My system has hybrid (and I believe muxless,i.e. only the integrated card is actually connected to the display) graphics. The first card is an
Intel HD 4400, and the second card is the
AMD Radeon HD 8670M (solar system series, not OLAND). Thus, currently the open-source
radeon driver does not support the card, and I am forced to use the proprietary
Why not just turn the dGPU card off without fglrx?
I have no need of fancy graphics and would be happy to simply turn the discrete ATI card off, so long as it was properly switched off and was not overheating/eating battery. The options to do this without
pxpress seemed limited to me: I have no
vgaswitcheroo switch (even before
fglrx was ever installed) and I can only deduce this was because the
radeon driver does not yet support my card/does not properly load it yet, see my question here for more on that and the things I tried. Other methods like
acpi_call have been reported as at best "proof of concept" and at worst dangerous, so I'd rather not venture into using them. More reliable projects like
bumbleebee are nividia only.
Simply leave the AMD card driverless
Relying on just the
i915 intel driver works flawlessly, no bugs, no problems, however the AMD card is then left UNCLAIMED and could possibly lead to overheating/battery drain, so I am not so happy about that.
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS with fglrx
I started here, and experienced a bug when the
iGPU was selected. This bug manifests itself whenever the screen is locked, the laptop lid is closed, or even when the computer is left inactive with something like
xscreensaver installed instead with no lockscreen enabled. It causes a black screen with a moveable cursor only; switching tty and back does not recover, and a restart from the tty is needed. It does not happen every single time but happens pretty regularly, at least once or twice day. All saved work is lost.
I tried both the
fglrx in the repos, and the latest 13.10 from the AMD website. No change.
When the dGPU is selected instead (from the AMD Catalyst control centre, or ultimately by pxpress) this bug does not occur, but I had another bug which I won't bother getting into here.
Ubuntu 13.10 with fglrx
A very similar bug here but not quite as severe. Exactly the same conditions, namely lockscreen, lidclose, inactivity (if xscreensaver is being used). This time the frozen screen is not black, but a picture of your desktop at the moment of the freeze, again with moveable cursor. Here I only tried the latest fglrx AMD drivers 13.10.
Again no problems with just the
i915 driver (no
fglrx) and again no problems with
Some things I tried:
vsync. I tried this both in compiz settings manager, and by
aticonfig --sync-vsync=off followed by reboot. No change.
2) Turning DPMS off.
Option "DPMS" "false" in the
xorg.conf monitor stanza. (Of course, I also changing gnome settings "Do Nothing/Don't suspend" for battery and AC too).No change.
Option "AIGLX" "off" in server flags of
xorg.conf. No change.
4) Modifying the
atieventsd so it worked properly for Ubuntu, see my post here. And also, running without it. No change.
5) Booting with the options
Option "Capabilities" "0x00000800" Option "KernelModuleParm" "locked-userpages=0" Option "NoAccel" "True"
xorg.conf Device stanza. No change.
6) Booting with
nomodeset as kernel parameter. No change.
7) Turning off
acpi interaction from
Why does it work with just intel?
One thing I don't understand is why it works with the just the intel
i915 driver. I thought
pxpress would just hand over control to that driver on bootup, so if it worked with the
i915 alone, I'd have expected it to work with pxpress selecting
fglrx installs its own libGl implemenation also, but it switches back to the old stock MESA libGL implementation when the intel card is selected (c.f.
/usr/lib/fglrx/switchlibGL python script).
igpu selected, it should be exactly equivalent to life before
fglrx after a reboot?