No Nvidia control panel?

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No Nvidia control panel?

Postby SimonNoob on Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:08 am

Hi, Mint newbie (and Linux in general) here.

I've installed Mint yesterday and so far I'm very pleased with the system. It's very fast and snappy, much faster than the blotted Windows 7/8.
I've already installed all the software I need; like Code::Blocks, Qt, Steam and so on and so forth.

That aside.
I've tried running a few simple games - worked like a charm. The games' FPS itself was comparable to the Windows versions.
Well... so far so good. However, I want to be able to turn on or off vertical synchronization. And for that I obviously the Nvidia's control panel (or is it doable via terminal?).

So... this is an Optimus-enabled laptop.
A GT 650M and an Intel HD Graphics 4000.

I'm currently optimizing battery life; it's ~1 hours 30 minutes out of the box.
~2 hours 30 minutes with Bumblebee. (I want to eventually match W7's battery life - ~3hours +- 10-30 minutes.)

I've tried using this tutorial.
But when I run in the terminal:
Code: Select all
nvidia-settings


I get this:
Code: Select all
You do not appear to be using the NVIDIA X driver.  Please edit your X configuration file (just run `nvidia-xconfig` as root), and restart the X server.


And...
Code: Select all
nvidia-xconfig: command not found


Why is that? Could anyone point me in the right direction? Apparently I'm missing something very basic, but I don't know what.
Perhaps too much information to grasp at one go...
But since I'm free from university for two weeks, I want to be as productive as possible. :)

Thank you and my apologies if I'm asking something really dumb. :oops:
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Re: No Nvidia control panel?

Postby bigj231 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:52 pm

Did you install the nVidia drivers with the "additional drivers" utility?
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Re: No Nvidia control panel?

Postby SimonNoob on Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:24 pm

Hm... what's additional drivers utility?
I didn't use it
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Re: No Nvidia control panel?

Postby bigj231 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:39 pm

It's in the menu. Alternatively, the command is:
Code: Select all
gksudo jockey-gtk
Just hit Alt+F2 and type that in. Then install the drivers.
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Re: No Nvidia control panel?

Postby SimonNoob on Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:22 am

Doesn't do anything, I've tried to apt-get jockey-gtk (and it downloaded something),
but still nothing

I'm using cinnamon if that helps
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Re: No Nvidia control panel?

Postby QuotidianMe2 on Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:50 am

Simon,
According to the Linux Mint 14 release notes, Jockey used to be in the menus, but it seems it was removed upstream in Ubuntu, and was discontinued:
Additional drivers

To install additional drivers, please run the "Software Sources" tool from "Menu->Preferences->Software Sources" and click on the "Additional Drivers" tab. The tool used in previous versions of Linux Mint (Jockey) was discontinued upstream in Ubuntu.
from http://linuxmint.com/rel_nadia.php

I'm not sure about using apt-get to download jockey and then running it. There's a way to use apt to search and see if a thing is available, but I don't use apt often enough to remember. A little searching will turn it up, I'm sure.

Thre are a couple tutorials on this site about installing Nvidia native drivers, but read them and their comments thoroughly (I borked my xfce install because the tute didn't mention that xfce uses a different something-important-video-wise --- oops :lol: ). I haven't bothered with it since, but intend to later ... maybe post what you find here.

Congrats on choosing Linux Mint, btw!
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Re: No Nvidia control panel?

Postby AlbertP on Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:05 am

@ SimonNoob: You have Optimus graphics? Then you need Bumblebee: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bumblebee
If installed using that tutorial, you don't need to install any NVIDIA graphics driver.
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Re: No Nvidia control panel?

Postby QuotidianMe2 on Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:31 pm

Albert, thanks for the tip about Bumblebee. Since I'm sort of in the same boat as Simon, (apparently I too have an Optimus laptop), I've looked at the site you link and I have to say that it is less than novice friendly --- which I infer Simon might be.

Looking at the Bumblebee link through a normal user's eyes, I don't know what Bumblebee even is:

" Using Bumblebee, you can use your NVIDIA card for rendering graphics which will be displayed using the Intel card." Is that the proprietary driver, then?" I'm guessing, no, because step 4 of the enumeration states "Install Bumblebee using the proprietary nvidia driver:" meaning, that one needs the proprietary driver installed before installing Bumblebee ... indeed one needs the driver to install Bumblebee at all.

