I recently installed ubuntu 7.10 (feisty fawn) on my Compaq R3000. Since this laptop has an AMD Athlon 64 (3500+), I decided to use the AMD64 version of ubuntu. I was able to get it installed and running well without much fussing. There were 3 main things I wanted to accomplish that did not immediately work:

Install Flash Player 9
Install NVidia Drivers and use GLX Desktop Effects
Configure and use the internal wireless card

I was able to get Flash Player 9 working with nspluginwrapper – this package allows you to install 32-bit Mozilla plugins on a 64-bit version of FireFox.

I got the wireless card working with the bcm43xx package.

I might write more detailed instructions on getting the last two things working later, but I just got the NVidia 64-bit drivers working today so I will go into more detail about them.

Installing the 64-bit NVidia drivers
I read about this great NVidia installation script called Envy in Linux Journal today.
Go to http://albertomilone.com/nvidia_scripts1.html and download the deb file (currently envy_0.9.7-0ubuntu8_all.deb).
Run the file to install Envy.

After Envy is installed, run it from your GUI by going to a terminal and typing “sudo envy -g” (-g == graphical)

The installer will download 60+ packages and install them for you, including the NVidia driver for your computer/configuration.

When it is done you will need to restart your computer.

Enabling Desktop Effects
When it comes back up you should be able to enable the desktop effects by going to “System”=>”Preferences”=>”Desktop Effects” and enabling the options you want.

If you have the same bad luck that I did, you will notice that the desktop effects will have made your title bar and other window decorations disappear. Although I’m not sure what causes this problem, here’s how I fixed it:

sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Find the “Device” section and add:

Option "AddARGBVisuals" "True"
Option "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "True"
Option "NoLogo" "True"

Find the “Screen” section and make sure the default depth is 24:

DefaultDepth    24

Now restart your computer and you should be good to go!

My /etc/X11/xorg.conf for reference

# /etc/X11/xorg.conf (xorg X Window System server configuration file)
#
# This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using
# values from the debconf database.
#
# Edit this file with caution, and see the xorg.conf(5) manual page.
# (Type "man xorg.conf" at the shell prompt.)
#
# This file is automatically updated on xserver-xorg package upgrades *only*
# if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xorg
# package.
#
# If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated
# again, run the following command:
#   sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier     "Default Layout"
Screen         "Default Screen" 0 0
InputDevice    "Generic Keyboard"
InputDevice    "Configured Mouse"
InputDevice    "stylus" "SendCoreEvents"
InputDevice    "cursor" "SendCoreEvents"
InputDevice    "eraser" "SendCoreEvents"
InputDevice    "Synaptics Touchpad"
EndSection

Section "Files"

# path to defoma fonts
FontPath        "/usr/share/fonts/X11/misc"
FontPath        "/usr/share/fonts/X11/cyrillic"
FontPath        "/usr/share/fonts/X11/100dpi/:unscaled"
FontPath        "/usr/share/fonts/X11/75dpi/:unscaled"
FontPath        "/usr/share/fonts/X11/Type1"
FontPath        "/usr/share/fonts/X11/100dpi"
FontPath        "/usr/share/fonts/X11/75dpi"
FontPath        "/var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/TrueType"
EndSection

Section "Module"
Load           "i2c"
Load           "bitmap"
Load           "ddc"
Load           "extmod"
Load           "freetype"
Load           "glx"
Load           "int10"
Load           "vbe"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier     "Generic Keyboard"
Driver         "kbd"
Option         "CoreKeyboard"
Option         "XkbRules" "xorg"
Option         "XkbModel" "pc105"
Option         "XkbLayout" "us"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier     "Configured Mouse"
Driver         "mouse"
Option         "CorePointer"
Option         "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
Option         "Protocol" "ExplorerPS/2"
Option         "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
Option         "Emulate3Buttons" "true"
Option         "Buttons" "7"
Option         "ButtonMapping" "1 2 3 6 7"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier     "Synaptics Touchpad"
Driver         "synaptics"
Option         "SendCoreEvents" "true"
Option         "Device" "/dev/psaux"
Option         "Protocol" "auto-dev"
Option         "HorizScrollDelta" "0"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier     "stylus"
Driver         "wacom"
Option         "Device" "/dev/input/wacom"
Option         "Type" "stylus"
Option         "ForceDevice" "ISDV4"        # Tablet PC ONLY
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier     "eraser"
Driver         "wacom"
Option         "Device" "/dev/input/wacom"
Option         "Type" "eraser"
Option         "ForceDevice" "ISDV4"        # Tablet PC ONLY
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier     "cursor"
Driver         "wacom"
Option         "Device" "/dev/input/wacom"
Option         "Type" "cursor"
Option         "ForceDevice" "ISDV4"        # Tablet PC ONLY
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
Identifier     "Generic Monitor"
HorizSync       28.0 - 64.0
VertRefresh     43.0 - 60.0
Option         "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Device"
Identifier     "nVidia Corporation NV17 [GeForce4 420 Go 32M]"
Driver         "nvidia"
Option "AddARGBVisuals" "True"
Option "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "True"
Option "NoLogo" "True"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
Identifier     "Default Screen"
Device         "nVidia Corporation NV17 [GeForce4 420 Go 32M]"
Monitor        "Generic Monitor"
DefaultDepth    24
SubSection     "Display"
Depth       1
Modes      "1280x800"
EndSubSection
SubSection     "Display"
Depth       4
Modes      "1280x800"
EndSubSection
SubSection     "Display"
Depth       8
Modes      "1280x800"
EndSubSection
SubSection     "Display"
Depth       15
Modes      "1280x800"
EndSubSection
SubSection     "Display"
Depth       16
Modes      "1280x800"
EndSubSection
SubSection     "Display"
Depth       24
Modes      "1280x800"
EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Extensions"
Option         "Composite" "Enable"
EndSection