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Optimus laptop, how to disable Nvidia card

asked 2013-10-09 13:41:04 -0500

cconrad gravatar image

I have a laptop with Optimus technology and want to disable the discrete Nvidia graphics adapter, as I am not using many 3D accelerated applications and it just wastes battery. I tried to follow several tutorials, which all asked me to install bbswitch (which I did) and run "modprobe -r nouveau". When I do this, I get the error message "FATAL: Nouveau currently in use" or similar. I also tried to add a line "blacklist nouveau" to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist and ran "dracut --force" to no avail. Does anyone know of a way to disable Nvidia in Fedora 19?

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answered 2017-08-19 10:13:18 -0500

Aleksandar Kostadinov gravatar image

updated 2017-09-24 11:46:39 -0500

You need to put rd.driver.blacklist=nouveau in kernel command line options in /etc/default/grub. Also add blacklist nouveau in some file like /etc/modprobe.d/00local.conf.

Now nvidia is not at all recognized, nouveau driver is not loaded and most display issues I've recently hit are magically gone. wow. Saw this in some instructions for installing nvidia closed drivers.

Old info: I don't see the answer in the questions above. What I find working is putting nouveau.modeset=0 on kernel command line. I check by:

$ xrandr --listproviders 
Providers: number : 1
Provider 0: id: 0x4c cap: 0xf, Source Output, Sink Output, Source Offload, Sink Offload crtcs: 3 outputs: 10 associated providers: 0 name:modesetting

How to check whether the card is really powered off, I'm not sure though. Needs further investigation.

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The question is actually rather old (Fedora 19). These days (F26, and probably F25), the situation is better: if you don't want to install & use binary NVidia drivers, there is no need to do anything. PRIME will do it for you. (Check: )

However, if you install binary NVidia driver, you should still use Bumblebee & bbswitch to turn it off. Blacklisting drivers doesn't seem to be enough to turn them off.

hedayat gravatar imagehedayat ( 2017-08-19 11:04:52 -0500 )edit

I see how old it is. The thing is that I see strange suspend/resume behavior that didn't manifest in the past when nouveau didn't support my card. Once it started to support it I have troubles switching to text console and sometimes enabling display after suspend.

Aleksandar Kostadinov gravatar imageAleksandar Kostadinov ( 2017-08-19 14:12:26 -0500 )edit

hmmm... but driver problem and turning off the card are two separate issues. If you have problems with nouveau, it'll be certainly vanish if you disable it. anyway... you can check if the card is on or off with the cat command given in the link above.

hedayat gravatar imagehedayat ( 2017-08-19 16:33:39 -0500 )edit

@hedyat, unfortunately my bugs are being largely ignored, probably because I'm not using gnome.

Aleksandar Kostadinov gravatar imageAleksandar Kostadinov ( 2017-08-21 02:45:37 -0500 )edit

If the bug is about nouveau, it will be handled by the kernel team and it doesn't matter which desktop you use. Don't feel like that! The problem is the number of bugs and the number of contributors. I use Gnome and I also have several unnoticed bugs :P

hedayat gravatar imagehedayat ( 2017-08-21 03:20:34 -0500 )edit

answered 2013-10-09 23:52:17 -0500

none gravatar image

You need to install Bumblebee and use bbswitch.

In short. After installing Bumblebee, you will have bbswitch program. An you could use it to enable and disable your NVIDIA. But if would like to disable it during boot, then create file /etc/modprobe.d/bbswitch.conf containing options bbswitch load_state=0, and this should do the trick.

If you prefer manual turning ON and OFF, then this will show you the state of your card:

# cat /proc/acpi/bbswitch
0000:01:00.0 ON

and this will turn off it:

echo OFF > /proc/acpi/bbswitch

More information in bbswitch README

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answered 2013-10-11 05:39:31 -0500

rudrab gravatar image
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Asked: 2013-10-09 13:41:04 -0500

Seen: 9,651 times

Last updated: Sep 24 '17