Debian 3.16.7

ok, so Debian is quickly becoming my favorite distro, and I have tried a lot of them. Not that the others weren't good, there is something about Debian that seems better to me. I have it running on an old Dell latitude e6400, and the video card is a Nvidia Quadro NVS 160M. With the other distros, I found how to install proprietary drivers, and Debian was no exception. I got the Nvidia drivers install with no problems. However, I was reading something about my new favorite distro, and came across this
"Experience has shown that Open Source drivers are usually much better than proprietary ones"
And I thought, Great, I want to find out if this is true, however, I'm not sure how to remove proprietary drivers. I'm not new to Linux and feel pretty comfortable in a terminal to install things. I was wondering if it's difficult to remove a driver. I ask because I got the impression that the drive messed with the kernel? This is a total guess, so I definitely could be wrong.
To get to the point ( sorry about being so wordy ). Would it be better to just reinstall Debian to get rid of the proprietary driver? Would that be the surest, and cleanest way? Or is there some other good way to remove the driver?
Also, if I can remove it, is there a way to make sure I have the latest Open Source driver?
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How did you install the proprietary drivers ? Did they come as a package, a binary, a tgz that you had to compile & install ?

Sure a clean install will solve your issue, but that's a bit of a blunt way to attack the problem.

I don't know about whether open source are better than proprietary drivers.

The latest open source driver would usually be found from the people maintaining the package. Given how old the driver is, it doesn't look like it's been changed much in the last few years, so there is a good chance that the base debian installation has the latest driver for it already.
As mentioned above, how did you install the proprietary drivers? Did you download and install them via the nvidia site, or did you use debian's package manager to install them?

If it was the package manager, just use the package manager again to remove the driver (synaptic).

If you installed the nvidia driver via nvidia's download site, and then ran the installer by first booting into non GUI mode, then you can again boot into non GUI mode and run the nvidia installer again, but this time add the following option after the filename "--uninstall". This will remove the manually installed nvidia driver.

Also, if you did install the driver manually, it is very likely that it won't work anyway after you do an upgrade of your kernel. That is the disadvantage of not using the package manager, you always have to manually install the driver again after each upgrade. So it may not even be necessary to uninstall the driver...

I've had mixed results with the nvidia drivers and the OpenSource nouveau drivers when you compare them. Sometimes nouveau works better, sometimes nvidia. It also depends on the age of the GPU. Besides that, nvidia has changed it's driver status to something at least close to OpenSource, but those new OpenSource drivers from nvidia might not work with older cards.

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JeffBeallAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the help
I think I installed the driver from the synaptic thing, so maybe I'll remove it. However, it doesn't sound definitive that proprietary drivers are not as good as open source. So maybe I'll leave it for now.
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