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 Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

Notebook Hybrid Graphics On Linux Still Sucks

Hardware

Published on 13 October 2010 11:49 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
18 Comments

For those of you that have been wondering about the state of hybrid graphics support for notebooks running Linux, sadly the situation has yet to improve, which still puts it in shambles.

Towards the beginning of this year we reported on hybrid graphics support for Linux coming in a crude form via something David Airlie calls "vga_switcheroo", which has since been integrated into the mainline Linux kernel and related components. This allows for a rather basic and rudimentary way to switch between two graphics processors, but it requires shutting down the X.Org Server and is far from being a streamlined experience. It evolved quickly at first to the point that it supported delayed GPU switching, but lately has not received much attention. Hybrid graphics support under Linux is far from being close to the same level of the experience notebook users have when running Microsoft Windows 7.

We also reported on initial open-source multi-GPU rendering support via some other David Airlie work called PRIME, but that too hasn't seen much love in recent months. NVIDIA has also confirmed that their Optimus technology will not come to Linux.

About all that's new in the way of developments is a new kernel module called acpi_call, which allows those owners of notebooks with dual graphics processors to try out different ACPI methods for switching on and off the discrete GPU. While you may be able to figure out the ACPI call needed to switch off the GPU, support for automatically placing that call to either turn on or off that GPU when needed, is not yet in place.

Those interested in trying out the acpi_call module or other hybrid graphics experiments under Linux can find a few more details on this blog.

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 Articles & Reviews
  1. Ubuntu 15.04 Offers Faster OpenGL For AMD Radeon GPUs On Open-Source
  2. Ubuntu 15.04 Brings Some Graphics Performance Improvements For Intel Haswell
  3. Sub-$20 802.11n USB WiFi Adapter That's Linux Friendly
  4. The Lenovo T450s Is Working Beautifully With Linux
  5. Linux 4.0 SSD EXT4 / Btrfs / XFS / F2FS Benchmarks
  6. Linux 4.0 Hard Drive Comparison With Six File-Systems
Latest Linux News
  1. GCC 5.2 Will Come In Two To Three Months
  2. AMD FP3 Motherboard Ported To Coreboot
  3. The Difference In Optimizations Between NIR & GLSL
  4. OpenMandriva Lx 3 Alpha: Adds UEFI Support, Defaults To LXQt
  5. Systemd Kills Off Shutdownd
  6. There's Now More Than 1,100 Games On Steam For Linux
  7. Btrfs In Linux 4.1 Has Fixes For File-Systems Of 20 Terabytes & Up
  8. Microsoft's CoreCLR Now Works On FreeBSD
  9. Unigine 2.0 Beta 2 Brings PBR, SSR, Kinect 2 Support
  10. KDBUS Still Hasn't Been Pulled, Might Not Land For Linux 4.1
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. AMD Releases New "AMDGPU" Linux Kernel Driver & Mesa Support
  2. Ubuntu's Desktop-Next Switching From .DEBs To Snappy
  3. EXT4 In Linux 4.1 Adds File-System Level Encryption
  4. My Favorite Computer Desk Of The Past Decade For Less Than $100
  5. AMD Open-Sources "Addrlib" From Catalyst
  6. Library Operating System (LibOS) For Linux Still Being Pursued
  7. Linux-Powered Endless Computer Raises $100k+ In A Few Days
  8. Debian 8.0 Jessie Is Ready For Release This Weekend