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Old 02-13-2014, 10:59 PM   #1
kikinovak
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Toshiba Satellite Pro L70 with hybrid graphics (Intel + NVidia): X.org configuration?


Hi,

I have a brand-new Toshiba Satellite Pro L70 laptop with what appears to be two video cards.

First installation of Slackware using defaults resulted in a blank screen upon reboot. After much fiddling, I found out I could boot to a console login when adding the "nomodeset" kernel option to LILO.

Here's the hardware:

Code:
# lspci
...
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Haswell Integrated Graphics Controller (rev06)
...
01:00.0 3D Controller: NVIDIA Corporation GK208M [GeForce GT 740M] (rev a1)
...
I downloaded and installed the corresponding proprietary NVidia driver (NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-331.38.run), but startx merely resulted in a handful of error messages and concluded in a "no screens found".

Now I'm clueless. Any suggestions?
 
Old 02-14-2014, 01:51 AM   #2
Mark Pettit
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You bought a lemon. Me too. This is one of those Nvidia 'optimus' pieces of junk. It's also the reason why Linux Torvalds gave Nvidia the middle finger a while back. Do some reading up on the bumble-bee project. There's good notes here on LQ. A link I have is https://github.com/jgeboski/Bumblebee-SlackBuilds.

My laptop is a Samsung model. I found last week when I finally installed 14.1 (was running 14.0) as a clean install, it was able to use the nouveau driver and that works fine. As I don't play games I decided to ignore the Nvidia card. It means legit 3d stuff (like google-earth) runs slower, but the convenience of simplicity trumps.
 
Old 02-14-2014, 11:09 PM   #3
kikinovak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Pettit View Post
You bought a lemon. Me too. This is one of those Nvidia 'optimus' pieces of junk. It's also the reason why Linux Torvalds gave Nvidia the middle finger a while back.
Actually, it's not me who bought it, but a company for which I'm supposed to do some Linux training. They bought a dozen of these machines, so I can show a staff of sysadmins the inner workings of Linux. You can imagine my embarrassment. I feel like a driving instructor who's supposed to work on a pink beach buggy running on nitromethanol. The company keeps saying "It's a car, what more do you want?"
 
Old 02-15-2014, 12:38 AM   #4
ReaperX7
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Whoever purchased these obviously didn't do their homework into Linux and Nvidia Optimus.

These aren't lemons but Nvidia Optimus does take some work and extra commands to use. The proprietary drivers are recommended for the 3D controller GeForce chipset rather than nouveau for gaming and professional work.

Do yourself a favor... show them up with a proper setup and configuration, then aim for the job someone screw balled on buying the wrong types of laptops.
 
Old 02-15-2014, 01:22 AM   #5
Mark Pettit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kikinovak View Post
You can imagine my embarrassment.
You don't need to feel embarrassed. That belongs solely to Nvidia. It's well within their capabilities to get this working properly. After all, they do it just fine on a Windows laptop. Even so, I think it's probably a bit easier to get this working now than it used to be. And I think (might be wrong here) that the next release of the Linux kernel will go some way to make this a bit easier too - ie more tranparent.
 
Old 02-15-2014, 01:33 AM   #6
Mark Pettit
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Hi @ReaperX7. By "a lemon" I'm really implying that we have a bit of hardware that's not easily going to live up to expectations. I'm quite sure that with the Ubuntu folk there's some simple apt-get "fix-my-problem" solution, but with Slack it's a little tougher. I'm not scared of that - it's one of the joys of using Slack. But my laptop is about 14 months old (Samsung jobbie) and it came with this Optimus bug (it's not a feature, so it must be a bug). I remember battling to get this going - eventually I did - thanks to bumble-bee and the "geboski" Slackscripts and advice. So - I could do real 3D stuff. But I found the laptop got hot quickly and the temp's reported were up to 100 celcius. The fans were going crazy. I just stopped doing 3D stuff. Then last week when I installed from scratch on the machine, the 14.1 defaulted to nouveau - and it's been running sweetly since. The only game I ever get any pleasure from is Total Annihilation - a windows game from wayback. That runs perfectly under wine. Even on the intel graphics. Can't say any of the new games have grabbed me - emphasis appears to be on graphics quality and little else.
 
Old 02-15-2014, 07:06 AM   #7
xflow7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Pettit View Post
....It's well within their capabilities to get this working properly. After all, they do it just fine on a Windows laptop....
I'm not even sure that is true. I just got a new Windows machine at work a couple of weeks ago with Optimus and even it seems to have some quirks. In fact, the IT guy at work told me that until recently Dell was recommending to them to disable Optimus altogether in BIOS because it was so problematic.
 
Old 02-15-2014, 09:13 AM   #8
Mark Pettit
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@xflow7 - ho ho ! So it sounds like optimus is one of those 'seemed like a good idea at the time" things !
 
Old 02-16-2014, 07:26 AM   #9
kikinovak
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OK, I investigated a bit further into this.

1. I have to use the 'nomodeset' option for booting. Otherwise, just after the initial boot message with Udev, the screen just goes black, and there's nothing more. (Edit: the laptop finished booting up though, because I can ssh into it)

2. On the other hand, Intel video cards require KMS to work properly.

Looks like a Catch 22.

Last edited by kikinovak; 02-16-2014 at 07:31 AM.
 
Old 02-16-2014, 10:37 AM   #10
j_v
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I wonder if this article, https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PRIME, could be of help?
 
Old 02-16-2014, 12:41 PM   #11
Mark Pettit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j_v View Post
I wonder if this article, https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PRIME, could be of help?
I'd be surprised if it helped. There's no details there on installing the full set of proprietary drivers. And why would you bother to have access to the discrete card other than for the purpose of the full gaming (or 3d) experience ? No - I think the bumble-bee solution is it. But, as usual, I'd be impressed if this method actually worked (in a satisfactory way - ie to be able to play a full 3d game).
 
  


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