Using Debian Testing or Unstable, or a frequently upgraded version of Ubuntu, when doing an apt-get update && apt-get upgrade often will install a slightly newer version of xserver-xorg-code, and this will break the NVIDIA proprietary drivers, if you, like me, prefer to install them using the official NVIDIA installer. When this happens, at your next reboot, or next time you start X, this will crash.

Follow this instructions and you won’t need to reinstall the NVIDIA driver from scratch each time. First of all, stop your login manager (gdm assumed here):

/etc/init.d/gdm stop

Then move to:

cd /usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions

Normally it should look like this:

total 956K
1 root root  19K 2007-01-09 21:13
1 root root  34K 2007-01-09 21:13
1 root root 145K 2007-01-09 21:13
1 root root   18 2007-01-15 20:42>
1 root root 676K 2007-01-15 20:42
1 root root  28K 2007-01-09 21:13
1 root root  38K 2007-01-09 21:13

Notice the symbolic link from to In your case, instead, the installation of a newer xserver-xorg-core overwrote the with the normal one provided by the X Server. What you have to do is simply restore the previous situation. Remove the file:

sudo rm

And make the symbolic link again:

sudo ln -s

Of course the version number, in my case 1.0.9746 may be different in your case. Now you can simply start the gdm login manager again:

sudo /etc/init.d/gdm start

Everything should be working again.

Thanks to for this.