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.