Hi I am trying to use Ubuntu-Prime for ubuntu 18 on an asus laptop with 2 GPU (intel & nvidia).

I found the power consumption of the computer to be way too high when I reboot with only the intel GPU (using prime-select intel or using nvidia-settings).

I found that the nouveau driver was loaded despite normally not used:

$ gpu-manager | grep nouveau
Is nouveau loaded? yes
Is nouveau blacklisted? yes
Skipping "/dev/dri/card1", driven by "nouveau"
Skipping "/dev/dri/card1", driven by "nouveau"
Found "/dev/dri/card1", driven by "nouveau"
Skipping "/dev/dri/card1", driven by "nouveau"

I tried to blacklist it and also have a kernel startup option to prevent nouveau from being loaded yet it still loads. This seems very un-linuxy to me.

  • Is the nvidia driver loaded? Post the whole output of gpu-manager. Blacklisting doesn't prevent something from explicitly loading a driver, so something must be pulling it in, maybe because Nvidia's not loaded.
    – ubfan1
    Jun 4, 2018 at 22:59
  • No nvidia is not loaded. I would actually like my discrete GPU to be off to prevent it from draining the battery.
    – Antonin
    Jun 5, 2018 at 7:04
  • What video driver are you trying to use, Vesa? See askubuntu.com/questions/849481/… There might even be another framebuffer fallback driver possible.
    – ubfan1
    Jun 5, 2018 at 15:29
  • I do not see why I would need a driver for a graphic card supposedly off ?
    – Antonin
    Jun 6, 2018 at 9:20
  • Digging the issue, Ubuntu 18 has a conflicting service (with prime) that actually loads a driver for the discrete GPU : ``` systemctl status nvidia-fallback.service ● nvidia-fallback.service - Fall back on nouveau if nvidia is not loadedLoaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/nvidia-fallback.service; enabled; vendor preset: enable Active: active (exited) Process: 1007 ExecStart=/sbin/modprobe nouveau --config /(code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS) Main PID: 1007 (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS) XX systemd[1]: Starting Fall back on nouveau if nvidia is not loaded
    – Antonin
    Jun 6, 2018 at 9:45

2 Answers 2


I found a way to disable nouveau and get my battery life back when using prime with intel graphic card :

2 bugs in Ubuntu 18 are concerned :

1. Prime fails to turn off discrete GPU (known issue).

Make sure that your discrete GPU is connected to PCI port 0000:01:00.0 (using lspci -vnn | grep '\''[030[02]\]' for instance)

Change /etc/systemd/system/display-manager.service.wants/nvidia-prime-boot.service and replace the current execstart (referencing vgaswitcheroo which is not usually available by ExecStart=/bin/sh -c "echo 'auto' > '/sys/bus/pci/devices/0000:01:00.0/power/control'")

2. nvidia-fallback loads nouveau when nvidia is not loaded

Even if we are willing not to use the discrete gpu !

Disable the following service which loads nouveau driver when nvidia driver is not loaded : sudo systemctl disable nvidia-fallback.service

  • /etc/systemd/system/display-manager.service.wants/nvidia-prime-boot.service was just a symlink to /lib/systemd/system/nvidia-prime-boot.service and it's gone in the latest nvidia-prime package version, that is in bionic-proposed.
    – int_ua
    Sep 9, 2018 at 14:33

For anyone suffering with this: I was just about to try Antonin's solution but didn't need to after installing prime from bionic-proposed. I had the nouveau issue with nvidia-390/restricted, nvidia-prime/main, nvidia-settings/main. Currently using nvidia-396 from graphics-drivers/ppa/ubuntu.

system: Dell Precision 7730 on 18.04 w/ Intel i915 and Quadro P4200

Assuming bionic-proposed and graphics-drivers/ppa/ubuntu are enabled:

sudo apt purge nvidia* && sudo apt autoremove --purge  
sudo apt install nvidia-driver-396 nvidia-prime/bionic-proposed nvidia-settings  


Now prime-select no longer triggers a grub update or loads nouveau. And nvidia-fallback.service seems to have vanished.

gpu-manager | grep nouveau  


/etc/modprobe.d is not a file
/etc/modprobe.d is not a file
/etc/modprobe.d is not a file
/etc/modprobe.d is not a file
Is nouveau loaded? no
Is nouveau blacklisted? no

and lspci -nnk | grep -iA2 VGA

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation Device [8086:3e94]
Subsystem: Dell Device [1028:0832]
Kernel driver in use: i915

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: NVIDIA Corporation Device [10de:1bb9] (rev a1)
Subsystem: Dell Device [1028:0832]
Kernel driver in use: nvidia

Previously nouveau was loaded for 01:00.0


  • I had this same problem and fixed this way. The only difference is that, after purging all NVIDIA related stuff, I reinstalled it with the .run file from Nvidia. Did not need to install any nvidia-prime, it did everything by itself and now no nouveau loaded. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
    – Andyc
    Jan 23, 2019 at 0:27

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