Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Nvidia graphics broken on recent update (Thinkpad W520, Ubuntu 14.04)

Just posting this in case anyone else had the same problem and finds their way here. I ran an aptitude update this morning and restarted my system (Thinkpad W520, Ubuntu 14.04). I was astonished when no GUI Login appeared (in the "Discrete" graphics BIOS Mode). After doing a bit of digging, I found that bumblebee had blacklisted the nvidia kernel module in /etc/modprobe.d/bumblebee.conf . I don't know why this started to happen, but my solution was to uninstall bumblebee:

$ sudo aptitude purge bumblebee

You may also have to reinstall the nvidia drivers:

$ sudo aptitude reinstall nvidia-___

where the `___` is the version number.

Anyways, now things work in "Discrete" graphics BIOS Mode. Haven't investigated "NVIDIA-Optimus" mode yet.


  1. Oooh. Good to know. I'm currently in 15.04 on a W520, with primus installed and (shockingly) working. (And using some absurd new-version driver.)

    There are a couple of tricks here.

    I used: (beware his typos though. Commands should be inspected, not simply copy-pastaed.)

    The driver name will be annoying.

    The bit that was tedious for me was getting the bumblebee.conf set up right:

    # colon-separated path to the nvidia libraries
    # comma-separated path of the directory containing and the
    # default Xorg modules path

    is what I ended up with in the annoying section.

    And the final thing that made it click (and be useful) is to ignore primusrun, but used the prime indicator that literally allows me to swap intel/nvidia states.

    Anyways, thanks for the heads up. Which nvidia drivers are you using?

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