After many tries to get a 3D desktop working, I have finally managed it. It seems the problem lies squarely with the latest and “greatest” Nvidia drivers. I have no idea why, but whenever anything 3D was activated on my computer, the system would totaly hang after a few minutes (usually more before the first time) as if my card was overheating (which is pretty impossible. My card has never overheated and I’ve run much more 3D intensive stuff *coughsupremecommandercough*)
Initially I was trying to achieve this using Linux Mint which is a pretty sweet Ubuntu-based distro in itself. However ever since Ubuntu started randomly freezing, I though it must have been some kind of weird distro bug. In the past I had some lock-ups with Kubuntu so it seemed plausible at the time. Just in case, I decided the try Sabayon from the moment I heard about it. User friendly gentoo based distro? count me in (more on that in a later post).
After not having any random lock-ups in the liveCD, I decided to give it a try. 10 minutes into the installation, BAM. Freeze. No mouse, no keyboard, no Alt-F1 nothing, same thing as before. At this point I was seriously considering smashing something on something else but I held on. Instead I decided to start experimenting a little bit more.
Initially I tried with GLX instead of AIGLX. No help. Then fearing that beryl itself might be the culprit, I tried just running an OpenGL screensaver. No luck. After about 10 minutes it hang up. Not willing to give up, I disabled all desktop accelerationand fired up an another OpenGl Screensaver. 2 minutes in it, dead again (needless for me to explain what this has done to my poor /home partition)
So as a desperate measure, I decided to install the legacy nvidia drivers. I didn’t know how well they would work, so I installed them and rebooted today after I returned from work.
It works! YES! 2 hours later with full acceleration and various screenshot and screencast attempta later there has been no freeze! I cannot express how happy I currently am 🙂
Although the drivers are not that good, resulting in a but of a stutter at some points, the Geforce is more than capable of handling a 3D desktop. The result? See for yourself 🙂
However I am seriously pissed at Nvidia for putting me through all this trouble with their crappy drivers. They have dropped the ball with Vista but did they have to drop it on GNU/Linux’s foot?
EDIT: Fuck it! Here’s an embeded video. Done with the help of the coolplayer plugin.
EDIT: Video finally uploaded to youtube after I converted it into Mpeg with the help of mencoder. Find embedded video below.