So, lately theres been a fair few problems with the UL30VT. This is a post to compile the general solutions to especially the hybrid graphics cards.
This guide is intended to the new Ubuntu release Lucid Lynx(10.04 LTS), but would probably work for the Karmic(9.10) release too.
Hybrid Graphics – The problem
First off, the hybrid drivers found in Windows 7 seems to be developed by Asus themselves. Another problem is that to be able to “hotswitch” between the Nvidia and Intel graphics card it need to be implemented into the Xorg core – and this I would imagine we will not see in a long time. As it stand in Windows, only Windows 7 is able to the “hotswitch”, earlier versions like Vista and XP need to same solution as Xorg – a service restart(re-login).
Hybrid Graphics – Solution
So there are several solutions depending on the outcome you want.
- Running only Intel
- Running only Nvidia
- Running “hotswitch” between Intel and Nvidia
Hybrid Graphics – Solution “Running only Intel”
So – this solution pretty much work out of the box. Since the Lucid install utilize the Intel card by default using the Intel drivers, this is the easiest solution. The only thing you need to do is pretty much install Ubuntu as you would on any other computer.
Running ‘glxgears’ would give you a result of 3 000-4 000 frames per 5.0 seconds.
So , this works if you dont want to run any heavy graphics. BUT, the Nvidia card is still enabled and draining battery! So how do we solve this? Some genius people over at ubuntuforums have posted a kernel-module to disable the nvidia card using the acpi switch. This code is based on a lenovo_acpi kernel-module.
The short version on how to disable the Nvidia card is:
One of the Linux users has found a solution to switch off the nvidia card in the UL30Vt models, which by the looks of the DSDT tables, will also work for the UL50Vt and UL80Vt models with nvidia card.
If you are using Linux on an Asus UL30Vt, or Asus UL50Vt or Asus UL80Vt, keep reading…
For Ubuntu Karmic, download and install this package:
Then once installed, run the following command on a terminal:
sudo modprobe nvidia_g210m_acpi
This method uses the ACPI P0P1.VGA._OFF method, which is the same for all 3 models.
The code file, “asus_nvidia.c” is derived from “lenovo_acpi.c” by Sylvain Joyeux.
Here is the original post and another one that adds hibernation support:
The complete guide on how to disable the Nvidia card can be found here.
So, that was the solution to running on the Intel card only. This will save battery life and make your computer run up until 10 hours.
There was a problem with “glitches” when running X, here is a fix if you have that problem:
Kernel parameter i915.powersave=0 in grub fixes this issue
Hybrid Graphics – Solution “Running only Nvidia”
This pretty much means running Nvidia and Intel, cause the Intel card can’t really be disabled the same way as the Nvidia card can be.
So this is the biggie one, cause I bought the computer to run on the Nvidia mostly because the nvidia linux drivers are way better than the Intel ones. And if you need to run games especially through wine, I’ve always found nvidia to handle this extremely well.
Lets get on with it! The problem is actually a weird one – one that I don’t know the answer to. If anyone know why this solution work, please drop me a line so I can incorporate it here. As far as my knowledge goes, I figured it was maybe an interrupt problem. It seems this tweak frees up an interrupt somehow.
This is how you get g210m to work on Ubuntu 9.10 / 10.04.
1. Download and install nvidia drivers from the repos(nvidia-current).
2. Make sure you got an Xorg.conf that is correct – run nvidia-xconfig.
Run ‘lspci -v | grep VGA’ and you should get something like : 01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation GT218 [GeForce G210M] (rev a2)
Make sure the xorg.conf contains the BusId “PCI:1:0:0″ (should correspond to the 01:00.0 – which becomes PCI:1:0:0)
3. Reboot into bios (press delete while booting)
4. Change the SATA option in the bios from enhanced to
compatibility. ( yea, this makes sense? NOT! )
5. Boot into linux and smile!
If you experience any problems, for example you forgot to set some params in the xorg.conf, you can boot using your Ubuntu USB or CD and mount your root partition and make the changes there.
Hybrid Graphics – Solution “Running hotswitch beteen Nvidia and Intel”
I haven’t tried this solution yet – but I would imagine you could use a combination of the solutions mentioned above. If anyone have tested this, please drop me a line and I’ll add it here. At least it would be possible with a reboot, but who wants that cheap old Windows-trick?!
My xorg.conf(Running nvidia-solution)
# nvidia-xconfig: X configuration file generated by nvidia-xconfig
# nvidia-xconfig: version 1.0 (buildmeister@builder58) Fri Mar 12 02:12:40 PST 2010
Screen 0 “Screen0″
InputDevice “Keyboard0″ “CoreKeyboard”
InputDevice “Mouse0″ “CorePointer”
# generated from default
Option “Protocol” “auto”
Option “Device” “/dev/mouse”
Option “Emulate3Buttons” “no”
Option “ZAxisMapping” “4 5″
# generated from default
HorizSync 28.0 – 33.0
VertRefresh 43.0 – 72.0
VendorName “NVIDIA Corporation”
If I forgot anything in the guide please let me know!