Bumblebee Has Tumbleweed For NVIDIA Optimus On Linux
Phoronix: Bumblebee Has Tumbleweed For NVIDIA Optimus On Linux
Bumblebee 3.0 "Tumbleweed" has been released as an updated (and unofficial) way of handling NVIDIA Optimus technology under Linux...
This makes purchasing an nvidia laptop (with Linux, I mean) a lot more interesting. Even though I still tend to wish to support AMD in this field.
They've just released version 3 and are already working on the next release, with fixing bug/issues and developing a GUI.
Good luck with that. AMD is using a similar technology to Optimus in recent laptops.
Originally Posted by susikala
Support for these laptops is practically non-existent on Linux.
Best way to solve this is to buy a notebook with only one GPU.
Originally Posted by LLStarks
A notebook with Radeon HD 6620G doesn't use such a technology. And is about as fast as GeForce GT 540M, GeForce GT 550M, at a much lower power consumption. IMHO for mainstream notebook gaming AMD has better solutions than Intel+Nvidia.
Prior to reading this article, I incidentally just finished writing a howto for the recent muxless Intel/ATI hybrid graphics, also known by Powerexpress 4.0 (analogous to Optimus). This can be accessed in the Gentoo Forums at http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-909802.html.
In summary, I was able to get the discrete GPU working with both fglrx (proprietary) and radeon (opensource) drivers on my machine, which is a recent Sony Vaio S 13.3 that has Intel Core i5 2430M CPU and a Radeon 6630M GPU.
The fglrx driver is surprisingly way ahead of Nvidia drivers in that respect. It does in fact interact with the Intel X.org driver to do the rendering on the Radeon GPU. A true hybrid driver. Interestingly, it means that we now have a Intel KMS on the frontend with the Radeon GPU at the backend - a total win. There is a slight lag while using Radeon, but may be its just me.
In the howto, I also wrote about running a bumblebee style second X server on Radeon GPU and using VirtualGL to run 3D applications on this X server. The second X server at the moment can only be run with the opensource radeon driver - no luck with fglrx. So to conclude, fortunately nothing in Bumblebee seems to be actually specific to Optimus, except for the ACPI calls that differ anyway between various systems. I think they should really start including radeon support into Bumblebee.
Overall, it seems there is a little lack of information and even misinformation about the state of radeon hybrid graphics, but I think it is actually going in a good direction. I myself was in a bit of despair with my Sony notebook a week back and currently I am very pleased. All said, I am actually more pleased by the performance and power consumption of Intel graphics on this computer, and hence mostly sticking to the integrated graphics.
Last edited by hdas; 01-21-2012 at 05:40 AM.
You're invited to make Bumblebee work for AMD hardware, https://github.com/Bumblebee-Project...ebee/issues/52
Originally Posted by hdas
Thanks for taking the initiative and creating the issue. I was planning to contact the Bumblebee authors about this. I will try to contribute to it as I find time (as I am nearing the end of my graduation). In addition, I am definitely willing to test things on my notebook. While I will join the github project in near future and directly add things to the issue, for now I would note that I couldn't get fglrx to a second X server running with fglrx, so I guess it would be radeon only for now, and this part should be similar to the way nouveau is handled.
Originally Posted by Lekensteyn
For the long term, I think the fglrx drivers will properly support hybrid graphics on their own, and they do work even now as I mentioned in the howto (with some possible additional work of specifying the bus ID). So I think the open source radeon drivers should be supporting hybrid graphics too in near future. I am definitely excited that the radeon driver works like the Bumblebee method, but I am more surprised and curious about the way the fglrx interacts (and "hijacks") the Intel X.org drivers.
If possible, someone may also shed some light on whether the Nvidia and ATI hybrid graphics systems differ fundamentally and if so, how.
Interesting how the fglrx driver manages to select do a full software switch to the discrete card. If we figure out how AMD do it, we may be able to make it work for nvidia hardware and radeon as well.
Originally Posted by hdas