And you say that using the tutorial one doesn't need to install nvidia drivers at all? Do you see how this might be confusing?

And then there is that bitin the tutorial about "Advanced users" who may not want to use 32 bit libraries ... what does that refer to. I'm running a 64 bit machine (and maybe Optimus is always 64 bit ... so it would be obvious to one more familiar with the hardware. But which libraries are refered to, and who should be concerned about them?

A little further on are the Usage instructions that make it sound that each and every application one desires to run using the Nvidia card, one must use command line?

I know you didn't write that Bumblebee tutorial, but it's confusing about what Bumblebee does and how its used. Can't we install nvidia drivers as in http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=117643 ?

Sorry, that's a bit long.
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Re: No Nvidia control panel?

Postby AlbertP on Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:46 pm

This is a laptop with NVIDIA Optimus. That means: the Intel GPU is controlling the screen, the NVIDIA GPU can only be used to accelerate certain programs on request.

You have no choice but to use Bumblebee. Without it, you cannot use your NVIDIA GPU at all - it will only waste battery power because the drivers do not automatically power it down. Installing Bumblebee at least saves power: it will power down the NVIDIA GPU if it is not used.

If you install bumblebee and bumblebee-nvidia as described, then you automatically get an NVIDIA driver installed; you don't have to install it yourself. The bumblebee-nvidia package does this for you, and the driver gets configured properly (by default the NVIDIA driver supports no Optimus).

If you want to use the NVIDIA GPU to accelerate a program, then you need to do this by putting optirun before the command. You can for example edit the menu entries of programs that don't run well enough on the Intel graphics (by right-clicking the menu button) and add optirun to the program's command.
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Re: No Nvidia control panel?

Postby SimonNoob on Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:51 pm

I see guys thanks for the explanations.


But that aside, how do I enable Nvidia control panel with Bumblebee?

Typing vblank_mode=0 isn't very convenient, is at least possible to set up profiles?
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Re: No Nvidia control panel?

Postby AlbertP on Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:56 pm

Are you sure that you still need to set that vblank mode if you are using optirun to run this program on the NVIDIA GPU instead of Intel graphics?

NVIDIA control panel does not just work with Bumblebee as far as I know. Support for Optimus in NVIDIA's drivers is not very good. Bumblebee can at least get a few NVIDIA features working, but not everything.
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Re: No Nvidia control panel?

Postby SimonNoob on Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:03 pm

vblank_mode=0 overrides vertical synchronization settings

i don't want vsync since it creates a lot of mouse glitch
and my laptop can take 200+ fps without overheating anyway

Would be a crime not to use it :P

But thanks for clarifying everything, guys
I'll just stop messing with bumblebee now
and concentrate on improving my battery life :)
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Re: No Nvidia control panel?

Postby AlbertP on Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:14 pm

I thought the mouse would maybe only glitch if the weaker Intel GPU was rendering your games, that's why I suggested to give optirun a try. Anyway, if you get glitches without optirun, then NVIDIA is not involved anyway and you'll have to fix it on Intel instead.

About the battery: you get the longest battery life if you install Bumblebee but do not use it (through optirun). Then the NVIDIA GPU is powered down all the time. Intel GPUs are fast enough for most tasks today, you can probably only feel the lack of NVIDIA acceleration in heavy games.
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Re: No Nvidia control panel?

Postby SimonNoob on Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:30 pm

I know, bumblebee improved battery life by one hour (from 1,30 to 2,30).
But Windows still worked for more than three. (Talk about some light programming/browsing.)

A workaround for mouse glitch would be to enable triple buffered vertical synchronization, while setting in-game FPS to 0.1 lower than screen update rate.
For example 59.9. Don't remember where I read about this, possibly anand tech, I'll read bumblebee docs now (to see if it supports triple buffering), anyway.

But I guess there's no need to continue this topic as everything has already been pointed out

Thank you guys. :)
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Re: No Nvidia control panel?

Postby AlbertP on Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:56 pm

Triple buffering is not a Bumblebee matter. If you are using no optirun, you'll have to configure the Intel GPU. Triple buffering has already been default behaviour on Intel GPUs from Mint 11 or 12 on, I think (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=n ... &px=OTY2MQ)
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