I'm trying to use my discrete graphics card (Radeon HD 5650) so I can run some more graphics-intensive applications. I have an HP Envy-14 Beats Edition laptop. The fglrx drivers don't work at all for my card, it must not be supported. I managed to get it to work by stopping lightdm, logging out, then:

echo ON > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

echo DDIS > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

and right after the second command is entered, the screen flickered and I restarted lightdm and logged in, everything was working properly. The output from:

cat /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

gave me:

0:IGD: :Pwr:0000:00:02.0
2:DIS-Audio: :Pwr:0000:01:00.1

Awesome! I thought..... until I tried it again another time, and when I inputted

echo DDIS > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

the error message client 101 refused switch came up, and my

cat /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

output stayed the same as it had when the IGD card is being used:

1:DIS: :DynPwr:0000:01:00.0
2:DIS-Audio: :Pwr:0000:01:00.1`

So I guess I'm wondering if anyone has run into the same problem as me? I just want to be able to use my more powerful dedicated card.

I should probably also mention that the entering the command:

echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

does nothing to turn any card off; I feel like the commands seem to have no effect sometimes.


OP's own answer:

I think I've found a solution. It's just a sequence of steps that I tried and seems to work -- my discrete graphics card is powered on.

While you are logged in:

  • Go to terminal

  • enter sudo su

  • cd /

  • echo DDIS > sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

  • logout from your session.

You should be at the login screen now (when I did it, it came to an empty login screen with the ubuntu logo in the middle). Open up the terminal (Ctrl-Alt-F1).

  • sudo su
  • cd /
  • service lightdm stop

After I inputted the last command, it outputted

client 1 refused switch
client 101 refused switch

So it must still not want to switch over to the discrete card. BUT.....

  • input echo DIS > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

and it says that my integrated graphics card is switched off!!!!

  • input service lightdm start

and you're taken to the login page! cat sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch now says:

0:IGD: :Pwr:0000:00:02.0
2:DIS-Audio: :Pwr:0000:01:00.1

and my discrete card is turned on!

I don't know if it will revert back to the integrated card if I power off my computer, but at least this is a method that seems to work -- I don't mind doing it every time if I have to.

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