Tuesday, February 7, 2012

More (X)Ubuntu 11.10 on the HP DV6-6023TX

AMD has finally added support for the Radeon 6770M present in the DV6-60xx laptops. Getting the drivers to work has been a little tricky, but all in all not to hard. I am still running Xubuntu on my DV6 as I really don't want Unity or the eye candy of KDE. In saying that the guide should work on all Ubuntu variations. I can't lay claim to all the information in this post, but I will link to the source where appropriate.

Battery life when on the Intel card is still about the same, 3-4 hours. Running on the Radeon card (not gaming though) you get about 2 hours, which is still quite decent if you can't be bothered rebooting.

I am basing this guide on a vanilla install of Xubuntu 11.10 64bit. If you are running the 32bit version of Linux, you should consider running the 64bit version instead, but most of these instructions will work.

Firstly, as per my previous blog, edit /etc/default/grub to the following:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash pcie_aspm=force i915.i915_enable_rc6=1 i915.i915_enable_fbc=1 i915.lvds_downclock=1 acpi_backlight=vendor"
from this article on Phoronix. (I have added the last two acpi functions to enable backlight control) and run update-grub and reboot.

These following instructions are copied from the Unofficial AMD Linux Community Wiki, and are used to download and build the AMD fglrx drivers.
In a terminal:

Download the required software to build the drivers:
sudo apt-get install build-essential cdbs fakeroot dh-make debhelper debconf libstdc++6 dkms libqtgui4 wget execstack libelfg0 dh-modaliases linux-headers-generic ia32-libs

Symlink /usr/lib to /usr/lib64:
sudo ln -svT lib /usr/lib64

Download the latest Catalyst Drivers, they should end up in the Downloads folder in your home directory,

Change to the directory the drivers downloaded to, and build the deb's:
cd ~/Downloads
sh amd-driver-installer-12-1-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg
Install the drivers:
sudo dpkg -i fglrx*.deb

Setup the xorg.conf file:
sudo aticonfig --initial

Now for some house keeping. In the Settings menu will be two AMD Catalyst Control Centre options. The Administrative one needs a small tweak to get it to work.

Again in the terminal:
sudo nano /usr/share/fglrx/amdccclesu.desktop

The forth line down needs to be changed to
Exec=gksu amdcccle
save the file and exit nano.

The Administrative panel is used to switch to the Intel graphics card, and a reboot is required to complete the switch. You can check which card is in use by looking in the Information section of the Catalyst Control Center. Next to OpenGL Provider at the bottom you will have listed Tungsten Graphics Inc if you are on the Intel card and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. when you are using the Radeon.



  1. You are the Man!!! =)

    I will try it @home!
    If it works, I'll give a beer :=)

  2. Okay this worked partially for me. Works fine for the Radeon driver...however when switching to intel driver unity fails to load....although installing and running gnome classic works fine...no loud fan anymore...nice and quite :)

  3. Amazing work sir. Most of this worked perfectly, and cut down my power use to 15W - still a little high for my liking, but i'm working on it. However, the ATI drivers, although this is the first time I've gotten them to boot at all - wont let me boot into Unity 3d with the Intel graphics card enabled. :( I'll live without the bells and whistles for now!

  4. Amazing. have been waiting ages for a solution to this. I have tried to find one myself but always ended up failing. this works on my dv6-6146tx. switching back to the intel card has issues, but i just want to use the descrete one anyway. works perfect. using ubuntu 11.10. in ubuntu you dont need to change the /usr/share/fglrx/amdccclesu.desktop to have gksu. works fine without doing this.

    Thankyou thankyou thankyou

  5. How do I get unity to work on the intel graphics with these new drivers?

  6. I don't switch to the intel card a great deal, and don't use Ubuntu (mainly Kubuntu/Xubuntu) so I haven't figured it out yet. I will try and look into it sometime soon (too many Uni assignments due atm).

  7. Matt,

    Thanks for posting these tips. I have an HP-DV6 and it's working flawlessly with Ubuntu 11.10. Here's more info for those interested: http://www.linlap.com/wiki/hp+pavilion+dv6-6b51nr


    1. Just upgraded to Ubuntu 12.04 using the same setup and not a single problem.

  8. Thanks for tips.
    I have dv6-6153cl (similar)
    9-10W at idle, ATI disabled, wifi on. also applied powertop tunables. unity2d.

  9. Hi, I have an HP Pavilion dm4, do you think this works with this model? I have a Radeon 7470M, which my laptop detects as a 6470M. Thanks in advance!!

    1. I think AMD renamed the 6xxx mobile lines to 7xxx. I know I have a 6770m but that is the same as the current 7770m. I'd imagine that the 6470m is equivalent to 7470m as well. So, it'd probably work for you.

  10. I have a 64 bit system.
    Should i edit this: "linux-headers-generic ia32-libs" to this: "linux-headers-generic ia64-libs"?

  11. AMD has a new driver as of 6-28-2012, working fine right after fresh install (and a reboot).

  12. thankyou...I've been busting my brains on how to control heat on this bloody machine...dv6 6023TX...seems like you just handed me the ice I need to make it work

  13. Matt, I got this info from reposts on other blogs but wanted to get to the source an so I swam upstream to thank you.
    My Dell Inspiron is now quiet and behaves after turning off ATI using vgaswitcheroo.
    My story is a bit long: my first linux experience, managed to install catalyst, figured out that the Intel is much cooler after making the switch in CC, but also noticed that afterwards the system began to hang after some time, while never doing that on ATI. Upgraded to 12.10, and from then on it was a slow and painful road to complete OS breakdown leading to a forced fresh 12.04 install. This gave me the vgaswitcheroo folder back (previously missing, perhaps after installing the fglrx drivers? why? cannot tell..) and so I could apply your solution, which works great.
    Now for the question, asked in the unlikely event that I will ever get the courage back to try and use ATI: why do you think the system used to hang on Intel when switching using CC, do you think it will do that again if I try it now, and do you know of a solution?
    A huge warm Thank You, in any case.

  14. does this work on ubuntu 13.10..? i had done as per your previous post to disable discrete VGA


    and it worked fine..but sometimes specially we start a new firefox browser or big application the fan started to work more loudly and cool down 1 or 2 mins.what is the reason for that?