Linux on MacBook Air with NVIDIA drivers

In order to use the proprietary NVIDIA driver on a MacBook Air 3,1 (11-inch, late 2010) with the NVIDIA GeForce 320M chipset booting openSUSE Leap 42.1 in EFI mode, create the file /etc/grub.d/01_enable_vga.conf with the following content:

#!/bin/sh
set -e

# Initialize the PCI-E registers of MBA 3,1 for the nvidia driver

cat << EOF
btrfs-mount-subvol /dev/sda3 /boot/grub2/x86_64-efi /@/boot/grub2/x86_64-efi
insmod setpci
setpci -s "00:17.0" 3e.b=8
setpci -s "02:00.0" 04.b=7
EOF

and run grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg to update the bootloader configuration. Be aware that you might need to determine the PCI bus ids for your machine first by running lshw -businfo -class bridge -class display as described in this post on askubuntu. (Please note that using only the setpci command as suggested in that post for Ubuntu systems does not suffice on openSUSE systems, because on this system the setpci functionality is provided as a separate GRUB module and must be loaded explicitly with the insmod command; since the GRUB modules are not installed on the boot partition, their location has to be mounted first using the btrfs-mount-subvol command.)

Reboot and verify that the settings have actually been applied by running the setpci command on the command line as root without the part after the equal sign (e.g. setpci -s "00:17.0" 3e.b). This should return the values assigned before, i.e. 8 or 7 respectively.

Then proceed installing the nvidia driver by choosing the appropriate package on the openSUSE Community website. In my case (NVIDIA GeForce 320M), that means choosing the „Geforce 8 series and later“ option.

 

Fedora 15 on NVIDIA NVS 3100M

In an earlier post, I already wrote about how to install the proprietary video driver on Fedora. In a brief update I suggested to change the acpi_sleep kernel option to accomplish proper display wake-up from standby. Unfortunately, that solution doesn’t work reliably in my experience. Today I found a solution that seems to successfully work around the problem of the black screen by waking up the screen „manually“.

Gernot Walzl wrote a „nasty workaround“ (quoting himself) in the form of the following script:

#!/bin/sh

# nvidia_dpms_fix.sh
# 2011-06-12
# by Gernot WALZL

# nasty workaround for nvidia drivers to resume from dpms off/suspend

export DISPLAY=:0

getXauthority () {
  export XAUTHORITY=$(ps -C X -f | grep "$DISPLAY" \
    | sed -n 's/.* -auth \([^ ]*\).*/\1/p')
}

handle_line () {
  if echo "$1" | grep -e "(EE) NVIDIA.* DisplayPort link training failed" \
      > /dev/null; then
    getXauthority
    xset dpms force on
  fi
}

tail --follow=name /var/log/Xorg.0.log --retry --lines=1 2> /dev/null \
  | while read line; do
    handle_line "$line"
  done

To actually make this do its job, I copied it into /usr/local/bin, made it executable and created an autostart entry for GNOME 3 by saving the following lines under ~/.config/autostart/nvidia_dpms_fix.sh.desktop

[Desktop Entry]
Type=Application
Exec=/usr/local/bin/nvidia_dpms_fix.sh
Hidden=false
X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=true
Name=NVidia DPMS fix
Comment=Wakes up the display properly

I believe the problem that is being worked around is indicated by a line in the Xorg.0.log:

(WW) NVIDIA(GPU-0): AUO (DFP-3): Failed to set DisplayPort power state

Although I could only test this on my machine (HP EliteBook 8440p), with some luck this works for all cases where a similar log message is found.

Fedora 14 on HP 8440p

The new version of Fedora is out since yesterday and available for download.

Naturally, my private notebook is the first place for me to perform the upgrade. Although the new Nouveau driver detects the resolution (1600×900) and runs just fine, I really want fully accelerated graphics and for that purpose still have to resort to the proprietary drivers from NVIDIA to use the NVS 3100M card in my HP EliteBook 8440p. Not the least reason for this is, that I love GNOME Shell which requires accelerated graphics.

Here is a summary specifically for the 8440p with a resolution of 1600×900. (as root):

yum localinstall --nogpgcheck http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm
yum update
yum install kmod-nvidia

Reboot

nvidia-settings -r

Verify, that Xorg is configured to use the proprietary driver. A minimal /etc/X11/xorg.conf should look like this:

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
EndSection

Finally, since the driver doesn’t support Kernel Mode-Setting (KMS), open the Grub configuration at /boot/grub/grub.conf and append the following parameter to the kernel configuration (behind rdblacklist=nouveau): vga=0x34D.

Update (2011-02-28): To make the video wake up properly after suspend to RAM (sleep), add the following kernel parameter: acpi_sleep=nonvs.