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Thread: Switchable Graphics is killing my Ubuntu Experience, PLEASE HELP

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Switchable Graphics is killing my Ubuntu Experience, PLEASE HELP

    Please help,
    ∘ For 2 months and over 100 hours, I have been trying to get my new HP Envy 2195ca laptop fully working in Ubuntu with the Swichable discrete AMD/ATI HD 6850m graphics card and not the embedded Intel hd3000 low end card, with no success. I think perhaps I am missing something basic and don't know what it is??? I am posting a new thread as my questions in previous threads are not getting any attention - so thanks in advance. Here is what I have tried (part thereof) :

    ‣ Installed using additional drivers - seemingly successfully - ie. says enabled, and active and green dot, but
    • running ATI's CCC gives:
    ∘ There was a problem initializing Catalyst Control Center Linux edition. It could be caused by the following.
    ∘ No AMD graphics driver is installed, or the AMD driver is not functioning properly.
    ∘ Please install the AMD driver appropriate for you AMD hardware, or configure using aticonfig.

    ‣ Installed from the amd website: amd-driver-installer-12-1-x86.x86_64.run, (previous version over the past 2 months as well)
    • created the 3 debian packages seemingly successfully and installed all three:
    ∘ fglrx_8.930-0ubuntu1_amd64.deb, plus 2 similarly named ones
    • For the first time using 12.1 today I seemingly successfully ran:
    ∘ aticonfig --initial -f, with no errors BUTTTTTT
    ‣ after a reboot just a black screen with a few tiny white dots flicking around
    • and safe mode works fine
    • I can get back into Ubuntu Normal mode by deleting
    ∘ /etc/X11/xorg.conf (perhaps I just need the right file contents for switchable graphics)
    ‣ Again PLEASE HELP. and Thanks in advance

    ‣ Here is some additional information
    • lspci -nn | grep VGA
    ∘ 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller [8086:0116] (rev 09)
    ∘ 01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: ATI Technologies Inc Broadway [ATI Mobility Radeon HD 6800 Series] [1002:68a8]
    • Recommended configuration for X.org
    ∘ No configuration is necessary for ATI driver in the modern versions of Ubuntu. You can safely take away your xorg.conf and your computer will run fine.
    • To see if your driver uses KMS (Kernel Mode Setting), run command
    ∘ ack@Arawn:~$ dmesg | grep drm
    [ 9.153946] [drm] Initialized drm 1.1.0 20060810
    [ 9.400960] [drm] MTRR allocation failed. Graphics performance may suffer.
    [ 9.402250] [drm] Supports vblank timestamp caching Rev 1 (10.10.2010).
    [ 9.402255] [drm] Driver supports precise vblank timestamp query.
    [ 13.040646] fbcon: inteldrmfb (fb0) is primary device
    [ 13.040932] fb0: inteldrmfb frame buffer device
    [ 13.040935] drm: registered panic notifier
    [ 13.049332] [drm] Initialized i915 1.6.0 20080730 for 0000:00:02.0 on minor 0


    • vgaswitcheroo
    ∘ Never has worked and probably because there is NEVER a file called
    ‣ /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
    ‣ root@Arawn:/home/ack# echo DIGD > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
    • bash: /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch: No such file or directory
    ∘ root@Arawn:/home/ack# grep -i switcheroo /boot/config-3.0.*
    ‣ /boot/config-3.0.0-16-generic:CONFIG_VGA_SWITCHEROO=y
    ∘ To test if vga_switcheroo is enabled, look for the switch file:
    ‣ ls -l /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
    • ls: cannot access /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch: No such file or directory
    ∘ never once had this switch file with or without open source/fglrx/ or no driver at all
    ‣ If you are not using the open-source radeon driver (or the nouveau driver in case of nvidia hardware), there won't be a /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch file. (ignoring hacks like asus-switcheroo and byo-switcheroo). Disabling KMS ("modeset=0") turns off this functionality too.
    • hmmmmmm
    ‣ Soooo
    • The last thing in my many attempts was to reinstall ubuntu to install the amd/ati driver thru additionhal drivers (post release) as I read that this was the only one to work with vgaswitcheroo. Oddly after the reinstall of Ubuntu and no updates I saw the switch file (/sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch) for my first time (Ubuntu 3.0.0-12) (no additional driver yet). Then I tried to install the ati driver no luck - errors so I thought I should update Ubuntu - restart and try again. After the restart my kernel was at 3.0.0-16 from 12, and no /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo folder at all

    I will quickly respond to any troubleshooting tips - THANKS
    Mark

  2. #2
    ahallubuntu is offline Chocolate-Covered Ubuntu Beans
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    Re: Switchable Graphics is killing my Ubuntu Experience, PLEASE HELP

    Are there any options in your BIOS Setup regarding the video card switching? I've not used a laptop with this option. Perhaps you can choose always one or the other rather than allow the OS to switch it? In that case, you could maybe try messing with that just to see if it works.

    If you still have a working version of Windows installed on this thing, you might also double check there isn't a newer BIOS available from HP for this computer. If so, I'd install it - there's some remote chance it could help the Linux driver work correctly.

  3. #3
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    Re: Switchable Graphics is killing my Ubuntu Experience, PLEASE HELP

    Wow An Awesomely fast response, and a smart one, however I have exausted the BIOS options by even having an HP Advanced Case Manager trying to get the techies to build options for switchable graphics into the bios ... but still no luck, as I just checked the website again, arghhhh, though thanks

    let the troubleshooting begin LOL
    Thanks Mark

  4. #4
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    Re: Switchable Graphics is killing my Ubuntu Experience, PLEASE HELP

    As far as I know there is no driver that actually works well with switchable graphics yet. I also have a laptop with it. So far all I was able to accomplish was to get the low end Intel graphics to be the only card working. That is not what most of us want. It appears that you just cannot make the high end chipset work alone in any way. Its either the low end by itself or the low then high card kicks in which of course doesnt work for us on Ubuntu.
    I do think I read something recently about a linux driver being released very soon that hopefully will solve this, but for now I gave up as it simply wasn't worth spending a hundred hours on it. If I put in an extra hundred hours at work instead I could just buy a better laptop as it would be cheaper and easier!
    I do hope they come up with a Linux driver soon as more and more laptops are coming out with this switchable graphics setup to save power and battery life.

