75

The reason I'm asking is that none of the games I've installed through software center that require 3D accelartion like TORCS for instance will run. When I try to run then, nothing happens. I have a Dell Inspiron N5110 with a nVidia GeForce GT 525M.

I tried the following which I were some suggestions for people with similar problems:

lspci -v

Which gave me:

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation Device 0df5 (rev a1) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
    Subsystem: Dell Device 04ca
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 16
    Memory at f5000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16M]
    Memory at e0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
    Memory at f0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=32M]
    I/O ports at e000 [size=128]
    Expansion ROM at f6000000 [disabled] [size=512K]
    Capabilities: <access denied>
    Kernel driver in use: nvidia
    Kernel modules: nvidia_current, nvidia_current_updates, nvidia, nouveau, nvidiafb

I also tried:

egrep -i " connected|card detect|primary dev" /var/log/Xorg.0.log

Which gave me:

[    20.873] (II) intel(0): Output LVDS1 connected

And:

nvidia-smi -a

Which gave:

NVIDIA: could not open the device file /dev/nvidiactl (No such file or directory).
Nvidia-smi has failed because it couldn't communicate with NVIDIA driver. Make sure that latest NVIDIA driver is installed and running.

I don't really understand what all this means. Please help.

45

I know the question is old, but I found a solution which I haven't found on any other topic.

Open a terminal and type

lspci -vnnn | perl -lne 'print if /^\d+\:.+(\[\S+\:\S+\])/' | grep VGA

Your output will be something like that:

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller [8086:0166] (rev 09) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller]) 

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Chelsea LP [Radeon HD 7730M] [1002:682f] (rev ff) (prog-if ff)

Now look for the [VGA controller] at the end of each device. Whichever device has it, is the active GPU. In my case it's the i7 processor (HD 4000) that's handling the work.

  • 3
    Not really... lspci -vnnn | perl -lne 'print if /^\d+\:.+([\S+\:\S+])/' | grep VGA 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller [8086:0166] (rev 09) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller]) 01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: NVIDIA Corporation GK107M [GeForce GT 650M] [10de:0fd1] (rev a1) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller]) – Anne van Rossum Feb 22 '15 at 16:55
  • @AnnevanRossum Did you get any solution to this? I have the exact same issue as you with two [VGA controller]. – Einar Sundgren Mar 5 '15 at 20:38
  • @EinarSundgren I gave up bumblebee for nvidia optimus (xmodulo.com/install-configure-nvidia-optimus-driver-ubuntu.html) which allows you to switch with prime-select. – Anne van Rossum Mar 6 '15 at 14:03
  • 9
    lspci -v | grep "VGA controller" should do the trick in this case... what an overblown way to get the same result... – Cestarian Feb 23 '16 at 12:45
  • 3
    This answer is WRONG I had [VGA controller] for a graphic card I did not use – G M Feb 22 '18 at 16:06
35

I found this (if you have NVidia and intel graphic cards):

I think the following command should give you an indication of your active chip:

$ glxinfo|egrep "OpenGL vendor|OpenGL renderer*"

OpenGL vendor string: Intel Open Source Technology Center
OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI Intel(R) Sandybridge Mobile*

If you switched to NVidia card:

$ optirun glxinfo|egrep "OpenGL vendor|OpenGL renderer"

OpenGL vendor string: NVIDIA Corporation
OpenGL renderer string: GeForce GT 555M/PCIe/SSE2
26

nvidia-settings utility

On Ubuntu 15.10, after I installed nvidia-352 and the GPU seems to work:

nvidia-settings

shows something like:

enter image description here

Note how it shows:

GPU 0 - (NVS 5400M)

where NVS 5400M is my GPU model. Also tested on a Quadro K1100M. This did not show up before I had installed the driver.

Also if I fire:

sudo apt-get install mesa-utils
__GL_SYNC_TO_VBLANK=0 vblank_mode=0 glxgears

the GPU usage goes to > 90%, further sign that it is working.

Those env vars are there to disable vsync: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/17196117/disable-vertical-sync-for-glxgears

But in the end, the only test that matters is to do a benchmark with / without GPU and see your FPS goes way up or not: How to perform a detailed and quick 3D performance test

nvidia-settings is open source by the way: https://github.com/NVIDIA/nvidia-settings

Similar on Launchpad: https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/233462

  • this worked great for me. Just one addition - to show >90% use of GPU I had to so apt-get install glmark2 and then run it. pretty neat! – AruniRC Mar 17 '17 at 20:26
13

The easiest way to check is go to Settings -> Details -> About

Settings

  • What theme is that out of interest? Looks good! – finsbury Oct 7 '18 at 13:31
  • 1
    @finsbury here you go, Arc Theme – Maduka Jayalath Oct 8 '18 at 7:40
  • I need drivers for the exact same model ! Can you provide me with link ? – Yash Kumar Verma 2 days ago
3

Try this I think it'll work:

nvidia-smi

It will give you something like this

enter image description here

2

I think one of the easiest ways is to run this command prime-select query in the terminal.
The output will be the graphic card that is used by your PC.
Here is an example:
enter image description here If you want to switch between the graphic cards you have, use sudo prime-select <graphic card name>

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