Saturday, 26 July 2008

hibernate a Dell Precision M6300 with nvidia-drivers

This is not a howto, just a collection of information that helped me.
$ uptime
22:05:42 up 9 days, 46 min, 1 user, load average: 1.78, 1.41, 0.91
Unfortunately, that will go back to 0, as I have to reboot for a new kernel!

So it appears there is some difficulty getting Nvidia's proprietary drivers to hibernate nicely. Had I known I might have stuck with an ATI video card for my next laptop (enter the Nvidia vs ATI flamewar. Of course, the whole argument is pointless, because everyone makes ultimatums like "I will never buy <brandname> again", based on one or two experiences, often with known old or buggy hardware.)

I have tried in the past to hibernate this laptop, but not succeeded. Common problems include:
  • Suspend ok, but resume locks up
  • Suspend locks up
  • Corrupted video, etc
Recently I decided to have another go. To my surprise, it worked without much hassle! Firstly, the specs:
  • Dell Precision M6300 (laptop!)
  • 64-bit Intel core-2 duo
  • nVidia Quadro FX 1600M with 256Mb RAM
  • 17" WUXGA 1920 X 1200 LCD
lspci identifies the video card as: 01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation Device 040d (rev a1) with the id: 10de:040d.

Now for the software. I use gentoo, but you'll be able to glean the relevant version number from these names:
  • tuxonice-sources-2.6.25-r3 and tuxonice-sources-2.6.26*
  • v86d- (Note: so far hibernate is incompatible with fbcondecor)
  • hibernate-script-1.99
  • nvidia-drivers-173.14.09
  • gcc version 4.1.2 (Gentoo 4.1.2 p1.0.2)
Instructions for installing and configuring are all over the web. Google is your friend! Two useful links:
Note1: I think the results are quite version specific, so try a number of combinations before you give up (yes, it's time consuming)
Note2: I use the filewriter, because I don't use swap <boast Who needs it with 4Gb RAM?!/> Look at my kernel config for more details.
Note3: Make sure you can suspend successfully without the nvidia kernel module installed first, otherwise this info will be of little use to you!

Also, my config files:
[Note these will be paste-binned soon]
  • on resume, GL actions all have a delay of a few seconds before operating. eg. a GL screensaver will show nothing for 3 seconds before starting. You can fix this by stopping X, reloading the nvidia module, and restarting X.
*2.6.26 works much better with resuming - no great pauses, however Intel Wireless WiFi 4965AGN (IWL4965) doesn't work...

I think that's all you'll need to replicate my setup. Let me know your success / failure with other versions / distros!

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