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Old 01-21-11, 04:32 AM   #1
snakebite2011
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Default GT 540M and Maverick Meerkat

I recently bought a new Asus X5MSV with an nvidia GT540M graphics card.
I usually don't use windows at all.

Unfortunately the "nvidia" driver doesn't work. While booting the System just stops. The error log says something about no card being detected. Looking at the linux driver section, the GT 540M isn't supported yet, even in 260.19.29.
( http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux-d...29-driver.html )

So... is there anything I can do besides not having any graphics acceleration?
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Old 01-25-11, 08:22 PM   #2
pfox__
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Default Re: GT 540M and Maverick Meerkat

Yes, I second the question.. I'm in the market for a Sandy Bridge laptop, right now.. many of which feature the GT 540M (with or without Optimus) .. I understand the optimus issues and know NVidia's stance on the drivers (punting, sadly).

But what about GT 540M support in the binary drivers? Especially if the switchable-graphics people come up with their own solution in lieu of Nvidia doing Optimus support themselves.

So, again: is 540M support planned for an upcoming driver release (aside from the issue of Optimus support.. unless this is a blocker?).
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Old 01-27-11, 02:59 AM   #3
metasoarous
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Default Re: GT 540M and Maverick Meerkat

Make that three - I just got my new ASUS N53SV-A1 in today, set it up, had everything working fine. I installed the nVidia drivers and then the computer would load the GUI on boot, just go to the terminal. I couldn't manually start the windowing either (I think I tried xinit, or some such command). All that I got was something to the effect of "no screens found". I ended up messing around with things and stirring up some issues to the point that I decided just to reinstall. Once I did, everything again worked fine, but now I'm working without the GPU, which is definitely lame. So, it seems, snakebite, that we are both having issues as a result of the lack of support for this GPU, but they do seem to be manifesting differently for each of us. I setup Linux Mint, Julia. Perhapsi Maverick is behind the different behavior.

So - what are the plans for 540M? Optimus would be nice, but I can live without. Definitely at least need to get the processor to work. I understand that Linux user's aren't always high priority, what with the market share we take up, but our numbers do grow every day.

pfox - can you share information regarding the issues and nVidia stance you mentioned?

Chris
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Old 01-27-11, 12:46 PM   #4
pfox__
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Default Re: GT 540M and Maverick Meerkat

Quote:
Originally Posted by metasoarous View Post
So - what are the plans for 540M? Optimus would be nice, but I can live without. Definitely at least need to get the processor to work. I understand that Linux user's aren't always high priority, what with the market share we take up, but our numbers do grow every day.

pfox - can you share information regarding the issues and nVidia stance you mentioned?

Chris
One point to clarify: Regarding Optimus -- you either have it or you don't. It's a hardware feature that is provided by the laptop manufacturer. You can't choose whether to use it or not.. if you have it, you are stuck dealing with it. Right now, it's more of an obstacle than a feature for linux users.

With that aside, there are two issues, here:

1) 540M driver support (obstensibly what this thread is about). At this time, as mentioned by snakebite, the 540M (in fact, the entire 5xxM series) is not *at all* supported in the official NVidia binary drivers on both Linux and Windows.

I'm curious to know if NVidia will be adding support for the 540M to an upcoming release of the binary drivers for Linux (it's assumed that they'll come for the Windows drivers.. I figure laptop manufacturers are installing reference drivers on systems that come with Windows off-the-shelf.. I guess people who are buying with no operating system aren't getting the provided drivers). I think people (like you guys), who don't have *any* drivers should contact your reseller to see if they can give you the reference drivers or whatever they have so at least you could try and install windows with them, if need be. Otherwise, if there are no drivers period, then why would they be even selling laptops without any driver support for the GPU (a core component)?

I would like to hear a comment from an NVidia rep on what the timeframe is for 540M support in the linux binary drivers. We have yet to hear anything this topic.

That is one side of this issue and is pretty cut and dry. The other part, however...

