I’ve spent a lot of time faffing about with Ubuntu recently. I think it’s a great Linux distribution, very easy to install and the online documentation is exceptional. I have been having some problems with my nVidia driver though.
This isn’t necessarily a problem with Ubuntu. The nVidia driver is very easy to install and configure, much easier than many other distributions actually, it’s just that I was getting some pretty shoddy performance when I was playing Half Life 2. The fps was appalling at times, although the game was kind of playable mostly.
I’ve had this issue with every Linux distribution that I’ve tried it with. Getting the most out of your graphics driver is much more difficult than with Windows. I’d tried all sorts of hints and tricks from a number of different forums without much success.
However, last night I had a bit of a breakthrough. I’d been playing HL2 in a windows as configurable in the game options. I decided to try it in full screen instead. All of a sudden the fps shot up and the game’s graphics rendering became much, much better. I’d enabled the “HUD” in Cedega so that I could see the fps while I was playing the game, and I could now see what I was getting (I couldn’t see it when the game was windowed). I was getting around 25 fps in normal play which went up to 60 tops and dropped to around 10 when the screen got busy. This is hardly excellent performance, but it does mean that the game renders the graphics properly now and it’s emminently more playable.
I’m sure that there are loads more ways tune it up, so I shall see how far I can go to get the best performance possible out of Ubuntu and nVidia.