Trying to have a good experience w/ Oryx Pro on anything but Pop OS?

My experience with the Oryx Pro using Pop OS has been almost flawless. Reliable hybrid graphics switching, great battery life, and System76 even provides a driver package if, for some reason, you want to run Windows 10 on it. (Which I did to compare gaming performance on some native vs Steam Proton games.

Also in my experience, things tend to fall apart a bit when trying to run anything else on my Oryx Pro.

I’ve tried Peppermint OS 10 and elementary OS 5.1 recently, and the issues center around battery life, fan behavior and hybrid graphics switching.

For example, running both Peppermint and elementary OS on the Oryx Pro, you should get a new proprietary Nvidia driver installed which has preliminary support for hybrid graphics switching. But actually triggering that switch in Nvidia X Server Settings results in…well, no change. If I switch to Intel and reboot, the app will report that I’m in Intel, but powertop tells another story, since it shows very high power consumption and reports that the Nvidia GPU is active under the Device Stats tab.

Mark Greaves, the CEO of Peppermint, suggested I add the System76 repository and install the System76-power package. The benefit here is that it adds the extra functionality you expect like changing the keyboard backlight colors. And it has some secret sauce when it comes to graphics hardware management and battery life, too.

BUT, you have to switch between Intel and Nvidia using the Terminal (sudo system76-power graphics intel/nvidia). And that DOES work!

The downside is that whenever the Oryx Pro is plugged in and running under Nvidia, the fans are spinning constantly. For me that’s a dealbreaker because that extra noise is way too loud under certain recording conditions.

Again, this is only based on my personal experience. And I’m sure this problem has a resolution!

For now, I have to say I love System76 from their company culture to how quickly they jump in and solve problems. I love Pop OS too. But it does feel like there’s a BIT of distro lock-in when it comes to my Oryx Pro and Pop OS. I think a lot of this may come down to immature Nvidia hybrid graphics drivers, though, and I’m not sure the blame should be placed on System76.

I try to look on the bright side :smiley:

But is anyone having a similar issue? Is there a solution out there?

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I can’t speak to the fan issue, but I’d be willing to bet that there is an app out there that will let you control the fans and probably create temp profiles to control them.

For battery life, look at TLP. It’ll do wonders for battery life.

I’m considering a System76 as my next laptop, but I will not use gnome. It would be nice if System76 would add other DE’s to their OS. Would love to see KDE/Plasma, Mate, and Xfce.

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I have an Oryx Pro 5 and running Fedora, while I have not experienced the constant fan running while in Nvidia mode, ever since installing the copr for the system76-power/dkms/driver/firmware my speakers have not worked much more often than they have worked and I can’t uninstall the dkms. The drivers have to be reinstalled every couple of reboots to regain control of the keyboard backlighting.
But the biggest issue currently is my laptop display is no longer detected after an Nvidia/kernel update. (Laptop Display not Detected) I can only use external monitors.

Ouch, Jared, those are some serious problems. Sorry to hear this.
Have you reached out to System76 support?

Yes, but unfortunately they only provide support for Ubuntu and Pop.

Do they not provide the source for the drivers so that you can compile them for your linux distro?

@JasonEvangelho I can’t speak for the System 76 Oryx Pro, but I have a Clevo 650 (which this Oryx Pro is based on).

I have spent a lot of time experimenting with this unit to try and completely power down the Nvidia GPU. I have the exact same issue as you - whenever the Nvidia GPU is powered up and the laptop is actually doing something (i.e. rendering something), it sounds like a hairdryer. I don’t think there’s any getting around this - I’ve pulled mine apart, cleaned the fans, put new thermal paste on it, nothing helps. It just runs hot when the dGPU is powered up.

Here’s the thing with this particular laptop - it’s “muxless”, and the video output ports (HDMI and Mini-DisplayPorts) are wired directly to the Nvidia GPU. What this means is that if you have an external monitor attached, the Nvidia GPU is always going to power up - there is no way around this. A good (and short) explanation of MUX vs MUXLESS (including useful diagrams!) can be found here:

For my particular laptop (again, I can’t really speak for the S76 Oryx Pro as my Clevo doesn’t have any of the “special sauce” System76 add), I have found the following GRUB parameter essential (in /etc/default/grub):

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash acpi_osi=\"!Windows 2015\""

After adding acpi_osi='!Windows 2015', you then run a:

$ sudo update-grub

and then reboot.

This is necessary in many laptops in which some of the wiring is done in such a way to support Windows. After adding this, my Linux experience on the Clevo is much better - it doesn’t freeze after boot, hibernation works, I can completely power down the Nvidia GPU.

Whenever I’m installing a new distro, I also need to add that acpi_osi entry (from memory, pressing “e” when the GRUB menu is displayed, finding the “linux=…” line, adding acpi_osi="!Windows 2015", then pressing F10 to continue with the boot/installation). Failure to do this results in unpredictable behavior (i.e. the laptop completely freezing up within a few minutes of use).

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but while the the Nvidia GPU is powered up and the laptop is under load (i.e. even a semi-light load in GPU terms), or while you have a second monitor attached, the fans are going to whir. I have never found a workaround/solution, but that’s not to say there isn’t one :slight_smile:

EDIT: I get a pretty “good” experience on my Clevo with Kubuntu 19.10 so long as I use the above acpi_osi kernel param (but it’s still loud when using the Nvidia GPU).

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Liked, bookmarked, printed out, saved in Standard Notes and emailed to myself! What a BRILLIANT and helpful response. Your knowledge is appreciated!!!