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Thread: HOW TO: Get Nvidia turned off on L501X aka XPS 15

  1. #1
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    HOW TO: Get Nvidia turned off on L501X aka XPS 15

    Going to try and incorporate some of this in the next few weeks. http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...9&postcount=23
    5 classes, finals coming, work, plus a court case with in laws don't give me as much time as I would like to work on this.

    No warranty etc, I'm not responsible for damages to laptop if they incur. I am figuring this out as I go as well. Just trying to be a help to the community.

    First and foremost my sources for figuring this out:
    https://lists.launchpad.net/hybrid-g.../msg00450.html
    http://linux-hybrid-graphics.blogspo...tch-onoff.html
    http://linux-hybrid-graphics.blogspo...ng-nvidia.html


    I have only tested this working on the i5 460m l501x Dell xps 15. I have been trying to make updates to make this a better set up. I have found a way to make these changed permanent. I'll update this original post later on. For now I'll provide a link to the updated post. I want the below info to be kept so that others may be able to figure out a method usable for other models.
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...6&postcount=25




    Step 1
    See that both Intel and Nvidia are displayed as being used by entering this into terminal
    Code:
     lspci -vnnn | perl -lne 'print if /^\d+\:.+(\[\S+\:\S+\])/' | grep VGA
    It should read something like this:
    00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller [8086:0046] (rev 18) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
    02:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: nVidia Corporation Device [10de:0df1] (rev a1) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
    Step 2
    Make sure you have git installed, if you don't enter the below command
    Code:
     sudo apt-get install git
    Step 3
    This part comes from the linux-hybrid-graphics.blogspot.com
    This gets the acpi_call.git which allows video switching. We have no need for the ./test_off.sh command since it doesn't run.
    Code:
     
    git clone http://github.com/mkottman/acpi_call.git
    cd acpi_call
    make
    sudo insmod acpi_call.ko
    Step 4
    Instead of ./test_off.sh we use the command
    Code:
     sh m11xr2.sh off
    This command will be downloaded with acpi_call.git


    Step 5
    Check that it worked.
    Code:
     lspci -vnnn | perl -lne 'print if /^\d+\:.+(\[\S+\:\S+\])/' | grep VGA
    The output should look like this:
    00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller [8086:0046] (rev 18) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
    02:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: nVidia Corporation Device [10de:0df1] (rev ff) (prog-if ff)
    Re-enable
    To re-enable all that is needed to run the script m11xr2.sh with on
    Code:
     sh m11xr2.sh on

    All In One Step:

    If you want it all in one step then try this:
    Code:
     sudo apt-get install git
    
     git clone http://github.com/mkottman/acpi_call.git
     cd acpi_call
     make
     sudo insmod acpi_call.ko
     sh m11xr2.sh off
     lspci -vnnn | perl -lne 'print if /^\d+\:.+(\[\S+\:\S+\])/' | grep VGA

    This is what must be run each time you boot to continue to keep Nvidia off.
    Code:
     sudo insmod acpi_call.ko
     sh m11xr2.sh off
    Edit2: I added a script for when booting to disable Nvidia. http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...9&postcount=15
    I want to incorporate adding this module into the kernel on boot, hopefully in the next few weeks.
    Edit1: It seems to work as expected now that I have checked my battery usage. I can see when I'm idle and using m11xr2 off the normal drain is 1.3W. Once I turn m11xr2 on the power usage jumps to 1.6W or higher and will not drop down to 1.3W again until I turn it off once more. I don't know the nitty gritty but I'll try to look at the code used.
    Edit0: It appears the script for turning it off must be run each time you boot up. Should probably look into putting this as part of my boot up sequence

    No warranty, I'm not responsible for damages to laptop if they incur. I am figuring this out as I go as well. Just trying to be a help to the community.
    Last edited by iammeagain; May 2nd, 2011 at 04:31 PM. Reason: New info as I test it out

    Dell XPS15 L501X i5, Nvidia 420M
    Acer Aspire 8735G

  2. #2
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    Re: HOW TO: Get Nvidia turned off on L501X aka XPS 15

    If someone could please give me info on how to check my overall power usage that would be great. I really want to verify this is helping battery life without having to just sit here with it off and on.

