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Thread: Problem with Plasma 5, Nvidia and multiple displays

  1. #1
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    Default Problem with Plasma 5, Nvidia and multiple displays

    Hi.

    I have a fresh install of Leap on a Dell Precision M4800 laptop with a Nvidia graphics card. I have manually installed the Nvidia driver directly after installing Leap. I have also blacklisted nouveau in /etc/modprobe.d/50-blacklist.conf. I'm running Plasma 5.

    Everything works fine except when I put the laptop in the docking station in which two more displays are attached using DisplayPort. When I try to configure the extra two displays and also turn off the integrated laptop display using "NVIDIA X Server Settings" it doesn't work. Sometimes one of the large screens does not work, other times they all work but none of the displays is a primary display so I have no KDE menus etc. Sometimes when I try to configure the displays Plasma 5 crashes.

    I used exactly the same Nvidia driver in openSUSE 13.2 on the same hardware prior to installing Leap and everything worked fine, I never had any problems configuring all of my displays.

    I don't know how to debug this further, I have no more information to give at this time.

    Anybody know how I should proceed or what the problem might be?

    Regards, Micke.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Problem with Plasma 5, Nvidia and multiple displays

    This appears to be an optimus based Notebook (ie both Inte and NVIDIA GPU). If so remove the NVIDIA driver reinstall/ unblack list nouveau and install the bumblebee packages.

    Optimus uses the Intel GPU to render the graphics and the normal driver does not work correctly with the hardware

    After you full remove the regular driver follow instruction hereexactly

    https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:NVIDIA_Bumblebee

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Problem with Plasma 5, Nvidia and multiple displays

    Thanks for the reply!

    I reinstalled openSUSE 42.1, then installed bumblebee according to the first part of the instructions in https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:NVIDIA_Bumblebee.

    This did not work however, it resulted in a terrible resolution (600x something). So I proceeded to install the proprietary nvidia driver, nvidia-bumblebee, according to the second part of the instructions. Now it works, I have not seen any problems so far, a few quirks maybe but nothing major.

    A few things bother me though. The bumblebee package was in the main repo, that feels fine. nvidia-bumblebee however I had to grab from the repo http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/Ronis_BR/openSUSE_Leap_42.1/. This worries me a bit. What happens when there's a kernel update? Will everything break then because the nvidia driver doesn't match the kernel? nvidia-bumblebee had a dependency to dkms which was also not in the main repo, I had to install it from the repo http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/Bumblebee-Project:/nVidia:/latest/openSUSE_Leap_42.1/. All these different repos makes me worried that everything will break in the next update.

    Is it possible to use Nvidias own drivers? I'm used to installing them manually. recompiling at every kernel update. I guess dksm is a way to avoid this but it would feel a lot safer to install nvidia manually, then I could avoid the two extra repos for dkms and nvidia-bumblebee and have more control.

    Regards, Micke.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Problem with Plasma 5, Nvidia and multiple displays

    Looking a bit more closely on the system after a reboot I see that the bumblebeed daemon is not running, in yast/Services Manager it reports a failure. The daemon is enabled but inactive, it doesn't seem to be able to start. If I do optirun --status I get the following answer:
    Code:
    micke@deimos:~> optirun --status
    [  293.648781] [ERROR]The Bumblebee daemon has not been started yet or the socket path /var/run/bumblebee.socket was incorrect.
    [  293.648838] [ERROR]Could not connect to bumblebee daemon - is it running?
    micke@deimos:~>
    Is there a log file somewhere where I can find some more information?

    The graphics seem to be working though, I use two external 2560x1440 displays at the moment configured using Configure Desktop/Display and Monitor. I guess that means I'm running the proprietary nvidia driver at the moment?

    Regards, Micke.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Problem with Plasma 5, Nvidia and multiple displays

    Is that machine an Optimus based machine? Installing the NVIDIA or nvidia-bumbelbee driver without bumbebee should not work

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Problem with Plasma 5, Nvidia and multiple displays

    Yes it is, it's a mobile workstation, the data sheets on Dells site clearly says it uses NVIDIA Optimus to optimize energy use.

    I saw on the openSUSE Build Service that the repo X11:Bumblebee contained bumblebee, nvidia-bumblebee and dkms as well so I reinstalled all three from this repo and removed the other repos I previously used so now all of bumblebee comes from the same repo. It feels a lot safer with kernel updates and such. I even did a switch in Yast.

    But I must agree there's something strange going on since I have used the laptop for over a year with openSUSE 13.2 and Nvidias proprietary driver manually installed without ever have heard of bumblebee. It wasn't until I installed openSUSE Leap 42.1 that I ran into problems with the graphics.

    Bumblebee is installed but the deamon is not running (according to optirun).

    Regards, Micke.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Problem with Plasma 5, Nvidia and multiple displays

    I also found this error message in the output of dmesg:

    Code:
    [    4.069653] bbswitch: No suitable _DSM call found.
    /Micke.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Problem with Plasma 5, Nvidia and multiple displays

    Check the BIOS see if there is some sort of switch that may have turned off one or the other GPU.

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    Default Re: Problem with Plasma 5, Nvidia and multiple displays

    Quote Originally Posted by gogalthorp View Post
    Check the BIOS see if there is some sort of switch that may have turned off one or the other GPU.
    No, I can't find any settings in the BIOS to toggle GPUs. Only the NVIDIA video controller is visible in the BIOS settings.

    This is also weird;

    Code:
    micke@deimos:~> sudo lspci | grep VGA
    root's password:
    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GK106GLM [Quadro K2100M] (rev a1)
    micke@deimos:~>
    Only the NVIDIA card is visible when doing lspci. Shouldn't the integrated Intel video controller also be visible here if it where present? I'm beginning to think this is not an Optimus laptop after all (even if Dell says so in their data sheets).

    Regards, Micke.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Problem with Plasma 5, Nvidia and multiple displays

    Since I couldn't find any evidence that the laptop uses NVIDIA Optimus technology, I removed all bumblebee stuff and installed the proprietary NVIDIA driver instead. I did not install it manually ("the hard way") like I used to and like I first did when I had installed openSUSE Leap. Instead I added the NVIDIA community repo using Yast and installed the driver using Yast. After a reboot everything works!

    This is really strange, when I manually installed the NVIDIA driver I had all sorts of problems getting it to work with multiple displays. But when installing it from the community repo using Yast it works. And I can't see the difference.

    And this should really be an NVIDIA Optimus enabled laptop (Dell Precision M4800 with NVIDIA GK106GLM Quadro K2100M) but there is no sign of it when one looks at the system. I will contact Dell and see if they have an explanation for this.

    But for now I will not investigate this further. I have other issues with Plasma 5 that I will try to solve. Thanks for the help, gogalthorp!

    Regards, Micke.

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