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Thread: Macbook Pro 15" retina (Model 10,1) - how to disable nVidia display adapter?

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  1. #1
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    Apr 2012
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    [SOLVED] Macbook Pro 15" retina (Model 10,1) - how to disable nVidia display adapter?

    Solution in second post

    I've been at this for days. The two major prolems are the wireless (still unsolved) and the high power consumption. The high power consumption is most likely because Ubuntu is using the discrete nVidia adapter all the time (vs the integrated intel one). I'm running Xubuntu 12.10 now, tried Ubuntu 12.10 ..+mac iso too and raring daily. (On raring I didn't know about the vgaswitcheroo yet, so might still try that later).

    I think I'm close, if I do this in a text-mode tty (ctrl-alt-fn-f1):
    - sudo /etc/init.d/lightdm stop
    - sudo su
    - echo DIGD > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo

    Then the screen goes blank, so the intel adapter is probably in use. The computer doesn't crash, for example sudo reboot still works.

    I've tried lots of things to get it to work including:
    - Kernel 3.7: http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa...7-rc2-quantal/
    - initramfs script from Ubuntu guide (this doesn't work because it is run before nouveau module is loaded, which is needed for vgaswitcheroo to show up)
    - OS X gfxStatus switch to integrated only etc

    Any ideas?

    Some sources:
    http://cberner.com/2012/10/19/instal...ok-pro-retina/
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/HybridGraphics
    http://www.hackermusings.com/2012/09...ook-and-linux/


    EDIT: note to self (and others )
    - try http://article.gmane.org/gmane.linux...x86.devel/3794 patch to kernel
    - should work then if you force intel from OS X and reboot
    Last edited by ksatta1; December 27th, 2012 at 02:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Macbook Pro 15" retina (Model 10,1) - how to disable nVidia display adapter?

    I don't believe.. I've been at this for 4 days now, but now I got it figured out

    I never got it to work because I was using the latest version of GfxCardStatus on OS X. You must use an older version, this works: http://mac.majorgeeks.com/files/deta...ardstatus.html.

    I don't know if the patched kernel is needed, might work "out-of-the-box" if you just use the correct GfxCardStatus version.

    To disable nVidia (and thus cut the power consumption to about half when idling):
    - Install GfxCardStatus in OS X and set it to "Integrated Only"
    - Restart and boot to Ubuntu
    - You can check /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch for the status of the display adapters. The one with "+" is connected to the display. If it's "IGD" that is connected, then the internal is in use.
    - You can turn off the unused adapter with echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch. Then cat vgaswitchfoo should shown DIS:..off.
    - Probably still problems when suspending, haven't tested yet.

    UPDATE 29 Dec: I just compiled 3.8.0-rc1 from kernel.org. No patches/changes, just the kernel options mentioned below. Intel works correctly and also WiFi seems to work better, have to test more to say for sure. Also the SDCard reader didn't work before, now it works, etc..

    My setup now is:
    - kernel 3.6.11 sources from kernel.org
    - replace: http://lxr.linux.no/#linux+v3.6.9/dr...6/apple-gmux.c
    - patch: http://lists.freedesktop.org/archive...st/019522.html
    - Extra kernel options: "nouveau.modeset=1 i915.lvds_use_ssc=0 i915.lvds_channel_mode=2 i915.modeset=1"
    Building instructions: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Ke...AltBuildMethod

    Some sources for info (I don't know which ones are relevant anymore, I've been through hundreds of pages probably):
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...5&postcount=95
    + others ..
    Last edited by ksatta1; December 29th, 2012 at 12:56 PM. Reason: Added kernel options

  3. #3
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    Re: Macbook Pro 15" retina (Model 10,1) - how to disable nVidia display adapter?

    Quote Originally Posted by ksatta1 View Post
    I don't believe.. I've been at this for 4 days now, but now I got it figured out

    I never got it to work because I was using the latest version of GfxCardStatus on OS X. You must use an older version, this works: http://mac.majorgeeks.com/files/deta...ardstatus.html.
    This is awesome guy. Your tip was the key. I can run 13.04 without any patches and modified kernel now cool and smooth.
    The integrated i915 device is running cool and smooth. Even 3D is quite good, glxgears gives me ~3000 FPS!
    Sometimes I have some flickering, don't know yet if related to WM (compiz) or something else, but it is not very often.

