Keeping your Ubuntu install clean and working is actually pretty easy, when using some common Linux sense. Just follow the tips below and you will spend much less time in rescue mode with your Linux desktop.
1) Backup your fstab configuration. I cannot say this enough. Should something go wrong with your existing one, this simple backup will save you from attempting to rebuild it which is not a pleasant newbie experience.
2) Backup your xorg.conf configuration. Yes, more often than not you already have a few of these anyway. But it really nice to have a back up that is recognizable to the common user, not just to the power-geek.
3) Be wary of kernel upgrades with proprietary video drivers and some wireless cards. This is generally a huge problem people who are using proprietary video drivers for the sake of dual monitors, run an upgrade, only to hose the X configuration (no video, just an error in blue and red with jumbled text).
First, sudo into your xorg.conf file, locate “NVIDIA and change it back to “NV”. Ctrl-Alt-Backspace, login again, this time without the second screen. Assuming you had sense enough to install an NVIDIA driver via Envy, use this great little GUI tool to then uninstall the video driver. Reboot, then install the new kernel. Once this goes well, use Envy to install the proprietary video driver for you again – this has never failed me once, unlike more geeky methods.
4) Do not install software updates from pre-release or Gutsy Proposed. While things may seem like they are working at first, often times bugs sufface later on that can prove to be a real hassle.
5) Stay away from the 3D effect nonsense. If you are a newbie, are not sure how to fix a system once Compiz-Fusion pushes out yet another buggy update that makes your desktop unusable, just walk away and enjoy stability with Metacity (Ubuntu’s default desktop).
[tags]Ubuntu, notebooks, Linux, NVIDIA, video card[/tags]