Red Hat Is Working To Improve Linux Switchable Graphics

Written by Michael Larabel in Red Hat on 7 July 2016 at 07:53 AM EDT. 41 Comments
Hans de Goede of Red Hat has been tasked with making improvements to Linux's switchable graphics support, namely for laptops with integrated and discrete GPUs.

For years there's been various developers working on Linux switchable graphics and features like DRI PRIME, but to this day the support remains a great deal behind what's offered by Windows and OS X. Hans de Goede is hoping to improve the situation for Fedora, but thanks to Red Hat's workflow, will benefit upstream Linux projects to help other distributions too.

Aiming to complete some of the work for Fedora 25, Hans is hoping to improve this laptop-focused feature for allowing better selection of the iGPU vs. dGPU, taking care of various laptop-specific quirks, and ensuring GNOME can work well across switchable graphics systems.

More details can be found via this Fedora change page and Hans' blog post that announced his new work project this morning. Hans previously was working on Nouveau improvements at Red Hat.

Of course, Hans was quick to point out in the blog post that even switching from the iGPU to dGPU on Linux may not necessarily mean a performance improvement... Many of these hybrid laptops are using NVIDIA graphics and when using the Nouveau driver there is no re-clocking support by default. Without being able to ramp up the clock speeds of the NVIDIA GPU to the rated core frequency, the performance may be miserable and perhaps even worse than the Intel integrated graphics.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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