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I recently started using Ubuntu and a like it a lot. However Windows in my Acer laptop had a function that made the graphics switch to a lower quality (or something) whenever I didn't have the charger plugged in.

In Ubuntu it doesn't seem work cause my computer is practically eating battery power. I guess this has something to do with the drivers, witch I heard is a bit of a problem in all Linux systems. Can it be solved in an not too advanced way?

I know many people have asked the same question and it looks like its solvable, but is there someone that could explain how to do it in a more pedagogic way? Because I don't really understand the answers to similar questions. I would appreciate it a lot.


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Are you talking about lower brightness levels? If that's the case go to the brightness and lock app in system settings and try lowering brightness from there. – To Do Oct 7 '12 at 19:17
No I think it's the performance of the graphics card that is reduced. You can switch to high performance if you want to run programs that demands advanced graphics and processing power such as games. – Anton Oct 7 '12 at 19:37

AMD switchable graphics is now available in Ubuntu as well but it doesn't support automatic switching. You have to manually select the GPU that you wish to use.

To enable it eneter this command in the terminal,

sudo apt-get install fglrx

After the drivers have installed, restart your computer. Once it has restarted,

sudo aticonfig --initial

and restart again.

Once it has restarted again, Run AMD Catalyst Control Centre (Admin mode) from the dash and head to switchable graphics section. Switch to your desired card there.

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