to remove the PPA and revert all the changes.

To find our if your graphics card is supported, go HERE and click on the SUPPORTED PRODUCTS tab.
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