Radeon HD8890M graphics card and Ubuntu 18.04

To see which graphis card is installed:

lspci | grep -i –color ‘vga\|3d\|2d’
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Venus XTX [Radeon HD 8890M / R9 M275X/M375X] (rev 83)
sudo lspci -v -s 01:00.0 # Note the Device ID from the previous output
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Venus XTX [Radeon HD 8890M / R9 M275X/M375X] (rev 83) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
Subsystem: Dell Venus XTX [Radeon HD 8890M / R9 M275X/M375X]
Flags: fast devsel, IRQ 16
Memory at c0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
Memory at dfe00000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256K]
I/O ports at e000 [size=256]
Expansion ROM at 000c0000 [disabled] [size=128K]
Capabilities: [48] Vendor Specific Information: Len=08 <?>
Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 3
Capabilities: [58] Express Legacy Endpoint, MSI 00
Capabilities: [a0] MSI: Enable- Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
Capabilities: [100] Vendor Specific Information: ID=0001 Rev=1 Len=010 
Capabilities: [150] Advanced Error Reporting
Capabilities: [200] #15
Capabilities: [270] #19
Kernel modules: radeon, amdgpu

I used the early preview AMD driver Amdgpu-pro-18.20-579836. It seems to work fine with my notebook and docking station. The normal version is installed, the pro version seems to give issues.

Run sudo lshw -c video, and look for the line with “configuration”. The loaded driver is prefixed with “driver=”

And this gives you loads of information on the driver itself.

modinfo $(modprobe --resolve-alias radeon)

lspci -nnk | grep -i vga -A3 | grep 'in use' also shows which graphics option is being used in the current configuration.

You can blacklist the radeon driver by adding blacklist radeon to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-radeon.conf
and by adding blacklist radeonfb to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-framebuffer.conf

Note that this does NOT stop the card from being turned on at boot, and consuming a lot of power.

Setting driver options:

Follow this page on info of kernel module features and settings.

Driver features can be set  by adding specific options to your boot environment in grub /etc/default/grub

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash radeon.dpm=1"
sudo update-grub

An alternative is adding files to /etc/modprobe.d/, that will be read at boot time

# Force the Dynamic Power Management
options radeon dpm=1

resulting settings are made visible with this command:

systool -v -m radeon

More power settings

The Radeon driver supports more power settings. See here:


You can see the current selected method, profile and details with:

cat /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_method
cat /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_profile
sudo cat /sys/kernel/debug/dri/0/radeon_pm_info

Disabling the Radeon HD8890M to reduce power consumption

Discrete graphics cards have the disadvantage that they consume a lot of power, and are best used with external power connected.
But what if you do not need the extra graphical power, battery time is more important?

You can unload the radeon driver by blacklisting it or using driver feature radeon.modeset=0. This will make you use the embedded graphics.
In both cases, no driver is loaded, but the card is still switched on and consuming power like it is switched on in full.

An other option is to disable the card in the BIOS/UEFI. On my Dell Precision 7510, this is however not possible.

Then the final option would be to use the power settings in the previous text to reduce the consumption. This seems to work pretty good.
Power some statistics with the different options

  • No driver loaded
    power drawn from battery with no load: 27W
  • Driver loaded, radeon dpm=0,
    echo dynpm > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_method

power drawn from battery with no load: 34W

sudo cat /sys/kernel/debug/dri/0/radeon_pm_info
default engine clock: 925000 kHz
current engine clock: 924980 kHz
default memory clock: 1125000 kHz
current memory clock: 1125000 kHz
voltage: 1200 mV
PCIE lanes: 16

  • Driver loaded, radeon dpm=0,
    echo profile > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_method
    echo default > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_profile

power drawn from battery with no load: 34W

sudo cat /sys/kernel/debug/dri/0/radeon_pm_info
default engine clock: 925000 kHz
current engine clock: 924980 kHz
default memory clock: 1125000 kHz
current memory clock: 1125000 kHz
voltage: 1200 mV
PCIE lanes: 16

