Sean's Blag

The Personal Blog of Sean Callaway

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Switchable/Hybrid Graphics and Linux Mint 14

I decided yesterday to take the plunge and move my laptop (HP dv6t Quad with an Intel i7, 8GB RAM, AMD 6770M and Intel graphics) from dual-booting to Linux only. I had been using Linux Mint 14 as a secondary OS on my desktop for a while and really liked what I saw. So, I grabbed the install disc and booted it up.

As usual, the install went without a hitch. I ran all the updates and then went to go install the proprietary AMD/ATI graphics driver (which is now done via “Software Sources” in the Preferences menu). That’s where everything went to hell. Xorg failed to start after rebooting, leaving me at text-based login. Not that I mind playing on the command-line, but vim hardly meets my needs as an IDE and it’s going to be really hard to debug graphical applications that way. So, I began my search. After piecing sources together, here’s what got me running:

First, we need to add the PPA from xorg-edgers so that we can install the ATI/AMD Catalyst Driver 13.1 without having to build it ourselves. The PPA works with Ubuntu 13.04, 12.10, 12.04, Linux Mint 14 and 13.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa
sudo apt-get update

Next, we can install the driver itself. While I highly recommend doing this just after running updates (and before breaking Xorg), it still works from the command-line after the broken drivers have already been installed.

sudo apt-get install fglrx

Now, everything I’ve read says that you need to remove the PPA before restarting, but nothing says why (if you know, please comment below).

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa 
sudo apt-get update

Finally, give the system a reboot. Everything should be working smoothly now… at least until the next Xorg update.

2 Responses to Switchable/Hybrid Graphics and Linux Mint 14

  1. you remove xorg-edgers because any sort of sysupgrade or upgrade command will pull a newer kernel and/or other newer things, which may break your distro, WM, etc. Some people can handle that potential upgrade. for people who don’t know how to fix that stuff easily (like me), removing it is better.

  2. Ryan Reamsbottom says:

    There’s no need to remove the ppa after installing the drivers. I left it and everything was fine on Ubuntu 12.10. The only thing that I noticed is that when I did a “sudo apt-get dist-upgrade” is that apt pulled in a kernel from this ppa, which confused me. Suddenly I was running 3.7.0 – but I think this kernel is recommended for use with the drivers, I had no problems with it…unlike kernel 3.8