Tuesday, November 6, 2012

New GT Setup - Laptop

Started configuring my work machines for Georgia Tech today.  Going to go over the laptop in this post.  Workstation on deck.  The laptop is a Lenovo T530 with an Nvidia NVS 5400M GPU and an integrated Intel GPU. 

For the linux distribution I chose Linux Mint 13 (Maya) MATE 64 bit edition

This is a nice distro.  It is a continuation of Gnome 2.0 and if you liked that desktop manager you'll like this.  For the install I disabled the dedicated card in BIOS and proceeded with the initial install.  After the OS was installed (but before running any updates) I installed the Nvidia drivers provided in the Ubuntu repository.  I had to be careful to make sure that the proper versions were installed.  What worked the best for me was,

nvidia-current (295.40-0ubuntu1.1)
nvidia-settings  (295.33-0ubuntu1)

I then rebooted the laptop, disabled the integrated GPU and activated the dedicated GPU in BIOS and was up and running.  Running the software update might change the Nvidia packages that are being used so make sure the above are the ones that are active.   The reason for going into the BIOS is that this dedicated GPU comes with Optimus technology which can switch between the Intel and Nvidia cards to save battery life.  This doesn't really work in Linux.  You can try an application called bumblebee to make this work, but for me the extra battery life isn't worth the hassle.  Going to try some CUDA tests soon.

Here are some commands for the .bashrc file,
alias rm='rm -i'
alias emacs='emacs --reverse-video'

export PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[01;34m\] \W \$\[\033[00m\] '

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