  5. #5
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    Angry Re: Switchable Graphics is killing my Ubuntu Experience, PLEASE HELP

    Well Thanks anyway for the response, I guess my optimism has to run out. Wow there must be thousands or millions of new computers with the intel switchable graphics. As far as I know ALL new laptops with an intel processor and a discret higher end card for the past year has this setup.

    That must beat least 70% of all new higher end laptops
    - hundreds of millions -
    and linux can't find a simple script to choose 0,1, or 2 for three options (Card One, the other, or both) WOWWWWW

    Well thanks again, If anyone has any better news please append this thread,

    Cheers, Mark

  6. #6
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    Re: Switchable Graphics is killing my Ubuntu Experience, PLEASE HELP

    If in Ubuntu I would run System Profiler, or Everest in Windows and find out exactly what system board you have and such. You may be able to download a bios from the board mfg that hp wouldn't have that would allow you to disable the on board video.

  7. #7
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    Re: Switchable Graphics is killing my Ubuntu Experience, PLEASE HELP

    Quote Originally Posted by tomsn2 View Post
    If in Ubuntu I would run System Profiler, or Everest in Windows and find out exactly what system board you have and such. You may be able to download a bios from the board mfg that hp wouldn't have that would allow you to disable the on board video.
    This is a relatively new thing, although many new laptops have this "feature", and probably soon for low/mid range desktops too. It IS onboard video on laptop motherboards. BOTH chipsets are built into the motherboard. A fairly decent high end one might I add, if you can only get it to work right.

    It is designed to save power by only utilizing the higher end and more power hungry graphics when really needed, like for gaming or photoshop or similar. Most of the time the unit only uses the low end chip. The software itself, which is loaded only AFTER the O/S starts up, determines when to switch. In Windows the drivers that work, allow you to set certain programs to use the high end card upon launching them, but not until the program starts up. Even with this software on Windows, some programs (mostly older ones) still only see the currently loaded chip, the low end one. Through a bios update and changing a setting you can now disable the "switchable" instructions, which means that it only runs on the low end chip but not the better one.

    In any case it ALWAYS starts on the low end chip, so no matter what you do your programs detect it as a low end Intel graphics setup. Most of us would be happy to be able to disable the low end set totally, but apparently, that's not the way its wired into it. So basically until someone writes a decent driver that works well in Linux (and a better one for Windows) we that have this are out of luck. There is the Ubuntu switcheroo workaround but as the OP noted it did not work for him and I personally had no luck with it also.

  8. #8
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    Re: Switchable Graphics is killing my Ubuntu Experience, PLEASE HELP

    well thanks for your effortd anyways guys

    Cheers, Mark

    p.s. it is an HP motherboard, so no luck with that - good thought though

    p.s.s, I will note a friend got his amd/ati 6000m series card to work using the 12.1 version of CCC, and here is what he used (i hope it helps someone)

    Hi Mark,

    You wouldn't believe it, but I am actually typing this email on my dv6, sporting the Radeon Graphics Card! AMD released Catalyst 12.1 and that apparently brought switchable graphics support for the HD 6xxxM Series, at least I can confirm that it is running just fine. Here is what I did:

    Download the driver from AMD's website: http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownloa...eon_linux.aspx

    Read somewhere to make sure I had the prerequisite packages, which would be these: sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic dkms

    Because I'm running 64bit, linked the libraries: sudo ln -svT lib /usr/lib64

    and then ran the .run I downloaded from the website and said I wanted to install the driver and that was it! I can access CCC and switch graphics as well (requires reboot).

    Best regards,
    Dominic
    Last edited by markackerman8@gmail.com; February 20th, 2012 at 08:24 AM. Reason: new info append

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Re: Switchable Graphics is killing my Ubuntu Experience, PLEASE HELP

    I had the same issue on my HP Envy 14; here is what i done:


    edit the /etc/fstab and add the following lines:

    tmpfs /dev/shm tmpfs defaults 0 0

    none /sys/kernel/debug debugfs defaults 0 0


    then edit the /etc/rc.local and add before exit0:

    chown $User /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

    echo OFF> /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

    once you have done that use the attached script & drop it into your /usr/bin folder, and then drop the attached icons into home/$User/.local/share/icons folder

    Note: you may want to change the $User in the /home/%User/.local/share/icons element to be the user on your machine. make sure the attached file is executable or it wont work; so either chmod or change permissions by right click.

    prior to running the script ensure you have installed gxmessage

    to run the script/app, open a terminal and get into root (sudo su)

    then simply run the following command:

    switch_between_cards

    the switch 1-4 picture attached shows the process and you can see my radeon card is going from off to on to off again

    references:

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/HybridGraphics

    i have changed the following in my script:

    gnome-session-save --logout to gnome-session-quit

    removed open box opens as they were conflicting

    good luck

    hope this helps
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Last edited by onefthemany; April 3rd, 2012 at 11:25 AM. Reason: minor changes

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Re: Switchable Graphics is killing my Ubuntu Experience, PLEASE HELP

    Hey, I was looking for updated script to switch between cards. Thanks. It works. Just the logout doesn´t work. I have to run it manually. Any idea how to improve it? I am using ubuntu 12.04. Thanks

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