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

Linux Display Switching Support For Apple MacBooks

Linux Kernel

Published on 15 August 2012 12:09 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
1 Comment

Canonical and others continue to hack on rudimentary support for graphics display switching for Apple MacBook laptops bearing multiple graphics processors.

Seth Forshee on Tuesday published his latest work in this area for Apple display switching support to the kernel mailing list. The patches build upon vga_switcheroo to support display switching with the GMUX. While these three patches allow for display switching, graphics drivers may still have issues with this support on Apple hardware due to missing/invalid vBIOS information on Apple computers. The patches at least fix a GMUX state restoration issue that some MacBook users have seen.
This series adds display switching support for Apple laptops. The first two patches contain preparatory changes to vga_switcheroo, and the third contains the changes to support display switching with the gmux.

While these patches will allow switching the display mux, most Macbook owners will not be able to switch GPUs in practice until the graphics drivers are updated to deal with missing or incorrect vbios information on Apple machines. These patches do fix an issue seen by some users of Linux on Macbooks, however. These users will switch to the internal GPU in OS X and then reboot into Linux to save power, but after S3 the gmux gets reset to the discrete GPU. Adding the display mux support will fix this problem by restoring the gmux state during resume.
Matthew Garrett has also been working on Apple GMUX support for the newer Apple Intel/NVIDIA graphics hardware per these patches from this week. Matthew Garrett's been playing around with an Apple Retina MacBook Pro and trying to better the Linux support, but from my testing thus far, I absolutely cannot recommend running any Linux distribution at this time bare-metal on Apple's newest notebook with its incredible display. There's many outstanding problems and all of the issues will likely not be all ironed out and found in tier-one distributions until early next year at least.

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. A Walkthrough Of The New 32 System Open-Source Linux Benchmarking Test Farm
  2. Habey MITX-6771: Mini-ITX Board With Quad-Core J1900 Bay Trail
  3. OCZ Vector 150 SSD On Linux
  4. Noctua i4 CPU Cooler: Great For Cooling High-End LGA-2011v3 CPUs
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Kaveri: Open-Source Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver
  2. 12-Way AMD Catalyst 14.12 vs. NVIDIA 346 Series Linux GPU Comparison
  3. AMD Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver Brings Mixed Results For Linux Users
  4. 6-Way Winter 2014 Linux Distribution Comparison
Latest Linux News
  1. LowRISC To Feature Tagged Memory & Minion Cores
  2. Intel Skylake Audio Support For Linux 3.19
  3. After 10+ Years, NetworkManager Reaches v1.0
  4. VDPAU Updated To v0.9
  5. An Open Hardware Random Number Generator Proposed
  6. LLVM 3.6 Will Be Branched Next Month
  7. Opera Browser Puts Out Linux Updates For The Holidays
  8. GNOME Shell 3.15.3 Adds Support For High-Contrast Themes
  9. Linux 3.19: ThinkPad Muting Redone, New Dell Backlight Support, Acer Is Banging
  10. KVM Drops Support For IA64 While Adding Various x86 Improvements
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. XLennart: A Game For Systemd Haters With Nothing Better To Do
  2. Need some hand holding with upgrading xserver
  3. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  4. Debian init discussion in Phoenix Wright format
  5. The New SuperTuxKart Looks Better, But Can Cause GPU/Driver Problems
  6. FPS capped on Linux (AMD fglrx drivers)
  7. Are there an app using HSA ?
  8. Bench specific mount point