Select GPU to meet your needs. Use the NVIDIA GPU to drive maximum performance and support three 4K external monitors. Use the Intel GPU to maximize battery life. This guided solution applies only to Kubuntu Focus M1 and M2. Kubuntu Focus XE, Ir14, and NX models have Intel integrated Iris Xe graphics.
Click on the System Tray GPU widget to change to your preferred GPU. One may also launch NVIDIA Settings from this interface. This is the simplest way to move between graphics modes.
We recommend selecting
Nvidia GPU (Performance Mode) or
Intel GPU (Power Save Mode). WE DO NOT RECOMMEND USING
Hybrid GPU (On-Demand Mode) except as discussed in Using Hybrid GPU, below..
The NVIDIA RTX GPU is needed for demanding tasks such as deep learning, video editing, or gaming. However, if you aren't using those capabilities, switching to the integrated graphics can extend battery life by 2 hours or more in practice.
When the power cable is unplugged, the system takes actions to conserve power and extend battery life. The most obvious actions — all of which are Kubuntu Focus optimizations — include:
WE DO NOT RECOMMEND USING
Hybrid GPU (On-Demand Mode) in almost all circumstances: it keeps both the dGPU and iGPU running, can make multi-display systems run slowly, and can use significantly more power than Intel Mode alone even when idle. In addition, this technique does not free up as much VRAM as
Intel GPU (Power Save Mode) because the Nvidia GPU drivers must still reserve some VRAM for frame buffers.
There is, however, one use-case where using
Hybrid GPU make sense, and that is when you want to have more available VRAM for GPU tasks like ML, CUDA, or OPTIX; AND you need to drive multiple monitors. Just remember to switch back when you are done.
Hybrid GPU (On-Demand Mode), if you wish to launch an app using the NVIDIA GPU and Vulkan:
Hybrid GPU (On-Demand Mode), if you wish to launch an app using the NVIDIA GPU and OpenGL:
See this discussion for more detail.
This is usually faster than using a GUI. If you change the GPU selection, we recommend you reboot to avoid glitches.
The NVIDIA Settings app is not recommended for most daily tasks, as there are far friendlier mechanisms in place. See the GPU widget in the system tray (at bottom right) to change the GPU in use. See
Start Menu > Kubuntu Focus > Video Sync to eliminate video tearing. To adjust screens, see the Displays Guided Solution to select and change refresh rates. However, there are some advanced settings that may be explored here.
WARNING: The NVIDIA Settings app may encourage you to save an
/etc/X11/xorg.conf file. Please do NOT do this as it will, in most cases, disable the laptop panel and the ability to add and remove displays in real time. If you believe you have this issue, see the answer to Troubleshooting - Q: I booted my system and it never got past the splash screen to fix.
Q: This seems related to battery life. Where can I learn more?
A: See Battery Management to learn more.
Q: I booted my system and it never got past the splash screen. How do I fix this?
NVIDIA Settings and other applications may ask you to save an
xorg.conf file. Doing so may disable your internal display from functioning with a GUI upon logout or restart, and you will not be able to sign-in. If this happens, we recommend you remove this file:
sudo /bin/rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf, type your password when prompted.
sudo systemctl restart sddm && exit.
You should now be able to sign-in as usual.
Q: Recently with external monitors the display is slow. What could be happening?
A: This commonly happens to Deep Learning scientist who are using
NVIDIA On-Demand to maximize VRAM availability for compute jobs. Switch back to
NVIDIA Performance as shown above to fix this condition.
Q: My screen flickers when I playing games. What could be the issue?
Night Color can cause this, especially with Intel i915 graphics (standard on Ir14, NX, and XE models). Please see Night Color for more detail and illustrations. Another solution that we found works completely in both Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, and enables butter-smooth gameplay, is to enable vsync. Here is a complete checklist that should work in all instances.
Q: I have found when using Intel graphics that websites with text have corrupted or missing characters. When running Nvidia graphics, there isn't an issue. Is there some way to fix this?
A: Intel graphics are standard on Ir14, NX, and XE models. We have seen this only on Chrome-based browsers on Gen 12+ Intel graphics, and only on certain sites. It is not a character encoding issue, but a bug with Chrome that hasn't existed before. Until Google fixes this problem, you can click on the three dots in the upper right corner and use
Menu > Settings > System and disable "Use hardware acceleration when available.". Clicking the
Relaunch button that appears will apply the change to your browser without losing any tabs. You will want to re-enable acceleration for sites that run WebGL to get maximum performance.
This is a partial revision history. See the
git repository for all entries.
2023-11-18 e770b1c6Add search and help bar
2023-10-18 fac730e3Enhance VRAM usage advice
2023-04-25 19f0fa02Revise Intel graphics, Ir14
2023-03-18 02f6dfd6Add help for i915 graphic issues
2023-02-22 30d99117Add help for night-color-induced flicker
2022-07-06 7c6e13f5Add emphasis on hybrid mode, update for 22.04 images
2021-10-25 7bf9f4a5Revise nvidia-settings guidance
2021-10-10 5728326eReformat to 2-column
2021-09-22 dc862884Update link and headline colors
2021-08-23 681261b4Review and update codeblocks
2021-08-16 add4b857Update for XE model
2021-05-12 ef8b0ad5Detail on-demand
2020-12-11 ff311a4bUpdate to include system tray widget
2020-06-10 c4ed9299Restructure layout
2020-03-16 cffb5f61Add command-line alternative
2020-03-05 87cad77aFirst publication
We try hard to provide a useful solution validated by professionals. However, we cannot anticipate every situation, and therefore cannot guarantee this procedure will work for your needs. Always backup your data and test the solution to determine the correct procedure for you.
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