Sunday, September 24, 2023
 Popular · Latest · Hot · Upcoming
rated 0 times [  4] [ 0]  / answers: 1 / hits: 2240  / 1 Year ago, tue, october 4, 2022, 1:31:48

I'm running a Dell XPS L502X, one of those hybrid graphics models that don't yet "just work" on Linux :( When I installed Ubuntu (Natty) I just went ahead and accepted whatever options I was given, including installing the current NVidia drivers.

Additional Drivers reports the driver as the current version, recommended, required for Unity, activated, but not currently in use. However, I can't actually run Unity, so I'm currently running with Unity 2D. Ubuntu has not detected the driver as being obsolete, but I get the following when running /usr/lib/nux/unity_support_test -p :

Xlib: extension "GLX" missing on display ":0".
Xlib: extension "GLX" missing on display ":0".
Xlib: extension "GLX" missing on display ":0".
Error: unable to create the OpenGL context

When I start the "NVIDIA X Server Settings" application, I get the following message: "You do not appear to be using the NVIDIA X driver. Please edit your X configuration file (just run nvidia-xconfig as root, and restart the X server."

I've since been told that on these models specifically you shouldn't install or activate the NVidia driver. Is this true, and why?

If it is true, should I uninstall the driver, and what benefits will this give me? If I uninstall it, what should I switch to, if anything? How do I uninstall it?

Otherwise, is it safe to activate it? In which case do I just run sudo nvidia-xconfig?

My goal here is to either:

  • run Unity just like the other kids

    • by enabling the NVidia driver if this is required

    • or, by doing something else

      • and, uninstall the NVidia driver, if this is advisable (whether or not it is required)

  • continue running Unity 2D if Unity is impossible on my machine

    • by doing nothing (leave the system as-is)

      • and, uninstall the NVidia driver, if this is advisable

My goal is not (yet) to:

  • get hybrid graphics working (for example, by install Bumblebee) - it seems to me that support for this is still in development on the Linux platform, so I'll let others experiment :)

  • disable either the Intel or NVidia card (I want to get Unity working "the right way" first)

More From » drivers


The intel video card is perfectly capable of running desktop effects, so Unity should work as well. You cannot use the nvidia card directly (as you may already have noticed) because your notebook is an Optimus laptop (see also Is a NVIDIA GeForce with Optimus Technology supported by Ubuntu? on that).

If you do not run programs that heavily rely on the graphics card, just stick to the Intel iGPU to save power as well. As a developer of Bumblebee, I can tell that work is in progress to get automatic power management working which would disable the nvidia card to save even more power. However, this feature is not mature yet so I'd not recommend it to regular or power users for the reason that you'll need some understanding of ACPI.

[#43283] Wednesday, October 5, 2022, 1 Year  [reply] [flag answer]
Only authorized users can answer the question. Please sign in first, or register a free account.

Total Points: 279
Total Questions: 125
Total Answers: 123

Location: Finland
Member since Sun, Dec 5, 2021
2 Years ago
lowstonnequ questions
Wed, Oct 26, 22, 14:40, 12 Months ago
Tue, Feb 28, 23, 01:39, 7 Months ago
Wed, Dec 1, 21, 23:44, 2 Years ago
Thu, Apr 21, 22, 13:13, 1 Year ago