Hybrid Graphics in Ubuntu 14.04

Here’s a short list of the new features concerning hybrid graphics in Ubuntu 14.04:

  • External displays connected to the NVIDIA GPU can now be used through the “nvidia-settings” panel. We used to disable them but this is no longer the case (also there’s a fix pending for LP: #1296020, in case your BIOS provides a fake output)
  • We have a more robust system to detect and enable hybrid graphics, thanks to the new gpu-manager (I’ll write a more technical article with all the details soon).
  • We now fall back on the open Intel driver if any of the required components is missing (e.g. the kernel module was not built for the newly installed kernel, or a key package was accidentally removed).
  • Installing the nvidia or the fglrx driver should allow hybrid graphics to work with no further action required. Switching from a power profile to another can be done using the relevant control panels (either AMD’s or NVIDIA’s), as usual.
  • A direct benefit of using a recent kernel is that tearing on Intel/NVIDIA systems, while still an issue, should be a little reduced.

My special thanks go to Maarten Lankhorst (of Nouveau fame), who helped a lot by providing guidance, testing, and debugging X issues.

Known issues


7 thoughts on “Hybrid Graphics in Ubuntu 14.04

  1. It’s great to read how simple it is. But actually its not that simple on my system. I downloaded fglrx driver and now I can’t resume from a standby. Is there a procedure I should follow to enjoy the benefits you are discussing here ? My card is (Radeoh HD 7730M), I’m using Ubuntu 14.04 of course.

  2. Hi,
    I have been having a serious issue with my Ubuntu 14.04 installation for the last few months. I have an AMD APU dual graphics setup with the Radeon HD 6550 and Radeon HD 6670 cards installed. Everytime I install the graphics drivers Catalyst 14.4 from the AMD website, following the instructions as given, I get a dark screen on reboot. I realise from trawling through all the forums that the gpumanager seems to be rewriting the xorg.conf file. I checked in my system, and indeed it does whenever I reboot. I was hoping that with the latest version of the ubuntu-drivers-common package, this problem will go, but it still hasn’t.

    I would really appreciate it if someone could help me out. I tried sticking to Xorg, but the display is pretty bad and there is a horrible lag with the keyboard. I do hope someone could help me out with this. I am happy to provide more information if needed.

    Thanks in advance.

  3. Hi Alberto. Thanks for your help and the work you are putting into this. However, I followed the instructions, updated ubuntu-drivers-common in trusty-proposed, but still no result. Its exactly the same problem as before – xorg.conf being rewritten on reboot and the system not loading and graphics. I am logging an error in the bug reporting link you provided above, along with the gpu-manager.conf file. One thing though, I am trying to install the Catalyst driver 14.6 and not the 14.4 as earlier as AMD says 14.6 is compatible with ubuntu 14.04. Don’t know if this makes any difference.
    I do hope this can be sorted out soon though. Thanks again.

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