I have a new HP dv7 laptop with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 graphics card, and also Intel graphics (switchable). I have done the following and want to understand what is going on with my graphics driver

  1. Resized windows 7 and did fresh install of 10.10
  2. Booted into 10.10 and things seemed to be working okay
  3. Enabled ATI graphics, and was clearly working on the ATI rather than Intel GPU (desktop cube worked)
  4. Rebooted, got an error that modprobe could not load modules.dep, and also something about i915 symbols
  5. Rebooted into recovery mode, modified xorg.conf to remove the mention of fglrx
  6. Rebooted, and the errors show, but then x starts but clearly in intel graphics

I would ideally like to be able to switch between the ATI and Intel graphics, a la vga_switcheroo. My first problem seems to be that the folder


does not exist, hinting at some kind of kernel issue. What can I do to get this available?


  • Hi there, did you solve your problem?? I'm still looking on this... Did you check this blog: linuxenvy.blogspot.com – rafa.ferreira May 3 '11 at 1:01
  • are you able to make your HDMI or display port work on a external monitor? – rafa.ferreira May 10 '11 at 22:04

I think that I found the solution, we are on the same page, please look this comment:

Found the problem. As mentioned in other sites, vga_switcheroo will magically disappear if you have the proprietary Radeon driver installed. This driver is called fglrx. So if Synaptic shows that you have fglrx on your machine, uninstall it and reboot - et voila, vga_switcheroo returns.

This might help!


  • Ah, I am now revisiting this thread after having removed fglrx and as you say, vga_switcheroo is back. Thanks! – stevejb May 3 '11 at 5:09
  • After I remove the fglrx Im unable to login on normal mode, I could only login using safe-mode. Did you succed on your laptop? On your profile information I cant find any email, can you please ping me on rafa.ferreira[a]gmail.com and we can share finds. Regards! – rafa.ferreira May 4 '11 at 2:09

You have to use the open source graphics drivers see http://wiki.cchtml.com/index.php/Features . I have managed to switch between the cards on my laptop using the switchroo patch with the open source dirvers. It simply will not work with the AMD ATI proprietary fglrx drivers. However, the 5650 performance was really poor - I am starting to think it used the VESA drivers – interested to see if you could get it to work.

I am attempting to squeeze as much out of the integrated ATI 4200 as possible at the moment.


I was having the same problem that I couldn't see the vgaswitcharoo directory, but, it came back once I removed the ATI proprietary drivers and reboot.


First of all: This does not work with the closed source fglrx driver. It works with i915 and radeon. Since the radeon driver often crashes for me with modeset=1, i got it working with radeon.modeset=0..


I got it working in my laptop with Ubuntu Control Center.

  • 1
    Yes, I have the UCC installed. owever, it is still looking for the folder /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo which doesn't exist. That is my underlying problem. – stevejb Jan 5 '11 at 18:25

You can activate vga_switcheroo by adding modeset=1 to the kernel boot parameters.

Besides that I couldn't get my 5650M to work with the ATI proprietary driver either. You can put the graphics to "discrete" in the BIOS, then it may work, without switchable graphics though...


I figured it out; for me it was the kernel config, see the Gentoo WiKi for more info: http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Vga_switcheroo

As for Ubuntu 10.10 I think you'd just have to wait for the Ubuntu team to patch it or recompile the kernel yourself, which really isn't all that difficult these days with tools like apt-src and make-kpkg as they do most of the hard work for you.


your modeset should be 1:

add into /etc/defaults/grub either i915.modeset=1 or radeon.modeset=1.

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