Saturday, January 28, 2012

AMD Catalyst 12.1 Driver on HP Pavilion dv6t-6100 CTO Quad (LM720AV) Hybrid Radeon with Linux Mint 12 / Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric

I found a way to fully use the powerful AMD/ATI Radeon 6770M Hybrid Graphics Card inside HP Pavilion dv6t Quad Edition in Linux Mint 12 / Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric. Thanks to the comment by Linux Hybrid Graphics blog!

Right now, I have configured by AMD hybrid graphics laptop to use the Radeon card when on AC power (and get dramatically improved 3D rendering performance), and use the Intel built-in card when on battery power. I'm not sure if I will actually ever need the 3D since I almost never do 3D gaming on Linux, I mainly work as programmer. But the functionality is there and ready. :-)

Here's my steps to get it to work:
  1. First, if you use vgaswitcheroo to switch off the dedicated Radeon graphics card, disable the command in /etc/rc.local by commenting it :
    #echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
  2. Install additional prerequisite packages:
    sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic dkms
  3. On 64-bit systems, create a symlink from /usr/lib64 to /usr/lib :
    sudo ln -svT lib /usr/lib64
  4. Follow the steps in Installing Catalyst Manually from AMD/ATI Website.
    In AMD/ATI Catalyst Linux Driver download page, make sure to download new AMD Catalyst Linux Driver version 12.1 (aka 8.930) or newer
  5. Use the Intel i915 VAAPI driver to get hardware accelerated decoding when playing videos using VLC, to install:
    sudo apt-get install i965-va-driver
  6. If you mess up the system, follow instructions in ATI driver re-install fail.
After reboot, your laptop should work just fine.
I have several minor issues (not a blocker by any means):
  • I still experience video tearing, even after I do:
    sudo aticonfig --sync-video=on
    and turned VSync sldier to Always On in AMD Catalyst Center.
    Maybe it's because I need to do this configuration on the Intel card?
  • KDE 4.8.0 multi-monitor setup is acting weird on the Radeon card only. It does detect multiple monitors, and can configure the resolution, position, etc. but doesn't detect that it is using multiple monitors, i.e. maximizing/full-screen-ing windows make it fill the whole desktop, not just one screen.
    This is a bit annoying as I watch movies a lot on a 32" HDMI LCD TV but still want to browse or do other stuff on the laptop while watching.

    KDE 4.8 multi-monitor setup works flawlessly when the Intel card is active.
I'll give an update when I've got more news on them...

Find tips to optimize your Ubuntu 11.10 in Ubuntu Unleashed 2012 Edition: Covering 11.10 and 12.04 (7th Edition) !