1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Moving Closer To NVIDIA Optimus On Linux

Nouveau

Published on 13 January 2012 01:29 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau
13 Comments

David Airlie filed a second DRM pull request over the night for the Linux 3.3 kernel. This second pull has work related to NVIDIA Optimus technology within the Nouveau driver.

In "some fixes for -rc1", David has several DRM-related fixes queued up already for the Linux 3.3 kernel. This comes just days after the main DRM 3.3 pull that brought many enhancements to all of the key open-source kernel graphics drivers.

While this second pull is mostly about fixes, there are two fixes that are prominent if you have a dual-GPU NVIDIA Optimus laptop: "nouveau: properly check for _DSM function support" and "nouveau: Support Optimus models for vga_switcheroo." These patches come from Peter Lekensteyn, an independent contributor.

David says in the pull request, "two nouveau fixes I've
tested locally on optimus laptop and they seem to fix the problem off [sic] turning the GPU off properly when asked."

The commit description by Peter Lekensteyn for the vga_switcheroo support of NVIDIA Optimus says:
Newer nVidia cards with Optimus do not support/use the DSM switching functions. Instead, it require a DSM function to be called prior to bringing a device into D3 state. No other _DSM calls are necessary before/after enabling/disabling a device. Switching between discrete and integrated GPU is not supported by this Optimus _DSM call, therefore return on the switching method.

The other commit is just properly checking for _DSM function support per the ACPI v4.0 specification.

Vga_switcheroo is the rudimentary way of switching between GPUs/drivers on laptops with dual graphics processors. This isn't a seamless transfer but rather requires restarting the X.Org Server, etc. There's also been some other experimental work, but NVIDIA Optimus overall has been a very sore spot on Linux. For now it's recommended to just avoid the hardware.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 Offers Great Linux Performance
  2. CompuLab Intense-PC2: An Excellent, Fanless, Mini PC Powered By Intel's i7 Haswell
  3. From The Atom 330 To Haswell ULT: Intel Linux Performance Benchmarks
  4. AMD Radeon R9 285 Tonga Performance On Linux
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Moves Forward With Unified Linux Driver Strategy, New Kernel Driver
  2. MSI: Update Your BIOS From The Linux Desktop
  3. NVIDIA vs. AMD 2D Linux Drivers: Catalyst Is Getting Quite Good At 2D
  4. 15-Way GPU Comparison With Mesa 10.3 + Linux 3.17
Latest Linux News
  1. Debian Now Defaults To Xfce On Non-x86 Desktops
  2. Phoenix Is Trying To Be An Open Version Of Apple's Swift
  3. Linux 3.19 To Have Skylake Graphics, PPGTT Enablement
  4. Ubuntu 16.04 Might Be The Distribution's Last 32-Bit Release
  5. Imagination Releases Full ISA Documentation For PowerVR Rogue GPUs
  6. Features GNOME Developers Want In The Linux Kernel
  7. GTK+ Gains Experimental Overlay Scrollbars
  8. Phoronix Test Suite 5.4 M3 Is Another Hearty Update
  9. GParted 0.20 Improves Btrfs Support
  10. EXT4 In Linux 3.18 Has Clean-ups, Bug Fixes
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Users/Developers Threatening Fork Of Debian GNU/Linux
  2. Proof that strlcpy is un-needed
  3. xbox one tv tuner
  4. HOPE: The Ease Of Python With The Speed Of C++
  5. Bye bye BSD, Hello Linux: A Sys Admin's Story
  6. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  7. NVIDIA Presents Its Driver Plans To Support Mir/Wayland & KMS On Linux
  8. AMD Is Restructuring Again, Losing 7% Of Employees