    Dell XPS15 L501X i5, Nvidia 420M
    Acer Aspire 8735G

  3. #3
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    Re: HOW TO: Get Nvidia turned off on L501X aka XPS 15

    Quote Originally Posted by iammeagain View Post
    If someone could please give me info on how to check my overall power usage that would be great. I really want to verify this is helping battery life without having to just sit here with it off and on.
    I guess 'powertop' is your friend

  4. #4
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    Re: HOW TO: Get Nvidia turned off on L501X aka XPS 15

    From terminal you can use this to check before and after module load
    Code:
    grep rate /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/state
    or
    Code:
    cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/state
    and to see if your module loaded. If its loaded, then your card should be off.
    Code:
    lsmod | grep m11xr2

  5. #5
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    Re: HOW TO: Get Nvidia turned off on L501X aka XPS 15

    That powertop worked great since it reloaded without me having to sit there and run it each time. I can see when I'm idle and using m11xr2 off the normal drain is 1.3W. Once I turn m11xr2 on the power usage jumps to 1.6W or higher and will not drop down to 1.3W again until I turn it off once more.

    @Slave2Metal
    The script I believe just turns off the card. It doesn't stay loaded or used after that. so instead of lsmod | grep m11xr2
    I was using
    Code:
    lspci -vnnn | perl -lne 'print if /^\d+\:.+(\[\S+\:\S+\])/' | grep VGA
    Which reads out the info on my two VGA controllers and tells me which are being accessed.

    Code:
    lsmod | grep m11xr2
    Didn't print anything for me. What should I have expected with that one?

    Dell XPS15 L501X i5, Nvidia 420M
    Acer Aspire 8735G

  6. #6
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    Re: HOW TO: Get Nvidia turned off on L501X aka XPS 15

    This is the output I get, telling me that the module is loaded. Plus the increase in battery life. I have been trying to get a script to run this at boot, with no luck. So I'm loading it manually for the time being. The implementations are just different. Yours might be acpi_call instead of m11, I dunno.
    Code:
    XPS:~$ lsmod | grep m11xr2hack
    m11xr2hack              1737  0
    Quote Originally Posted by iammeagain View Post
    That powertop worked great since it reloaded without me having to sit there and run it each time. I can see when I'm idle and using m11xr2 off the normal drain is 1.3W. Once I turn m11xr2 on the power usage jumps to 1.6W or higher and will not drop down to 1.3W again until I turn it off once more.

    @Slave2Metal
    The script I believe just turns off the card. It doesn't stay loaded or used after that. so instead of lsmod | grep m11xr2
    I was using
    Code:
    lspci -vnnn | perl -lne 'print if /^\d+\:.+(\[\S+\:\S+\])/' | grep VGA
    Which reads out the info on my two VGA controllers and tells me which are being accessed.

    Code:
    lsmod | grep m11xr2
    Didn't print anything for me. What should I have expected with that one?
    Last edited by Slave2Metal; March 9th, 2011 at 08:45 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: HOW TO: Get Nvidia turned off on L501X aka XPS 15

    I really don't get the use of the lsmod | grep It just seems to give some info on the size of the module. That doesn't tell power drain.

    Are you running an XPS L501X as well? Because I don't see m11xr2hack listed anywhere in my lsmod if I just load all of it. All I see is the acpi_call.

    I haven't attempted a boot up script yet. But it needs my password to go into sudo. I'm not sure of a secure way to do this.

    Dell XPS15 L501X i5, Nvidia 420M
    Acer Aspire 8735G

  8. #8
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    Re: HOW TO: Get Nvidia turned off on L501X aka XPS 15

    I am still learning this as I go. I see that insmod - install loadable kernel module. It only loads for the one session though. Could I just permanently install it in some way? Or is that got to do with custom kernel crud? Because if I could permanently add that then a small script to run the m11xr2.sh wouldn't be hard at all to make.

    Dell XPS15 L501X i5, Nvidia 420M
    Acer Aspire 8735G

  9. #9
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    Re: HOW TO: Get Nvidia turned off on L501X aka XPS 15

    I believe you are correct about the kernel crud. The information I was going by, is from the fedora forums to disable the card on an alienware m11xr2. I can load it manually, but no such luck getting the script to work. I'm researching vga switcheroo and kernel mode setting now. The lsmod wont tell power drain. It tells you if the module is loaded. Have you checked out the thread at fedora forums?

    Yes, I am trying to get this to work on an xps 15.

    Collaborating with someone that has a vested interest may be they way to go. I'm pretty much stumped and cannot figure out what's missing,either in my process or the instructions.
    http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showpo...0&postcount=39
    http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showpo...4&postcount=45
    Last edited by Slave2Metal; March 10th, 2011 at 05:56 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: HOW TO: Get Nvidia turned off on L501X aka XPS 15

    I have not seen this fedora thread, can you throw me a link?

    Dell XPS15 L501X i5, Nvidia 420M
    Acer Aspire 8735G

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