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What I would like to be able to do:

I would like to be able to switch between my dedicated graphics card (AMD) and integrated chip (Intel) from the BIOS, that means:

Restart → BIOS: set to integrated Intel enabled (only) → boot

or

Restart → BIOS: set to discrete AMD enabled (only) → boot

This type of primitive switching works fine when running on open source drivers. However, as soon as I install fglrx, switching from AMD to Intel from the BIOS breaks the session and the system falls back to low-graphics mode on boot-up.

What I did:

  1. fresh system, open source drivers with Intel enabled
  2. switched to AMD = no problemo!
  3. switched to Intel = no problemo!
  4. (the above repeated few times and tested for performance issues)
  5. installed proprietary AMD drivers per http://www.unixmen.com/ubuntu-12-10-and-amd-catalyst-problem-solved/ (PPA) ⇒ working fine after restart!
  6. switched to Intel ⇒ broken configuration, i.e. system boots to 2D/fallback mode!


Why do I need it?

First of all, it's a matter of my curiosity. More importantly though, getting this thing to switch on AMD proprietary would be huge for me.

I was asking about AMD/Intel switching a while ago and while I got the answer, 1) it doesn't work 2) I can't contact the author of the answer 3) I suspect the answer is overcomplicated.

In summary I need help either with this question or with the old one linked above.

System information:

Ubuntu 12.04 amd64, installed clean
Lenovo Thinkpad T500
Intel GMA 4500MHD / ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650

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Hi, I am facing a similar situation to yours (AMD HD5650/Intel core i5 integrated graphics). I have yet to find a solution for this problem, but I took the liberty to modify your question a bit for clarity's sake. I hope you don't mind. –  Glutanimate Jan 2 '13 at 20:20
    
Side question: Why are you using a PPA for the proprietary drivers? fglrx is available in Ubuntu official repositories –  MestreLion Jan 7 '13 at 2:36
    
@MestreLion Because I need fglrx-legacy, not fglrx. Please refer to askubuntu.com/questions/204410/… –  Bucic Jan 7 '13 at 21:52
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2 Answers

I haven't tried this with an AMD adapter, but your issue is common to integrated vs. discrete Nvidia graphics setups as well (tested on a Lenovo Thinkpad T510s).

Under normal circumstances, an open source graphics driver is automatically selected by the X server during boot based upon your adapter selection in BIOS -- integrated vs. discrete.

When enabling proprietary drivers while the discrete adapter is in use, an Xorg configuration file is created in /etc/X11/xorg.conf in order to explicitly tell the X server to use the proprietary driver. While this configuration file exists, X will use the driver specified in it rather than auto-detecting your hardware setup. You can see how this would be problematic when you switch back to your integrated graphics adapter; the AMD/Nvidia proprietary driver is still specified in the xorg.conf file.

The way to safely revert back to your integrated graphics adapter is to delete the xorg.conf file:

$ sudo rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Alternately, you may rename the file such that it can no longer be found by X:

$ sudo mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup

On your next boot, when no xorg.conf file is detected, the X system will again auto-detect your hardware configuration and load the appropriate open source driver.

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Didn't work. After proprietary dr. installation I have no xorg.conf file and I still don't have it after switching back to Inel integrated, so there's nothing to delete or move. Must be something else. –  Bucic Jan 3 '13 at 21:12
    
Is there a directory like /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d? As well, are you sure it is the Intel adapter in use, and with the correct driver? You can check by executing lshw -c video and looking for the line of output starting with "configuration". This should list the driver in use. –  mirzmaster Jan 5 '13 at 5:38
    
The driver vendor is indicated Intel Corporation, version 07. Like I said there are no xorg.conf* files in /etc/X11/ The /etc/X11/ directory itslef does exist of course. –  Bucic Jan 5 '13 at 10:42
    
The bounty ends tomorrow... –  Bucic Jan 8 '13 at 18:16
    
Pretty sure that for using the fglrx drivers you need a xorg.conf file as specified on this answer... –  Bruno Pereira Jan 9 '13 at 12:43
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Currently there is no solution for this problem. You can read more about it here: http://phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?78813-Simple-graphics-switching-through-BIOS/ I'll ask moderators to re-open the question when a viable solution comes into light.

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