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I figured out bumblebee and decided I didn't like it because I can't run VMs on the discrete GPU with it installed. I'd rather deal with the battery life and ...
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  1. #1
    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    Disable integrated intel *hybrid* graphics and run *only* Nvidia


    I figured out bumblebee and decided I didn't like it because I can't run VMs on the discrete GPU with it installed. I'd rather deal with the battery life and heat issues as I *need* the extra "horsepower" for what I'm trying to do.

    I have the Nvidia driver installed, but I'm not using it. I get an error message when I click the GUI for it that tells me to run a command in the terminal. I ran that command before I figured out bumblebee and it caused a lot of issues. Which is why I went through the trouble of figuring out bumblebee.

    I've done a lot of reading. As I understand it switcheroo will not work because I have no BIOS switch for the graphics. (If I did I'd just turn it off there.)

    I've read that if I blacklist the driver for the intergrated video the system will default to the Nvidia card on boot; which is what I want.

    But, when I blacklisted i915 it still loaded any way. I'm running on the intergrated GPU and can't access the Nvidia GPU.

    Any idea how to force the onboard intel hybrid grahics to permanently shutdown and just have the system default to the video card?

  2. #2
    Linux Newbie hagfish52's Avatar
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    It sounds like the linux NVIDIA driver isn't actually installed. Is the GUI you are talking about what installs the driver? And are you sure you have the latest NVIDIA linux driver? Drivers - Download NVIDIA Drivers

  3. #3
    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    Code:
    sudo apt-get install nvidia-current
    installs the latest nvidia driver from the repo. But, with hybrid graphics the integrated GPU is not automatlcally disabled when a card is present b/c they can both operate at the same time in doze. In *nix bumblebee will let you designiate a program to run on just the card. And it works with most programs, but not VMs.

    Since there is no BIOS switch to turn off the intergrated GPU I have to figure out how to bypass the hardware switch. (If bumblebee would let VMs run on the card I'd just go that way.)

    And since there is no BIOS switch then AFAIK switcheroo will not work to switch between GPUs.

    So I'm looking to kill the hardware switch on the MoBo / chipset.

    Is the GUI you are talking about what installs the driver?
    No. It doesn't install the driver. It allows you to access settings after the driver is installed.
    Last edited by Steven_G; 08-02-2012 at 02:53 AM.

  4. #4
    Linux Newbie hagfish52's Avatar
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    I ran across a few methods to solve this problem using acpi_call on non-virtual systems, but apparently you cannot turn off integrated graphics from a virtual machine because it does not have direct access to the hardware. If you run lshw you will not see it listed, just some virtual machine graphic adapters. I think if you don't have a BIOS switch you are up against a wall here.

    Your ultimate solution may be to install linux on a separate partition and use the acpi_call fix.
    Last edited by hagfish52; 08-02-2012 at 03:48 AM.

  5. #5
    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    I'm not trying to do this from a virtual machine. I'm trying to set up my hardware so that I can run the host and 4-7 VMs all at the same time. I'll never be able to do that on intergrated graphics.

    If you've found a way to permanently kill the intergrated video I'd appreciate a link to the info. All I'm finding is the exact opposite; in other words how to kill the card and run only on the integrated chipset.

  6. #6
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    maybe you could try disabling the default display port using the video kernel parameter, e.g.:

    Code:
    video=VGA-1:d

  7. #7
    Linux Newbie hagfish52's Avatar
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    You are right, no info on disabling onboard graphics, but I don't see why you can't use the procedure for disabling NVIDIA cards with acpi_call to do the same thing to the integrated graphics. This page shows graphics ACPI handles for various computer models, and also tells you how to find the handles for your particular model. http://hybrid-graphics-linux.tuxfami...tle=ACPI_calls. I hope this points you in the right direction, but I hope you understand this is risky business.

  8. #8
    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    Well, since it looks like I might blow up my install monkeying with this one I'm going to finish hacking the DE together the way I want it and clone it then come back to this one. That way if I blow it up again I won't have to re-do a bunch of stuff.

  9. #9
    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    OK, I'm back to this one again. I've done a lot of research.

    The problems that I am having are not being caused by "hybrid garphics" per se; it's that this is an Optimus card.

    I was right in that I can't use switcheroo; not because there is no BIOS switch. But rather because there is no hardware mux. It was replaced with an "Optimus layer".

    Bumblebee works fine for what it does. But, because of the way it is built a virtual machine cannot run on the video card with bumblebee installed.

    From what I've read the ACPI method will not work. This is because in the "Optimus layer" there is no seperate output channel for the dGPU. Even though the dGPU can be set to do the rendering the output from that render is being pipped back through iGPU to the monitor. If I kill the kernel module driver for the iGPU or the power call for the iGPU hardware then I kill or foul that pipeline.

    It is for those same reasons that I am gettting error messages from the Nvidia settings GUI telling me that the Nvidia card is not in use and that I need to run Xorg -configure. It also why when I do run the config tool my system "melts". Xorg was never designed to handle the way the dGPU is being piped through the iGPU. (Which is also why when I try manually editing Xorg.conf my system also "melts".) And the Nvidia *nix driver is also not designed to handle the Optimus layer in *nix. Even better Nvidia has stated that they will *never* support Optimus in *nix.

    So, it looks like my options are down to this:

    1) Live with having wasted almost 2K on a machine that will not do what I want. I can't even build my virtual network on doze because it is too resource hungry for me to be able to deploy more than about 2-3 VMs at the same time.

    2) Try Ironhide (Bumblebee fork). Probably won't work because they use a lot of the same technology / programming concepts to handle the Optimus layer. And Bumblebee can't run VMs on the dGPU. But it's worth a try.

    3) Try using the NDISwrapper to run the win video drivers in *nix. (Is that even possible?)

    4) Flash a custom BIOS. This box runs Phoenix. Supposedly Dell hid a ton of switches. And supposedly one of those switches allows you to shut off the Optimus layer. This is supposed to make the iGPU act like an old style mux system and shut off the iGPU when a video card is present. (If that is true then it just makes no sense because at that point what channel is the dGPU rendering being pipped through?) Then you're supposed to be able to install the standard Nvidia driver and run on the dGPU with no porblems. There are some keyboard / key combo switches that I can try to see if that will expose the hidden menus. But they probably won't work as the menus are most likely locked rather than hidden. If they are locked then I'll have to recompile a new BIOS and flash the system to unlock them. If there are no hidden options in BIOS to shut off Optimus then I'm done b/c writing one is waaaaaaaaaay beyond my skill level. Of course, even if it is there, if I foul this up I could end up with a $2K brick.

    Did I miss anything?

    2 cents welcome.
    Thankx.
    Last edited by Steven_G; 08-03-2012 at 06:06 PM.

  10. #10
    Linux Newbie hagfish52's Avatar
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    That's really too bad. Sorry about that

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