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Dell 9560 GPU + Power Management

Hello! I've got a new Dell 9560 Laptop with a Nvidia 1050 mGPU and Intel i7 with integrated graphics and nvme m2 SSD.

I've successfully installed Korora on the laptop, but battery life is sub-optimal but I'd really like to use Korora on it. I'm not that familiar with Korora and I'm looking for a bit of guidance. Most things seem to work fine save for:

  • Weird touchpad registrations/poor palm rejection that jump my mouse in places or open three windows at once on accident while typing
  • When booting I see some quick errors flash by and a brief flash of the screen before the login screen, and when rebooting or shutting down I briefly see a nouveau "Unknown chipset"
  • sub-optimal battery life, But I've not configured / touched anything yet
  • I tried a dnf upgrade and yum update, but afterwards I could no longer properly boot and the loading bar would freeze (I have encryption, after inputting the encryption pass to unlock, a bar would come up and then freeze about 75% through, going back to a fresh install / older kernel that comes with the download from Korora's site got me working again)

I've been reading ArchLinux and Ubuntu guides for the 9560 Laptop, but I am not 100% sure if much carries over to Korora, for example: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Dell_XPS_15_9560

In the above Archlinux wiki, they recommend to:

  • Disable the discrete Nvidia GPU (I really wouldn't mind doing this for lower power usage, but not sure how to do it in Korora, I plan to dual boot with windows and with that I'd use optimus switching, but really linux I don't need a discreet gpu, intel integrated should be fine)

  • Enable NVME APST

  • Enable power saving features for the i915 kernel module

I saw in some Ubuntu guides that they recommend installing something called TLP, but unsure if users of Korora would recommend that or something else.

If anyone has advice, that'd be awesome. I'm loving Korora so far and would like to use it over windows and other distros I've tried so far.

Which version and desktop are you using?

Don't use yum, it is dead and gone. See https://kororaproject.org/support/documentation/updating-korora on updating the system. After you updated did you try booting with the previous kernel? There will be an option on the initial grub screen for the older kernel.

The discrete graphics will usually be disabled in the computer's hardware settings, what used to be called bios, but that differs for each computer.

You could try TLP. There are some good reports on it. But first do a search for it and the computer model and see if others have feedback on how it works on your hardware.

@ by ozjd Thanks a lot for the reply, I appreciate it.

-- I'll try upgrading using dnf --refresh upgrade this time on my new install

-- I'm using "Korora 25 (Gurgle) 4.8.11-300.fc25.x86_64" with "MATE Desktop Environment 1.18.0", On my previous install I was able to boot with the 4.8.11 Kernel just fine after not being able to boot to the new kernel. But I had done both yum update AND dnf.

Update: I upgraded using dnf --refresh upgrade on my new install, this brought me to 4.11.12-200.fc25.x86_64 and MATE Desktop Environment 1.18.0.

On first boot after the 4.11 upgrade my laptop locked up after the login screen just as the OS's GUI came up and I could see the OS's background/wallpaper. I rebooted and I was able to get in fine on the newest kernel.

  • Screen brightness keys don't seem to be operational in 4.11.12-200 (F11 and F12 are brightness down and up). They are fully operational in 4.8.11-300
  • The battery / power status icon in the upper right seems to be gone now also after the upgrade. Even going to Power Management and setting "Always display an icon" in general shows nothing with 4.11.12-200.
  • 4th and 5th laptop start also froze after logging in, the 6th time worked (I tried taking out the usb stick I had in the laptop, unsure if coincidence) 7th and 8th starts did not get past 70% of the bar that comes after entering the encryption pass.
  • Restarting with 4.11 locks up the laptop, restarting with 4.8 is fine.

In 4.8.11-300 I was getting some pretty bad screen tearing when scrolling in firefox or moving windows around fast. In 4.11.12-200 scrolling seems more responsive and no screen tearing now, maybe firefox and other things updated.

On https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/6a0n57/xps_15_9560_linux_support_status/ there are a couple of suggestions that may be useful. There is a link to setting up the touchpad. It also suggests using Bumblebee to control the Nvidia graphics and thereby save power.

I'll ask on irc too but as it is the weekend here it is usually quiet on irc.

BTW I fixed the link in your initial post. There is a guide that includes a section on Links or just click on the question mark above the reply box for the full syntax.

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