Ubuntu 16.04, or 17.04, or ? for Kaby Lake Razer Blade?

Discussion in 'The Linux Corner' started by Amazonitepulselink693, Jun 11, 2017.

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  1. Hey there,

    I bought a current model Razer Blade (the Kaby Lake) for programming.

    I'd like the most stable linux dev environment with the following features:

    * can use Nvidia GPU when required, and switch off when not needed to save battery.
    * external monitors work.

    Please advise on the best distro to use.

    I'm encouraged by the Razer CEO's words, but it seems the actual on the ground action is a bit thinner than I would have expected. I will take a crack at this for a couple of days. If it's tough going I will likely return and pick up a Dell XPS 15, as they're more or less the same price, size and weight. XPS 15GPU is 1050 with 4GB vs Razer 1060 with 6GB which is a shame, but otherwise seems like a solid option.

    Hoping I can make this work out. Looks like a fairly nice machine.

    Please recommend me a distro.
    jccantele49 and Hactar88 like this.
  2. linuxrazer, I'd recommend Elementary OS with the 4.11 Linux kernel upgrade to give you solid Kaby Lake compatibility. I've got a 2017 Razer Blade Pro and the external monitors, sleeping, and GPU are working GREAT. Just make sure whatever distro you go with that you upgrade the kernel to 4.11.
  3. I have same Razer Blade of current year (Kaby Lake) and I'm experiencing high temperature (i think CPU) under Linux Mint 18.1 and kernel 4.11 and no work load, it increases over time.

    In about half hour the temperature raises to about 70°C in all cores and the blade are really hot in the keyboard area.

    One of you are experiencing similar symptoms?
  4. Hi Hiperjp,

    I actually posted a solution to the overheating issue in this nearby thread.

    Let me know if I can be of any help.
  5. linuxrazer2_no_id

    linuxrazer2_no_id New Member

    Hey there. I'm back. Old account won't work for some reason.
    Thanks @jccantele49 . Kernel 4.11 is working well.

    Here's what I have:
    Ubuntu 17.04
    Kernel 14.11
    Nvidia 383

    what was funky:
    External Monitor
    external monitor and internal are both 1920x1080.
    external required me to add in some funky codes somewhere or the display was weirdly stretch and offset. mouse cursor displayed fine tho, so that was quite strange.

    When sleeping the external monitor comes back but the primary doesn't. Not sure if I can be bother dealing with this at the moment and it's not a deal breaker for me.

    Have only tried one external. Will update later, but for now I can get work done and the

    CPU Heat:
    Auto fan seems to hold it at about 90C, which seems hot!, GPU auto fan seems to hold it at 65C
    from what I can see there is no scaling going on.

    My house is really cold tho (and it's middle of winter here), so not sure what it would be like in a warmer environment.

    Doesn't seem to be scaling speed on purpose from what I can see.

    I ran a 10 hour glmark2 overnight and it was fine, and it had 1 core at 10% the whole time and GPU being thrashed of course.
  6. ubuntu 17.04 worked great out of the box minus issues with webcam and suspend. I didn't have a chance to check battery life. However I had some problems installing CudNN which I need for work so I switched to 16.04. This was a bit of a pain to install. Wifi and display drivers broken out-the-box, so I had to download Kernel drivers 4.11 on a separate computer, and then install them manually. This wasn't too hard to do, and now everything is working pretty similar to 17.04.

    Webcam is pretty unusable and the suspend leaves some weird black glitchy artifacts, but pretty happy overall.
  7. Hi @jccantele49,
    Thanks for posting that, I have tested tln and termald previously but not "powertop --calibrate". This last seems to really bring me the solution. Now I have about 4~5 hours of battery time and no temperature increment issue.

    Thanks for your valuable help.
    jccantele49 likes this.
  8. FiszPL

    FiszPL Well-Known Member VANGUARD

    I'd go with Mint. IMO it's better polished, than ubuntu, with many things fixed. I recommend to use TLP power management app with it.
    jccantele49 likes this.
  9. Hi, I'm a developer also and I've got a very stable manjaro install on mine. I've got external monitors working, GPU off but on when desired using Bumblebee. I've got some games installed and running without temperature issues, etc. I've been doing all my development inside virtual machines with QEMU/kvm. Everything's very stable, I can close the lid and open it days later without anything mucking up. I've never had the temp go above 80F (at least according to sensors). Very happy with this machine as I've got it. Manjaro works pretty well right out of the box, there was some tinkering needed to get the lid closing sleep behavior and bumblebee installed with nvidia drivers just using the mhwd gui. I also bumped the kernel up to the latest stable though I'm not sure if it was necessary (everything seemed to work fine before doing so anyway)

    Some caveats, I wasn't able to get the HDMI port fully working. It's tied directly to the GPU so that has to be on if you want to drive a screen off it. I could do that but then I only got 1024x768 as an option. I tried tinkering with xrandr to force it to output 1080 but no luck. I think if I kept at it I could probly figure it out but instead I just tried using a thunderbolt -> HDMI and it just worked like magic (no need for the GPU to run) and I was able to output 4k to my TV. Also I never tried the webcam.
  10. Everywhere I've ready said it's not currently possible.

    I've just bought one of these and am now happily running two external 1080p monitors + laptop screen all off the Intel driver. (FYI, I did use the Intel graphics driver update utility as well)

    (all on Ubuntu 17.04)

    Theoretically this should mean the Nvidia card is fully available for cuda while giving me a proper workstation.
  11. rlongobardi

    rlongobardi New Member

    Do you recommend for Razer Blade Stealth? Is better than Ubuntu ?
  12. Unfortunately, I haven't tested the stealth.
  13. wolvenprince

    wolvenprince New Member

    I ran with Ubuntu 16.04 tonight and it all worked pretty smooth.... have NVidia working well so will run with this for a few days see what its like

    Shame Manjaro was a bit trick. I was liking it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2017
  14. My experience with Ubuntu on a Stealth isn't very good.

    I have a late model 2016 Stealth, and I gave up trying to get any Ubuntu working with it. The i915 driver that ships with Ubuntu causes it to crash eventually. If I do anything with virtualization, or do any graphics related anything, instant crash. I've tried upgrading the i915 driver and/or upgrading the kernel up to the newest versions (I think 4.11ish was the highest at the time) with no luck. I went between 14.04 and 17.04 trying all of these changes, no luck - the crash always happened eventually.

    I was primarily an Ubuntu guy before my Stealth. But, because I can't return it, I ended up trying Fedora, Gentoo, CentOS, Slackware, INSERTLINUXDISTROHERE... The only OS I've gotten to work reliably with my Stealth is Arch. I refuse to use Windows in anything other than a VM, and I just can't do BSD for my main OS...just can't...

    Maybe newer Stealths are better with Ubuntu, but that's my experience.
  15. jaywhojaycee

    jaywhojaycee Active Member

    How did u get it working I tried everything to get it working on my 2016 Razer blade pro but had no luck I was try to get Linux to boot off a external ssd
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