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F26 - nouveau with Optimus GPU switching not working

asked 2017-09-29 00:04:16 -0500

mr_johnson22 gravatar image

I installed Fedora 26 + Gnome 3 on an Optimus-enabled laptop, and according to relatively recent Gnome/Fedora blog posts, nouveau should support GPU switching between Intel graphics & Nvidia graphics out-of-the-box. However, I can only get the Intel graphics driver to work, as Settings->Details->Graphics only shows the Intel graphics information, and right-clicking an app launcher doesn't show the "Launch using Dedicated Graphics Card" option.

lspci | egrep 'VGA|3D' returns this:

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Device 591b (rev 04)
01:00.0 3D controller: NVIDIA Corporation GP107M [GeForce GTX 1050 Mobile] (rev a1)

And in order to get Intel graphics working in the first place, I had to add modeset=0 i915.modeset=1 to my kernel parameters. Using just modeset=0 (which was the default, since I had to install Fedora in basic graphics mode) forces software rendering, and using just i915.modeset=1 prevents GDM from starting.

According to , DDX drivers for both GPUs are necessary, and KMS drivers for both GPUs must be loaded. But, I can't find any DDX drivers in Fedora's default repositories anywhere, and putting i915.modeset=1 nouveau.modeset=1 in my kernel parameters prevents my system from booting.

Also, I was able to install & run the proprietary Nvidia drivers no problem, which is what I'll be using most of the time. (And now, xrandr --listproviders shows two providers, where before it showed only one.) But, I'd still like to know how to get nouveau working with GPU switching so I have the option to be more power-efficient when I need to, without having to run on Intel graphics exclusively.

Is there some extra configuration necessary to get nouveau to work on Optimus devices after all? Apparently Bumblebee shouldn't be required anymore for GPU switching on open drivers; is that true?

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answered 2017-09-29 15:51:23 -0500

ozeszty gravatar image

For some reason Fedora uses different naming scheme than other distributions (xf86-video-*), I'm sure you've got DDX drivers installed: dnf list installed xorg-x11-drv*

Nouveau supports PRIME, but it doesn't support your GPU well enough (Nvidia is blocking its development), so don't expect it to work reliably soon.

For now, I think, the best balance between power-saving and performance for Optimus laptops, is provided by Bumblebee with proprietary driver.

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Alright, Bumblebee it is then. Thanks!

mr_johnson22 gravatar imagemr_johnson22 ( 2017-09-29 22:17:06 -0500 )edit

answered 2017-10-10 05:01:47 -0500

After similar experiences following a laptop upgrade, I determined that all the required drivers were not in initramfs. With the updated initramfs, the system is working fine with nouveau drivers and without bumblebee.

Make sure the intel and nouveau drivers, at least, are installed. These are mine xorg-x11-drv-ati.x8664

install associated packages dnf install intel-gpu-tools libva-intel-driver libva-utils libva mesa-libOSMesa cairo-gobject cairo mesa-dri-drivers mesa-filesystem mesa-libEGL mesa-libGL mesa-libGLES mesa-libgbm mesa-libglapi mesa-libwayland-egl mesa-libxatracker

generate a new initramfs dracut /boot/initramfs-$(uname -r).img $(uname -r)


this is my commandline BOOTIMAGE=/vmlinuz-4.13.4-200.fc26.x8664 root=/dev/mapper/XXXXXXXprime-root ro rd.luks.uuid=luks-3a96dbd1-0588-4b4f-b04a-6de5a2af2a2a acpiosi=Linux rhgb quiet

and the lspci output lspci | egrep 'VGA|3D' 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Device 591b (rev 04) 01:00.0 3D controller: NVIDIA Corporation GM107GLM [Quadro M1200 Mobile] (rev a2)

I'm skeptical about the claim that your Nvidia GPU is not adequately supported.


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There's an embedded video with nouveau developers explaining what's holding back support of newer nvidia GPUs. Your GPU is a first gen Maxwell and @mr_johnson22's is a Pascal GPU, hence different level of support with nouveau.

Your answer should be useful for owners of NV1xx/GM1xx and earlier GPUs.

ozeszty gravatar imageozeszty ( 2017-10-13 18:44:13 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2017-09-29 00:04:16 -0500

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Last updated: Sep 29 '17