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On my new laptop (Lenovo T520), there are two graphics cards: integrated Intel and a NVidia card.

The laptop supports Optimus, but since this is currently only supported in Win7 (I am aware of the various efforts to support it in Linux), I use the BIOS setting to disable the integrated Intel card, and only use the NVidia graphcis.

All is well when I'm at my desk. Using the NVidia graphics (I installed the driver nvidia-current), I can hook up two external monitors (two external monitors is not possible using Intel graphics).

Here's the issue:

  • I sometimes use the laptop on battery. When on battery, I would like to use Intel graphics, since it uses less power.
  • When starting the computer on battery, I enter BIOS setup to disable NVidia and enable Intel graphics.
  • When I tried this I got a blank screen after the NVidia driver loaded.
  • My question: How do I set up the OS so it uses the correct drivers in this case?
  • It doesn't have to be automatic, I would be perfectly happy to make a manual selection at some point during the boot process.
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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Blacklisting certain modules can be done using the boot option modprobe.blacklist. Instructions on creating a boot entry for that can be found in a similar question, Choose at GRUB menu whether NVidia driver should be used

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You will have to black list the Nvidia driver from the kernel modules.

To be sure that the Nvidia driver is causing your problems you should check your syslog right when your pc hangs. Or if you can get to a terminal run the command modprobe -l nvidia to see if the driver is loaded.

To blacklist the driver add the line blacklist nvidia to the end of your /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf file.

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Is there a way I can easily switch between the configurations at boot time? When at the office, I want to boot the computer with the nvidia driver. When running on battery, I want to boot without the driver. –  codeape Nov 3 '11 at 12:30

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