    I am wondering what GfxCardStatus is doing what Linux can not do.

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    Dec 2012
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    Re: Macbook Pro 15" retina (Model 10,1) - how to disable nVidia display adapter?

    Hi,

    So does 13.04 work properly on the rMBP straight after installation? Even WiFi drivers?

    Thanks,

  5. #5
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    Re: Macbook Pro 15" retina (Model 10,1) - how to disable nVidia display adapter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Umbra Diaboli View Post
    Hi,

    So does 13.04 work properly on the rMBP straight after installation? Even WiFi drivers?

    Thanks,
    13.04 (i.e. 3.8-rc3 kernel) has support now for Macbookpro Retina.

    Have a look at this link (below), although the instruction is not so clear, might do if you read several times

    http://linuxmacbookproretina.blogspo...cbook-pro.html

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    16

    Re: Macbook Pro 15" retina (Model 10,1) - how to disable nVidia display adapter?

    i've installed osx on an external usb drive (internal ssd drive contain only linux, no osx), i ran gfxcardstatus 2.2.1, selected integrated only, rebooted on ubuntu install iso from another usbstick and i i'm still stuck with nouveau only.
    what am i doing wrong?
    even worse: lspci now list only the nvidia card, i used to be able to see the intel too, i even had /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo .. but not anymore..
    i'm using daily iso of ubuntu 13.04 amd64+mac (from the 12th january)

    why lspci doesn't list my two card anymore?
    how can i get to use the intel integrated chip ?

    tnx

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    36

    Re: Macbook Pro 15" retina (Model 10,1) - how to disable nVidia display adapter?

    Hey guys, any advice on getting IGD active not running OSX (which I also deleted right in the beginning)?
    Also it seems that installing nvidia builds a new initrd preventing one from seeing the vgaswitchero stuff.
    Anyway, I happen to have some kernel and initrd laying around where I'm able to see it. When doing an "echo IGD >>vgaswitchero/switch" I just end up having a black screen, still beeing able to do a blind reboot.
    What is your xorg.conf looking like when using i915!?
    I also tried the kernel params given in one of the first posts in here.
    I'm running 13.04 kernel 3.0.x, powertop reports 35W at the moment.

    TiA
    Last edited by longint; March 2nd, 2013 at 05:01 PM.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2011
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    Re: Macbook Pro 15" retina (Model 10,1) - how to disable nVidia display adapter?

    Hey longint,

    you do not have osx at hand at all? i, personally, even can't imagine how you live without it:

    if i disable the nvidia graphics unit in ubuntu , and i do not enable it before shutdown/reboot/hang, i get corrupted graphics on the next reboot and have to boot osx twice, to make it working again.

    has anybody the same problem? how do you guys set the nvidia on again, before reboot or shutdown? i tried, with scripts in rc0.d and rc6.d , but without success.


    but, i do not have a xorg.conf at all at the moment....

    sincerely,

    sauferkel
    Last edited by sauferkel; March 25th, 2013 at 12:16 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Re: Macbook Pro 15" retina (Model 10,1) - how to disable nVidia display adapter?

    I don't have a xorg.conf in my "intel only"-installation.

    I don't remember where I added the echo ON > switcheroo stuff Anyway, does it work if you manually do echo ON before suspend and echo OFF after suspend? If it manually works, then I can search where I added them

    EDIT:
    I started a new thread to get nVidia's attention to the GPU switching problems, more info: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2129158

    EDIT2:
    I looked again and I can't find where I added the echo switcheroo stuff, maybe an update of some package removed them? anyway suspend / resume works ok.
    Last edited by ksatta1; March 25th, 2013 at 05:01 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    41

    Re: Macbook Pro 15" retina (Model 10,1) - how to disable nVidia display adapter?

    so you are suspending with the card disabled ?

    same for reboot?

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