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My laptop is Dell Inspiron 5420, with two graphic cards:

  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Nvidia GeForce GT 630M

I took the Thinkpad T400 configuration guide as an example to configure my Linux, but I only get the integrated card to work, and the card is not using the Intel driver

Currently, the behavior of my system is:

  • using the intel driver in the Xorg.config, X cannot starts, reports cannot find the device
  • using the vesa driver, the X could work, but no advanced graphic features, which means Gnome 3 is not available
  • using the nvidia / nouveau driver, according to the log, the X seems to be started, but I got a black screen with nothing

If you know a better guide/example to configure the system, please let me know. If you need my Xorg.config, I will post it.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

As far as I can tell from your problem description the correct term for what you want is "hybrid graphics" as you only use either adapter to power your monitor (actually any output), not both at the same time.

An overview over tools for what you want can be found (for example) here. You may be looking for the tool bbswitch from the Bumblebee-Project. Yet, you should not put anything about drivers into your xorg.conf. X should find and load the correct drivers itself. Also, I remember reading something about improved support for hybrid graphics in the most recent stable kernel, so you should get/build the most recent stable kernel for your distro. You may find more on the internet by the term "hybrid graphics" anyways.

Hope that helps.

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IIRC this is also what is called "Optimus" by nVidia. From what I know so far (put a grain of salt to it) is that Optimus still is problematic under Linux. – Nasha Aug 28 at 9:53

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