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Lenovo W520 on RHEL6 with external vga

  • February 17, 2013
  •   category: linux
  • tags: cludge, graphics, lenovo, linux, nvidia, presentation, redhat-2, rhel6, w520

I need to be able to connect and project or share with customers, and when I recently switched my Lenovo W520 to RHEL6 for my desktop I didn’t have the faintest idea that I was giving this up. Found this out when I was embarrassed during a training session after fiddling with the project for 5-10m before finally waving my hands and needing to borrow a laptop.

So I started my research to find a solution, found a few related comments and proposed solutions online. Turns out the machine has a few different graphic options and they are specific to the OS you are running. It ultimately appears to be a problem with the default selection in the BIOS for the Display configuration. So I started changing my settings and seeing what the results are, well that alone doesn’t work, in fact if you change the setting to ‘Discrete Graphics’ your machine will no longer boot :(

Found the solution in the blog referenced below, this requires both installing some new bits and making a bios setting. Before you go ahead and reboot, we need to make a change to the grub.conf file to turn off apic, we do this by adding ‘noapic’ to a kernel line.

Excerpt from /etc/grub.conf:

...
title Open Client for RHEL6 x86_64 (2.6.32-279.19.1.el6.x86_64)
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.32-279.19.1.el6.x86_64 ro root=/dev/mapper/vg_ssd-LogVol_root rd_NO_LUKS exec-shield=1 selinux=1 rhgb quiet drm_kms_helper.poll=0 LANG=en_US.UTF-8 rd_NO_MD SYSFONT=latarcyrheb-sun16 rd_LVM_LV=vg_ssd/LogVol_root  KEYBOARDTYPE=pc KEYTABLE=us rd_NO_DM rhgb quiet nouveau.modeset=0 rdblacklist=nouveau <span style="color: red; font-weight: bold">noapic</span>
        initrd /initramfs-2.6.32-279.19.1.el6.x86_64.img
...

These are not specifically in order for a reason, you can make the grub.conf or installation in either order, just need to make both of those changes before we restart.

sudo rpm --import http://elrepo.org/RPM-GPG-KEY-elrepo.org
sudo rpm -Uvh http://elrepo.org/elrepo-release-6-4.el6.elrepo.noarch.rpm
sudo yum install -y kmod-nvidia

So once you complete the installation of the new kernel modules, now you can reboot and go into the bios to update the bios again to ‘Discrete Graphics’. With any luck you will be back up and running and now your vga port should actually work…

Reference:
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