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

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

    Quote Originally Posted by nsicad View Post
    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
    Instead of the b43cutter stuff you can also just sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree. Still keeps disconnecting etc though.

    Does anyone actually have working WiFi on a Retina Macbook? I've tried the 13.04 daily around christmas, and now I'm running 12.10 with 3.8-rc3 kernel (compiled from kernel.org). The Macbook's internal WiFi keeps disconnecting etc, lots of transfer errors. I've tried with my router AP and Android phone WiFi tethering.

    Then I bought an A-Link wnu(m) USB WiFi adapter because someone mentioned he "fixed" the issue by buying a cheap USB dongle. The A-Link dongle is supported by Linux, even according to A-Link. However with that it doesn't disconnect but just starts getting transfer errors and eventually data isn't transmitted at all. When that starts happening disconnecting the dongle might work at first, but after a while it doesn't help (the connection works only for a minute or so). Even rebooting etc doesn't help. And oh yes, using an extension USB cord with the A-Link dongle doesn't help either (I tried that just incase, if there was weird interference or something). I've also gone through all the channels in the settings of my AP router (just incase..)

    The only way I've gotten a stable "wireless" connection is with USB-tethering with my Android phone.

    I still have to test the A-Link dongle thoroughly in Windows, but no problems so far, so it shouldn't be a faulty dongle.

    Quote Originally Posted by freeaks View Post
    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
    Hmm.. I'm now running 12.10 with 3.8-rc3 kernel (self-compiled) and it works without any modifications/patches. Do you have the EFI stuff done:
    http://cberner.com/2012/10/19/instal...ok-pro-retina/ (step 5). That's the guide I used to do my first install. Doing to boot-repair etc changes the way refit boots ubuntu or something. I don't know if it matters, but I've been using the EFI boot all the time.

    And oh yes, the GFXCardStatus method is very quirky. I usually have to boot to OS X a couple of times and set the integrated before it boots to Ubuntu. When it doesn't boot to ubuntu, it just freezes or I get a garbled line in the top of the screen. That might be fixed with one of the kernel patches (I don't think I have the links any more, I found some older patches on my 1 week long journey trying to get NVidia disabled, they were for kernel 3.7 I think). But when it does boot there are no problems with the display

  8. #8
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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
    Hmm.. I'm now running 12.10 with 3.8-rc3 kernel (self-compiled) and it works without any modifications/patches. Do you have the EFI stuff done:
    http://cberner.com/2012/10/19/instal...ok-pro-retina/ (step 5). That's the guide I used to do my first install. Doing to boot-repair etc changes the way refit boots ubuntu or something. I don't know if it matters, but I've been using the EFI boot all the time.
    i did the boot-repair already.
    i think i don't have refit. (i booted ubntu installer from usb key, formated everything, and then installed ubuntu only)

    And oh yes, the GFXCardStatus method is very quirky. I usually have to boot to OS X a couple of times and set the integrated before it boots to Ubuntu. When it doesn't boot to ubuntu, it just freezes or I get a garbled line in the top of the screen. That might be fixed with one of the kernel patches (I don't think I have the links any more, I found some older patches on my 1 week long journey trying to get NVidia disabled, they were for kernel 3.7 I think). But when it does boot there are no problems with the display
    i deleted osx when i formated my ssd drive at ubuntu install (deliberate choice) .
    so no gfxcardstatus for me.
    but, i tryed it anyway, just for the sake of it i've reinstalled osx on an external drive, and tryed gfxcardstatus 2.2.1 but it didn't help.
    everytime i boot ubuntu i'm stuck with nouveau only.

    i wonder what's going on?
    maybe it's the way kernel 3.8 has been packaged for 13.04 raring ?
    maybe there's been regression since 3.7?
    one thing is sure: lspci doesn't list my intel chip anymore.

    for what it's worth, i could confirm with that osx reinstall on an external drive that the integrated intel is still working.

    just, not on my ubuntu install that's all..

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

    I was just replying in the other thread

    I read there that you're using only GRUB so the EFI / boot-repair stuff shouldn't help then? I'm not very familiar with the inner workings of Apples yet But you could first try setting the integrated in OS X more times, if you haven't already. For me it works so that I boot to OS X, set integrated, then just reboot and Ubuntu. But like I said I sometimes have to do it more than once.

    I guess it's possible that refit booting is different to directly grub booting? These Apple machines sure are different. I had to buy one for work, and I need Windows for work too, so I'm triple booting. I wish I could install only Linux like you did, that's the way to go

  10. #10
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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 was just replying in the other thread

    I read there that you're using only GRUB so the EFI / boot-repair stuff shouldn't help then? I'm not very familiar with the inner workings of Apples yet But you could first try setting the integrated in OS X more times, if you haven't already. For me it works so that I boot to OS X, set integrated, then just reboot and Ubuntu. But like I said I sometimes have to do it more than once.

    I guess it's possible that refit booting is different to directly grub booting? These Apple machines sure are different. I had to buy one for work, and I need Windows for work too, so I'm triple booting. I wish I could install only Linux like you did, that's the way to go
    i finally succeed in getting the intel driver running
    now lspci report my two vga chips and X is running fine with i915.
    i still run ubuntu only. the solution was to use refind (on esp) instead of grub.
    so i have a 200mb fat32 partition with refind, a directory "ubuntu" where i've put my kernel, initrd and a config file like this:
    Code:
    cat /media/EFI/ubuntu/refind_linux.conf 
    "Boot using standard options" "root=UUID=<uuid string> ro quiet splash $vt_handoff"
    "Boot using minimal options" "root=UUID=<uuid string> ro" 
    "Boot to shell" "root=UUID=<uuid string> ro text"
    "Boot using recovery options" "root=UUID=<uuid string> ro recovery nomodeset"
    installed raring daily iso, ran ubiquity with -b switch to prevent grub from being installed as explained in garalndg's guide here : http://linuxmacbookproretina.blogspo...cbook-pro.html

    it seems to me grub was doing something that prevent i915 and vgawitcheroo to be used.

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