I have a new Thinkpad X1 Extreme which includes NVidia Optimus. For my Linux work, I don't want to use the NVidia card at all, and only use the Intel integrated graphics.

When I try to boot the standard Ubuntu MATE distribution (either my disk from my previous machine, or a fresh USB stick), it locks up when the graphical environment starts.

Things I have tried:

  • Including nouveau.modeset=0 on my Grub command line.
  • Adding a file to my modprobe.d saying blacklist nouveau.
  • Running prime-select intel to (theoretically?) select the Intel card.
  • Installing the NVidia closed-source drivers while keeping Secure Boot locked, so they can't be loaded.

I've tried using a System76 Pop OS USB stick. The NVidia version works, but the ATI/Intel version does not. This is even when Secure Boot is enabled, so the NVidia drivers should never have a chance to load.

In short: what magic can I do to match whatever System76 did to get integrated graphics only to work?

System76's ISO creation script is on their GitHub page so it may have clues.


As the ISO creation script indicates, the only differences between the Intel and the NVidia images is the presence of the nvidia-driver-390 package and the system76-driver-nvidia metapackage.

After running

$ sudo add-apt-repository -s ppa:system76/pop
$ sudo apt install system76-driver-nvidia

my Optimus-based computer now works (though only with Intel drivers).

This did not require me to disable Secure Boot, and the kernel still contains only open-source drivers.

  • as an addendum, if anybody can offer expertise on what specific pieces of the system76-driver-nvidia metapackage are the important ones, I would love to get a more precise answer! – Paul Fisher Dec 28 '18 at 9:44

Try to replicate Manjaro handling graphic drivers installing bumblebee driver in Ubuntu (as I guess You want to work on Ubuntu or ubuntu based linux?). The only downside is that Ubuntu currently may not work with bumblebee and latest nVidia drivers.

Just try Manjaro live usb and check whether their solution works for You. I know, it's not debian-ubuntu based but they try to keep up with many hardware compatibility and You actually don't need to install or configure anything in Manjaro, it should work instantly.

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