2) Optimus support in linux.

Whether or not you care about this is predicated on whether or not your laptop supports Optimus.

An introduction:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/linu...mus-linux.html

If you have an optimus laptop, you're currently "locked out" of your discrete video card *if* you're waiting solely on NVidia to come and save the day. That being said, there are a group of people trying to solve this problem on their own (the hybrid graphics on linux camp)

Their blog (with links to the launchpad group):

http://linux-hybrid-graphics.blogspot.com/

I've done cursory google searches for both of your laptops, snakebite and metasoarous, and while I can't find detailed specs for your systems, it appears that they don't include Optimus (it's usually mentioned as a feature). So this might not be a problem for you. But I can't confirm that without seeing the detailed specs. They're both sandy bridge laptops, though, so if you have Optimus (and really you should), you'd have the option of trying to fall back onto the intel IGP solution until the linux hybrid-graphics people can get something working.

Info on sandy bridge in linux/Maverick:

http://phoronix.com/forums/showthrea...roubling/page2

There is a post by a user named buzz in this link that details setting up the xorg-edgers ppa repo, which has the neccesary drivers, etc to use sandy bridge IGP in Maverick.

Of course, this would only be possible if you have an optimus laptop because, while all sandy bridge processors come with an integrated graphics solution, I believe it is disabled in the Mobo for models that don't have Optimus installed. So if you don't have optimus: no IGP. Sorry.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Have 540M + Optimus? = You will be "stuck" in IGP mode for now.. try to get sandy bridge graphics working and wait for hybrid graphics to work in linux (in the 6-month timeframe, prolly). If you want to roll up your sleeves and try to do hybrid graphics switching now, you should probably be comfortable with stuff like building your own kernel/drivers and working from the CLI. Separate from this, you're still stuck waiting for 540M driver support from NVidia.

Have 540M and *no* Optimus? = You're screwed. Wait for NVidia to update their binary drivers to include the 540M. That being said, once the drivers are out there, your problems should pretty much go away.
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Old 01-28-11, 03:13 AM   #5
snakebite2011
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Default Re: GT 540M and Maverick Meerkat

Thank you pfox for the info.

I have to admit I am a little pissed because I specifically looked for a fast laptop with nvidia graphics because the last times I bought a laptop it seemed it was way better supported than ATI/AMD graphic cards.

Maverick is running fine with the onboard Intel, but without compiz and, well, only as fast as it is. Not using the nvidia card still feels like buying a quad core and only using one CPU. It's just not the way it is intended to be.

I still have to read a lot about optimus and sandy bridge. But isn't optimus just about automatically detecting how much graphics power is needed? Shouldn't it be easy to at least switch the nvidia on and off by command line instead of automatically once there is a driver?
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Old 01-28-11, 06:48 AM   #6
metasoarous
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Default Re: GT 540M and Maverick Meerkat

One point to clarify: Regarding Optimus -- you either have it or you don't. It's a hardware feature that is provided by the laptop manufacturer. You can't choose whether to use it or not.. if you have it, you are stuck dealing with it. Right now, it's more of an obstacle than a feature for linux users.
Gotcha. I'm pretty sure that the N53SV does have the Optimus.

See http://promos.asus.com/US/Newsletter...ead_Story.html

Some of the posts on the computer don't explicitly mention it, but since many of them do, I'm assuming that it is standard. I don't imagine that we have different subversions that they are not telling us about which differ in this regard...

So yeah, I got your point. I was under the impression that Optimus is a feature and that once 540M is working, the Optimus might work or it might not, but I catch your drift on this.

I followed the instructions which buzz gave and things seem to be running more smoothly. Is there a way to test for sure whether or not that method is working properly? That is, to sort of ping it?

It really is unfortunate that the Linux community is so marginalized. I too would definitely like to hear from a rep regarding when we might be able to expect support for the 540M.

Last edited by metasoarous; 01-28-11 at 06:50 AM. Reason: typo
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