Is there a solution to getting Nvidia dedicated graphics cards to work yet?



A couple of months ago, I posted a few threads on here about having serious troubles with installing Manjaro on my Dell XPS 15 9560 with an Intel integrated graphics card as well as an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 dedicated card. The solution I eventually found was to perform my installation using the Manjaro Architect and manually choose to only install the Intel graphics drivers.

I have now been running Manjaro KDE (and i3 recently installed as my WM replacing KWin) successfully for quite some time. The only hiccup I ever noticed was one time when my laptop was on battery power, no AC plugged in, and I chose to reboot or logout, the whole system would freeze causing me to force shutdown by holidng the power button. This seemed to only happen when the laptop was not charging, and was a very similar symptom to the problems I was originally having when allowing the regular iso to auto-install my display drivers.

When this problem occurred, I checked which display drivers where installed, and somehow the nouveau driver was also installed. (I think mhwd must have auto-installed it). I simply blcklisted it in etc/modprobe.d and this has solved the issue ever since.

So, I have had a perfectly stable Manjaro installation ever since. However, I do work in Deep Learning, where a dedicated GPU drastically improves the processing power and speed in the models I create. I need to my GPU to be working when running these models (let alone the waste of paying for a laptop with a dedicated graphics card, and then having it permanently disabled).

I am coming back after thoroughly enjoying my Manjaro installation for months, in the hope that a solution to this Nvidia problem has been found. Is there anyway I can either toggle my Nvidia card on/off when needed, or is there now a way to simply run it permanently using the correct driver without my installation being botched again?

I’ll look forward to hearing any suggestions, and please let me know what further information/commands I could run in order to best come to a solution.

I have been running kernel 4.11 since installation, and have just updated to 4.13


Some recent discussion


The issue is not with nvidia dedicated cards or bumblebee in Manjaro, for a vast majority of users this works perfectly OOTB, the issue is with Dell support for these in Linux, particularly Arch based distros.

Just search these forums and Arch forums for issues related to Dell laptops and getting dedicated nvidia gpu to play nicely with gpu switching solutions like bumblebee. They are numerous, you are not alone.

Manjaro dev team will apparently be overhauling mhwd hybrid graphics in line with their work customizing a Manjaro spin for a StationX hybrid graphics machine. This will involve the implementation of hybrid-intel-nvidia-prime as a legitimate alternative for hybrid-intel-nvidia-bumblebee.

This work will then be backported into the generic Manjaro spins. Long overdue, sorely needed, but better late than never.

Will this work with Dell optimus laptops? I don’t know. It should but I don’t own a Dell laptop so can’t tell you. Only way to know for sure is for Dell laptop owners to setup Prime manually the Arch way, and give us feedback.

These wiki entries assume Xorg as a display server, not Wayland.