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There are several ways to do this. I'd suggest that you install the rcconf program, then run it as root user, and disable gdm in rcconf. Then reboot to get to the command line mode. After you've installed the nvidia driver, you can run rcconf as root user again, enable gdm and reboot to get back to GUI login.
thank you for teaching me a new thing but now i have a new problem. While istalling the driver it tells me that is can't because there is no precompiled kernal and that there is a problem finding the kernal source tree. can you help me with that too?
I don't have the luxury of owning an nvidia graphics card, just the crappy onboard graphics card that came with my laptop. But it works without any need to compile special drivers.
I'd suggest that you use the search engine here at Linuxquestions.org (you'll see it somewhere at the top of the page), selecting Debian as the search forum and something like "nvidia kernel" as search words. I'll bet many users have asked how to add nvidia drivers.
there's an easier way to install the nVidia driver, using an Ubuntu pre-built package available from the Ubuntu 'Universe' source.
To get access to the 'Universe' packages, you need to edit your /etc/apt/sources.list file and un-comment the relevant lines (it's explained in the file). Then, in a console window, you need to issue 'sudo apt-get update' to update apt.
Then, using Synaptic, you should be able to find and install the nVidia driver... easy as that!
I found that instead of just logging in and out of X, I had to reboot my machine for the change to take effect. If all is well, you should see the nVidia splash screen just prior to your login screen.