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ZappingLinux
Tux's lil' helper
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Joined: 13 Oct 2017
Posts: 117
Location: Delft, Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:41 pm    Post subject: Gentoo Linux With/Without Nvidia Reply with quote

Hey there!
So I am installing gentoo linux on my more modern laptop with a better processor. HOWEVER! This laptop has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M card installed in it which I use for gaming. Is there a way to configure my laptop so that it doesn't use this video card at all? Because this card has given me way too many headaches when using it on distros that had a pre compiled kernel. So how do I just use my integrated intel graphics card and not the nvidia one? Compile the kernel with the nouveau driver disabled and the intel module enabled right?
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZappingLinux,

Check your firmware setup.
If you have an Optimus graphics system you set up the system as a plain Intel graphics system.
Disabling the nVidia card in the firmware may help increase battery life.
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NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
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ZappingLinux
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 13 Oct 2017
Posts: 117
Location: Delft, Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
ZappingLinux,

Check your firmware setup.
If you have an Optimus graphics system you set up the system as a plain Intel graphics system.
Disabling the nVidia card in the firmware may help increase battery life.


Yes I do have an Optimus graphics system (which I am NOT a fan of by the way). Any resources on how to set up my system as a plain intel graphics system? Tutorials, something on the gentoo wiki? I am still new to gentoo but I am loving it so far.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZappingLinux,

Turn off the nVidia graphics in the BIOS if you can. If not, just ignore it.
Follow the Intel page on the Wiki as if your system was Intel only.
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NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
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R0b0t1
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Joined: 05 Jun 2008
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZappingLinux wrote:
NeddySeagoon wrote:
ZappingLinux,

Check your firmware setup.
If you have an Optimus graphics system you set up the system as a plain Intel graphics system.
Disabling the nVidia card in the firmware may help increase battery life.


Yes I do have an Optimus graphics system (which I am NOT a fan of by the way). Any resources on how to set up my system as a plain intel graphics system? Tutorials, something on the gentoo wiki? I am still new to gentoo but I am loving it so far.
Aside from the slightly different software setup, the separate GPU is really the only way to get a reasonable battery life. On newer machines the discrete GPU is likely not hooked up to the screen at all. It may have a video port. Slightly older machines will have a BIOS controlled multiplexer than can switch the screen between the two GPUs. Personally this seemed a better compromise as it made an open source implementation of Optimus unnecessary but I guess it added to the cost.

If your machine does not have the multiplexer, you will only see the processor's graphics with no additional setup. Even if the driver for the discrete card gets loaded, it can't drive the screen because it is not connected to it. The motherboard typically prevents the discrete card from being used as the framebuffer device for this reason.
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ZappingLinux
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Joined: 13 Oct 2017
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Location: Delft, Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Aside from the slightly different software setup, the separate GPU is really the only way to get a reasonable battery life. On newer machines the discrete GPU is likely not hooked up to the screen at all. It may have a video port. Slightly older machines will have a BIOS controlled multiplexer than can switch the screen between the two GPUs. Personally this seemed a better compromise as it made an open source implementation of Optimus unnecessary but I guess it added to the cost.

If your machine does not have the multiplexer, you will only see the processor's graphics with no additional setup. Even if the driver for the discrete card gets loaded, it can't drive the screen because it is not connected to it. The motherboard typically prevents the discrete card from being used as the framebuffer device for this reason.


Alright so I HAVE to use the nvidia card.... man that sucks because as far as I was concerned nouveau didn't support the 970M. Or at least, I never got the driver to work properly in kali linux. which led to me blacklisting the nouveau driver which was built in the kernel and setting up a different config to use the nvidia driver at startup. But this was broken two days ago by a dist upgrade so now I am done with that because it caused me so much stress (had to hand in an assignment which was on that partition). Am I wrong to believe the nouveau driver doesn't work with my card?
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZappingLinux,

Nope. You have one and a half complete graphics systems.
The Intel one is complete. Its the only one that can drive the display.

The nvidia graphics chip can draw into the pixel buffer used by the Intel chip but that's optional.
The nVidia graphics chip is not connected to the display. Any attempt to use it on its own gets a black screen.

The multiplexer (which you don't have) was an expensive power hungry chip, that degraded the analogue video output quality.

The nouveau website suggests that your GTX 970 has been supported since April.
That's not to say that support is in Gentoo stable yet. You may need a few testing packages.
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NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
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Fulgurance
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Joined: 15 Feb 2017
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, i have created a same post, it's possible to help me ?
I have problem to switch manually with intel graphics and secret card.
(sorry for my bad english, i'm french)

Post: https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-1070776-highlight-.html
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ZappingLinux
Tux's lil' helper
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Joined: 13 Oct 2017
Posts: 117
Location: Delft, Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

The nouveau website suggests that your GTX 970 has been supported since April.
That's not to say that support is in Gentoo stable yet. You may need a few testing packages.


Thanks for the elaboration on the subject! Really just shows how dumb an ignorant I am when it comes to laptops. I too saw that the nouveau driver supposedly now supports the GTX 970 card since april. However, as I said before that didn't seem the case when I used kali linux. How do I go about that testing? From what I have read it is rather difficult to go from the testing branch back to the stable branch and since I really want to keep a stable system, I don't know if I am comfortable with that. (https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Handbook:X86/Portage/Branches)
But what I can do is just try to install the system and see if it boots since I can't recover my previous system anyway and I have already made a backup of all my important files.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZappingLinux,

You are correct about reverting from testing to stable but you don't need all testing.
The nouveau driver is in two parts, the kernel part and the Xorg part. You (may) need those parts from testing.

There are two stable kernels for amd64 gentoo-sources-4.9.49-r1 gentoo-sources-4.12.12.
The 4.9 series is long term support. That means it gets fixes but not new features.

gentoo-sources-4.12.12 may work for a kernel but don't be afraid to try gentoo-sources-4.13.9, which is current testing.
Switching between those two kernels at boot time will work too.
xf86-video-nouveau-1.0.15 is the newest in the tree, dated Aug 16 and its stable.

If you already have gentoo-sources-4.12.12 and xf86-video-nouveau-1.0.15 that's almost as good as it gets until you use xf86-video-nouveau directly from git.
Don't do that yet. At most, you may need the testing kernel and that's very low risk.
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NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
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mbar
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Joined: 19 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Use:
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/NVIDIA/Optimus
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/NVIDIA/Optimus/xorg.conf

On my Asus UX303UB I had to use
Screen 1 "nvidia"
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