Migrated from https://github.com/Lekensteyn/acpi-stuff
bbswitch is a kernel module which automatically detects the required ACPI calls for two kinds of Optimus laptops. It has been verified to work with "real" Optimus and "legacy" Optimus laptops (at least, that is how I call them). The machines on which these tests has performed are:
- Clevo B7130 - GT 425M ("real" Optimus, Lekensteyns laptop)
- Dell Vostro 3500 - GT 310M ("legacy" Optimus, Samsagax' laptop)
(note: there is no need to add more supported laptops here as the universal calls should work for every laptop model supporting either Optimus calls)
It's preferred over manually hacking with the acpi_call module because it can detect the correct handle preceding _DSM and has some built-in safeguards:
- You're not allowed to disable a card if a driver (nouveau, nvidia) is loaded.
- Before suspend, the card is automatically enabled. When resuming, it's disabled again if that was the case before suspending. Hibernation should work, but it not tested.
Precautionary measure :
- On some machines, turning off the card is permanent and the card does not reappear on subsequents reboots, which can result into the screen staying black all the time, including the BIOS screen. If it occurs, first try to shutdown, unplug power cord, remove battery, wait 30s, then put everything back in and boot. If it's not solved, then the solution is to reset the BIOS to factory settings. Before executing bbswitch for the first time, it is therefore recommended to take note of the full key sequence in the BIOS to do a reset.
Build the module (kernel headers are required):
Then load it (requires root privileges, i.e.
If your card is supported, there should be no error. Otherwise, you get a "No such device" (ENODEV) error. Check your kernel log (dmesg) for more information.
If you have DKMS installed, you can install bbswitch in such a way that it
survives kernel upgrades. It is recommended to remove older versions of bbswitch
dkms remove -m bbswitch -v OLDVERSION --all as root. To install
the new version, simply run:
# make -f Makefile.dkms
To uninstall it, run:
# make -f Makefile.dkms uninstall
bbswitch has three commands to check the card status and switching
# means "run with root privileges, i.e. run it prefixed with
Get the status:
# cat /proc/acpi/bbswitch 0000:01:00.0 ON
Turn the card off, respectively on:
# tee /proc/acpi/bbswitch <<<OFF # tee /proc/acpi/bbswitch <<<ON
If the card stays on when trying to disable it, you've probably forgotten to unload the driver,
$ dmesg |tail -1 bbswitch: device 0000:01:00.0 is in use by driver 'nouveau', refusing OFF
Do not attempt to load a driver while the card is off or the card won't be usable until the PCI configuration space has been recovered (for example, after writing the contents manually or rebooting).
The module has some options that control the behavior on loading and unloading:
unload_state. Valid values are
1 meaning "do
not change the card state", "turn the card off" and "turn the card on"
respectively. For example, if you want to have
bbswitch disable the card
immediately when loading the module while enabling the card on unload, load the
# modprobe bbswitch load_state=0 unload_state=1
unload_state value can be changed on runtime, the above command yields the
same behavior as:
# modprobe bbswitch load_state=0 # echo 1 | tee /sys/module/bbswitch/parameters/unload_state
If not explictly set, the default behavior is not to change the power state of
the discrete video card which equals to
The Lenovo T410 and Lenovo T410s laptops need the module option
skip_optimus_dsm=1, otherwise it will detect the wrong methods which result in
the card not being disabled.
Disable card on boot
These options can be useful to disable the card on boot time. Depending on your
/etc/modules.conf or some other file can be used
to load modules on boot time. Adding the below line to the file makes the card
get disabled on boot:
kmod should create
options bbswitch load_state=0 to set the default options. To load the module,
systemd users should create
You have to update your initial ramdisk (initrd) for the changes propagate to
the boot process. On Debian and Ubuntu, this can performed by running
update-initramfs -u as root.
Enable card on shutdown
Some machines do not like the card being disabled at shutdown.
Add the next initscript (
description "Save power by disabling nvidia on Optimus" author "Lekensteyn <firstname.lastname@example.org>" start on runlevel  stop on runlevel  pre-start exec /sbin/modprobe bbswitch load_state=0 unload_state=1 pre-stop exec /sbin/rmmod bbswitch
This module has been integrated in Bumblebee "Tumbleweed". Please report any issues on this module in the issue tracker and provide the following details:
The output of
dmesg | grep -C 10 bbswitch:
The kernel version
Your distribution and version (if applicable)
The version of your Xorg and the driver
Submit your machine information on https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/752542; the instructions are listed in the bug description. Summary: install the packages containing
iasland then run:
wget http://lekensteyn.nl/files/get-acpi-info.sh sh get-acpi-info.sh
Information about the ACPI handles associated with PCI devices. Since this is a kernel module, you'll need kernel headers, gcc and automake. Commands:
git clone git://github.com/Lekensteyn/acpi-stuff.git --depth 1 cd acpi-stuff/acpi_dump_info make sudo make load cat /proc/acpi/dump_info
Upload the generated tarball on the above Launchpad URL and provide a link to the comment containing your report.