  • Driver loaded, radeon dpm=0,
    echo profile > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_method
    echo low > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_profile

power drawn from battery with no load: 19W

sudo cat /sys/kernel/debug/dri/0/radeon_pm_info
default engine clock: 925000 kHz
current engine clock: 299990 kHz
default memory clock: 1125000 kHz
current memory clock: 150000 kHz
voltage: 825 mV
PCIE lanes: 16

  • Driver loaded, radeon dpm=1, which uses hardware on the GPU to dynamically change the clocks and voltage based on GPU load. It also enables clock and power gating

cat /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_method
cat /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_profile

power drawn from battery with no load: 20W

sudo cat /sys/kernel/debug/dri/0/radeon_pm_info
uvd vclk: 0 dclk: 0
power level 0 sclk: 30000 mclk: 15000 vddc: 900 vddci: 0 pcie gen: 3


Final remarks:

I did not look at vgaswitcheroo only at the driver options.


Ubuntu software update window

If you’re looking to open the software update window from the command line (which is what I gathered you were getting at, mostly because that’s why I searched for this and ended up here as that is my goal) in order to give yourself root access to the GUI window (I had a permission issue trying to do this from remoting in)

sudo update-manager

SMB printer definition in Gnome 3 Shell

The standard interface for adding printers in Gnome 3 is not very extensive. When you need to add a lot of options, better to use the following:


This will start a GUI that mimics the inputs and outputs of CUPS, that you can find on http://localhost:631/
CUPS does not allow for some characters to be entered in the forms, where system-config-printer does.
The command lets you browse and search for your printer, but if you already know the URL, then entering that URL directly is preferred. Consider the following:


The password will be stored unencrypted in a file only readable by root and CUPS, so will be safe.
You can find this file here:


After changes to this file, restart CUPS

sudo systemctl restart cups.service

Please do not forget to install the packages smbclient and python3-smbc.

Install VideoLAN VLC and VLSub on

VLSub is not working with Vlc 2.1.x on any platform because the lua “net” module needed to interact with opensubtitles has been removed in this release for the extensions.

We will install a daily build from Videolan, but we will need some custom PPA’s for that. Use at your own risk.

PPA Videolan for vlc and vlc-nox:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/master-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install vlc

If VLC crashes when playing MP4, have a look at:

Video output module:

Hardware acceleration:
Tools->Preferences->Input/Codec->Hardware accelerated decoding

and play with the options.

I think aptitude is more friendly then apt-get, whatever…
sudo aptitude install vlc

VLSub will be auto installed and functional withing VLC. Also all codecs should be available

PidGin & Office Communicator

There is a good plugin for Office Communicator, or Office Lynx for PidGin:


And it is available through the standard repositories of Ubuntu.

Remember to use the DOMAIN name before the username (DOMAIN\user.name) and that the domain name is in uppercase.

Synology certificates, SSL and Open VPN [DSM 5.0]

Information for DSM 5.0 The certifiactes can be found here: /usr/syno/etc/ssl This page gives you good information how to create home made certificates for your Synology NAS: http://forum.synology.com/wiki/index.php/How_to_generate_custom_SSL_certificates I prefer to let a Certificate Authority sign my certificates. CA Cert offers this as a free services (https://www.cacert.org/). It will not give you 100% guarantee, but it is better then using the self signed certificates from synology:

  • You can import the root certificate of the CA to most tools/OS. That way you do not need to add a security exception when connecting.
  • Some tools do not allow you to add security exception, so using a self signed certificate is not an option.

Restart OpenVPN server: /var/packages/VPNCenter/target/scripts/openvpn.sh {start|stop|restart} But it does not stop, you need to kill the processes manually. But reastart works, wierd….. /usr/syno/etc/packages/VPNCenter/openvpn/openvpn.conf contains the configuration file for the OpenVPN server. Enable the logging option log-append /var/log/openvpn.log To get useful information on what is happening with the server The SSH keys used for OpenVPN can be found here:

In the config file openvpn.conf, there are pointers to these files.

note that the certificates we use are probably not from the type “server”.  If you get this error when connecting to the server:

VERIFY nsCertType ERROR: CN=<yourHostName>, require nsCertType=SERVER

then remove this line from the client config:
ns-cert-type server