Ubuntu : How To Fix Over Heating of Laptops with Switchable Graphics

Ubuntu in a Laptop

In the latest Ubuntu 12.04, they have fixed most of the over heating issues we faced with new laptops. Now, Ubuntu knows how to play nice with the new CPUs. But, what about the GPUs? If you have switchable graphics on your laptops, you’ll still face some over heating because Linux doesn’t have compatible drivers for some of these cards. So, the best thing to do is, turn off the high performance GPU and switch to the Intel HD graphics.

In Windows, it’s really easy… You just have to right-click and go to the VGA switching menu. But when it comes to Linux… No, it’s not that hard… Let me show you how to do it…

  • First, open the rc.local file as the root user :
sudo nano /etc/rc.local
  •  Now, copy and paste the following lines just before the line exit 0 :
chown -R $USER:$USER /sys/kernel/debug
echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

The first line will make /sys/kernel/debug writable by the current user (who is executing the script, not you). The second line will turn off the high performance GPU.

Now, reboot your machine and you should be running on the Intel HD graphics. If you used the machine for a lot of time before doing the switch, it will take some time for it to cool off. Keep it turned off for at least half an hour and switch it back and you should feel the difference! If you encounter any problems, don’t forget to ask them in our forum and we’ll be happy to help!

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