video-hybrid-intel-nvidia-440xx-prime & steam how to get it working

Summary

Branch: Stable
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-7300HQ CPU @ 2.50GHz
GPU: GP106M [GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile] (nVidia Corporation)
GPU driver: video-hybrid-intel-nvidia-440xx-prime
Desktop Environment: KDE
Kernel: 5.4.28-1

First my story: tried to connect my via TV via my receiver ... that worked at the beginning at a break of a 1h I wanted to continue but it wasn't possible to establish the connection again even after several restarts... while I tried to solve the problem I found out via the hardwareconfiguration window there are new drive versions so I tried them...
Finally I used the automatic setup and it installed me the 440xx-prime and I noticed by reading online that offloading is possible.

Previously, I used (I am not sure but I think) video-nvidia-390xx and optimus-manager-qt to switch between the graphic cards. That worked pretty good but also was pretty annoying over the time.
So if I could get it to work so I don't have to logout and login again would be great...

I need 2 things.

  1. Use nvidia for specific programs, primary steam
  2. Use external Monitors (Thunderbolt AND HDMI) (was only possible in nvidia mode before)

When I try to start steam I get the following:

prime-run steam
Manjaro steam native configuration found!
Running Steam on manjarolinux 19.0.2 64-bit
STEAM_RUNTIME is disabled by the user
/home/yo/.local/share/Steam/ubuntu12_32/steam
Installing breakpad exception handler for appid(steam)/version(1585264767)

I am testing it with seven days to die its the main game I want to play now and that already worked pretty good. There I let me show the fps to determine if its using intel or nvidia, but it's also possible to here it, without nvidia its not extrem noisy....

@redPirrote Hello, I also opened similar topics here:

Hi thank you.

I am sorry to say that, but the topics aren't really related to mine..

  1. I already know that I have hybrid
  2. There are just open unanswered questions

But I have good news! I found the solution by myself.
Because I didn't find any solution or something that explains the error with steam and what is missing or wrong with my system I decided to switch back to optimus-manager.

And see there the person updated it for the new driver. I have to save it is a pity he just mixed it in at step 9. so if you don't read it again until step 9. you will miss it.
Sorry I was wrong.

If you already use video-hybrid-intel-nvidia-440xx-prime configuration, this guide is also for you. The only difference is that you don't have bumblebee so you don't have to disable it. The rest of the guide stays the same. More info on hybrid off loading mode that this setup uses, see point 9.

When I am in optimus-manager hybrid mode I can now start steam with

STEAM_RUNTIME_HEAVY=1 __NV_PRIME_RENDER_OFFLOAD=1 __GLX_VENDOR_LIBRARY_NAME=nvidia steam

And look, it works! I get 40 fps

What is still missing is how to use an external monitor in hybrid mode with my laptop but I can still switch to nvidia mode and then it works

PS: I didn't do any special configuration with optimus-manager just the files renaming and comment the 2 lines for KDE out... explained in the guide

That's great to know! Useful for running anything in hybrid mode (Steam or not).

Currently, there is no output to external sources within hybrid mode. This is simply not implemented in Nvidia drivers yet. There is demand for it and it's already submitted to Nvidia, but it's unsure when this feature will be added to the drivers. It could be months or years... so the only way to have multiple monitors at the moment is to use Intel and Nvidia modes.

Hybrid technology is still very new and experimental and that is why it isn't perfect. Most probably only newer hardware in the future will be able to gain all benefits from it, while older hardware will have to compromise.

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How does one switch to nvidia mode?

depends on if you installed a gui for that or you are using the cli

So for me, I've no idea about the cli, I make a right click on the tray icon then there are coming two pop ups, then it logs me off (I setup to automatically log off) and then I login again.
Now the symbol switched to nvidia and the laptop gets louder soon...
If theres something wrong the symbols stays to intel

Of course you also have to set up the UEFI first. In my case I can choose between Intel & Nvidia OR onliy Nvidia

It sounds like you're talking about optimus-manager-qt. I think that's an alternative to the new PRIME Render Offload features that come builtin with the nvidia 440xx-prime drivers, which is what I have.

Can optimus-manager be used alongside the 440xx PRIME Render Offload features?

Optimus-manager allows you to switch between 3 modes: Intel, Hybrid, Nvidia (if you have 435xx or 440xx drivers, for older ones it's just Intel or Nvdia).

If you install mhwd setup called video-hybrid-intel-nvidia-440xx-prime, it means, you have configured hybrid mode only. If you install video-nvidia-440xx it will configure your system run on Nvidia only.
Optimus-manager simply allows you to switch between those by changing configs on session restart. Moreover, optimus-manager allows you to configure which driver do you use.

On mhwd setup you either have free or non-free drivers. With optimus-manager you can have free drivers for Intel (modesetting), non-free drivers for Nvidia. Additionally, when using Intel modesetting, you can trigger Nvidia with nouveau on the same session (Nvidia free drivers) .

So basically, on Intel modesetting I run desktop with Intel but can run Nvidia on demand with its free drivers. I can switch to usual Hybrid mode, although I'm not sure if it uses Intel proprietary or free drivers plus, of course, closed source Nvidia drivers. And Nvidia mode uses non-free drivers for everything. All easily accessible and configurable from optimus-manager-qt gui.

IMO, this is the best setup for a laptop, because it gives you the best flexibility and possibilities.

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For Intel, it always uses the open source driver, because there are no proprietary Intel drivers for Linux. There is only the open source Intel driver.

OK, then what is the difference between Intel-Intel driver and Intel-Modesetting driver? I assumed the first one is proprietary but of course I may have been wrong.

Both drivers are open source. The modesetting driver is a general graphics driver. The Intel driver is from Intel for Intel graphics. The Intel driver isn't properly maintained, e.g. there are no releases. More and more distributions recommend the modesetting driver. Sometimes the Intel driver is more stable and faster but mostly the modesetting driver is superior.

1 Like

Ok, thanks for the info. My experience is that modesetting does work better, especially if you have multi-screen setup (with Intel driver the second screen was no detected, but all works well with modesetting).

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