I'm having trouble switching to the discrete graphics on Ubuntu 14.04.

First about my system:

  • Model: HP Pavilion dv6
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-2670QM CPU @ 2.20GHz
  • Memory: 6GB
  • Graphics card: Radeon HD 6400M/7400M series (could not find out the exact model)
  • OS: Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS

What I tried:

(At first I shut down the X-server with stop lightdm.)

I originally tried to switch to my Radeon graphics card instead of the integrated unit.

My graphics devices are:

>>> lspci -vnn | grep '\''[030[02]\]'
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller [8086:0116] (rev 09) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Seymour [Radeon HD 6400M/7400M Series] [1002:6760] (rev ff) (prog-if ff)

I tried switching devices using /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch (following this article: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/HybridGraphics ). I obtained:

>>> cat /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
1:DIS: :DynOff:0000:01:00.0

but echo ON > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch didn't change anything so I went to BIOS and changed Switchable Graphics Mode to Fixed (following http://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c02948560 ) and because there was still no change I added radeon.runpm=0 to /etc/default/grub at GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT= (following http://iswwwup.com/t/3a156248c627/ati-vgaswitcheroo-doesnt-work-on-14-04-discrete-radeon-always-on-dell-vost.html ).

After rebooting I obtained:

>>> cat /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
1:DIS: :Pwr:0000:01:00.0

echo DIS > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch now caused the screen to turn black and didn't show any ouput. However I was able to check the content of /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch by copying it to a file and then switching back to integrated graphics. The content was:

>>> cat /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
0:IGD: :Off:0000:00:02.0

So apparently the Radeon card was powered and active but didn't output anything. I observed the same behaviour when having an external screen connected both via VGA and HDMI.

(Side note: switching back to integrated graphics via echo IGD > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch gave as output [ 956.727633] [drm:rv770_stop_dpm] *ERROR* Could not force DPM to low. (probably due to the radeon.runpm=0 which I added before); however the /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch wasn't available anymore (I couldn't issue any further commands) and lspci -vnn | grep '\''[030[02]\]' didn't list the Radeon anymore.)

So I thought the problem might be a missing driver.

About the AMD driver:

I checked the AMD website for an Ubuntu driver and found the following: http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop?os=Linux+x86

I followed the installation manual (http://www2.ati.com/drivers/amd-catalyst-graphics-driver-installer-notes-for-linux-operating-systems.pdf ; none of fglrx, fglrx-core, fglrx-amdcccle, fglrx-dev was already installed) but encountered an error when installing fglrx-core: there was a conflict with libopencl1. I followed this workaround: 14.10 wine and fglrx conflict and modified Conflicts and Provides as described, then the installation of the above packages finished without error. Also, as described in the workaround, I did apt-get install fglrx-updates. However after rebooting the system told me

The system is running in low-graphics mode - Your screen, graphics card, and input device settings could not be detected correctly. You will need to configure there yourself.

I used the console log-in to remove the previously installed packages but the graphics still don't work.

To summarize the question:

What do I have to do in order to manually switch to the Radeon graphics card using Ubuntu 14.04? In case I need to install the above mentioned driver is the conflict with libopencl1 a problem and if so how I can work around this? Also, how can I get the X-server back working?

Thanks a lot in advance! Cheers!


I uploaded /var/log/Xorg.0.log and /var/log/Xorg.failsafe.log. Here are the links:


From the low-graphics dialogue I selected "restore default graphics settings" and now the X-server is back working. But with the integrated graphics, of course.

  • Why don't you just run sudo apt-get install fglrx-updates? – Pilot6 Sep 3 '15 at 9:40
  • Well that doesn't cause the system to tell me that I run on low-graphics but echo DIS > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch still turns the screen black. – a_guest Sep 4 '15 at 1:20
  • vgaswitcheroo does not work with fglrx. there is aticonfig instead. – Pilot6 Sep 4 '15 at 3:17

You need to install a proprietary driver by running

sudo apt-get install fglrx-updates

Then you can swithch to discrete graphics by

sudo aticonfig --px-dgpu

to integrated graphics by

sudo aticonfig --px-igpu

see status by

aticonfig --pxl

You can do it also in AMD Catlyst GUI program.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.