Razer blade pro under Linux

Discussion in 'Razer' started by neoideo, Aug 20, 2013.

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  1. neoideo

    neoideo Notebook Consultant

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    This thread is made to provide useful information regarding Linux on the Razer Blade 17". The Linux distribution used here is Arch Linux 64-bit.

    Important update: There are three things that do not work out of the box in linux: (1) the keyboard, (2) some fn-keys and (3) the SBUI.
    For the case of keyboard and fn-keys, solutions have been proposed and you can read the posts of this thread for more details. Starting from kernel 3.17. the keyboard should work automatically correct because the patch will be merged to the kernel. What remains of the post is what i tested around 2013 but i guess is kind of hard to keep all this information updated, so we just focus on the things that do not work. About the SBUI,
    its not broken, its just that we need a driver and make apps to test on it.


    -- old post from 2013 --
    Summary: The laptop is capable to work under Linux but you have to fix the keyboard. The SBUI works as a trackpad since there is no software made for linux to make the led buttons and led screen work as in windows 8. Making a driver for the SBUI is indeed possible, but will require expert knowledge on USBHID devices. Lets hope Razer considers making a driver now that gaming on Linux is becoming more popular.
    The rest of the thread describes several aspects that have been tested, with their respective solutions we have found. Feel free to contribute with additional info and report your problems. In the end, the goal is to make Linux a serious possibility for the Razer Blade.

    1) Check basic hardware functionality. FN keys, etc.
    a) Wired and Wi-fi both work out of the box with NetworkManager.

    b) At the moment the brightness FN keys are the only ones that do not seem to work. It is weird considering that those are very basic... even the backlit keyboard light control works. Maybe adding some kernel modules can fix that. Screen brightness can be adjusted in gnome control panel anyways.

    2) Keyboard
    The keyboard on the Razer Blade Pro 17" can randomly skip some of your key-strokes when typing and also can insanely repeat the last character pressed.
    It does occur very frequently and i recommend to not use the system under this conditions because the experience is very frustating.
    A possible cause for this problem can be the fact that the Razer Blade Pro 17" has an anti-ghosting gaming keyboard that requires very fast polling of the device. Normally keyboards are not of this type, thus the polling rate in Linux is set to a value that is too low for the razer blade. Another reason can be the fact that the SBUI and the keyboard belong to the same USBHID device, but use different interfaces. It seems that the problem is especifically related to the Razer Blade 17" and not to the Razer Blade 14".

    Update September 23 2013; The Keyboard problem can be fixed. The solution was found by FxChip from archlinux forums.
    Link: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=161634&p=1
    All you need is to add a line to the usbhid module source file drivers/hid/usbhid/hid-core.c hardcoding interval = 1; right after the conditional about the polling rate of the mice. This is around line 1134 of that file, note that the location can vary a little in future versions of the kernel.
    Code:
    1123         /* Some vendors give fullspeed interval on highspeed devides */
    1124         if (hid->quirks & HID_QUIRK_FULLSPEED_INTERVAL &&
    1125             dev->speed == USB_SPEED_HIGH) {
    1126             interval = fls(endpoint->bInterval*8);
    1127             printk(KERN_INFO "%s: Fixing fullspeed to highspeed interval: %d -> %d\n",
    1128                    hid->name, endpoint->bInterval, interval);
    1129         }
    1130 
    1131         /* Change the polling interval of mice. */
    1132         if (hid->collection->usage == HID_GD_MOUSE && hid_mousepoll_interval > 0)
    1133             interval = hid_mousepoll_interval;
    1134 
    1135         /* Fix for Razer Blade 17" Keyboard */              
    1136         interval = 1;
    1137 
    1138         ret = -ENOMEM;
    1139         if (usb_endpoint_dir_in(endpoint)) {
    1140             if (usbhid->urbin)
    1141                 continue;
    1142             if (!(usbhid->urbin = usb_alloc_urb(0, GFP_KERNEL)))
    1143                 goto fail;
    1144             pipe = usb_rcvintpipe(dev, endpoint->bEndpointAddress);
    
    After modifying the file, you have two options: (1) recompile the entire kernel or (2) recompile the module and use it on your existing kernel. Both should work.

    Update September 28 2013; Important: If the fix does not work, then you have a conflict between xhci_hcd and usbhid. If this is your case, then you need to
    exclude xhci_hcd from the kernel, otherwise it takes control over the keyboard functionality, making the usbhid module to have no effect, neither the fix. It seems that this is necesary in the Razer Blade 17" R3 but not in R2.
    Code:
    -> Device Drivers 
        -> USB support (USB_SUPPORT [=y])
            -> <>     xHCI HCD (USB 3.0) support  (disable this module)
    
    Just for reference, this is where the usbhid module is located in the kernel configuration:
    Code:
    -> Device Drivers  
        -> HID support
            -> USB HID support ---->  (this is the module of the fix, )
    
    3) Install gnome3, test functionality.
    Gnome 3 works ok. Dual displays through HDMI also works.
    [​IMG]

    4) Install Intel / Nvidia driver for linux. Check if optimus-type profile is functional.
    a) I am using kernel 3.9.11 and the NVIDIA driver 325.15-4 as well as the Intel driver (intel-dri) work.
    b) Optimus technology works perfect.
    warning: do not use kernel between 3.10.0 and 3.10.9., nvidia driver will not work neither optimus technology.
    c) Update September 4 2013; Kernel 3.10.10 works out of the box with bumblebee and the nvidia driver. Kernel 3.12 should include built-in switchable graphics modules.

    5) Install Steam for Linux & test games, performance, etc.
    At the moment no problems in steam. Fonts and navigation as functional as in windows.

    a) Linux Steam games
    Dota 2.
    [​IMG]

    Half Life 2:
    [​IMG]
    6) Check the SBUI, see if it can be used as extended monitor or not.
    No progress here. By default it works as a trackpad.


    7) Try the Razer SDK for the SBUI and LED buttons. If this works, then i will be very impressed; huge potential for HPC and scientific computing.
    No progress

    8) Test CUDA and OpenCL.

    CUDA compiles and runs the SDK examples.

    ---------------------------
    Ill keep this updated as i make progress.
     
  2. neoideo

    neoideo Notebook Consultant

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    Some updates.
     
  3. Yosomono

    Yosomono Notebook Geek

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    Great info keep it coming. Very curious on your Switchblade progress also.
     
  4. dgilmore

    dgilmore Newbie

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    Hey, I recently bought the newest Razer Blade (not the pro) and I'd thought I would share my experiences.

    I am running 64 bit Fedora 19 by itself, I removed Windows 8 completely.

    I was initially surprised by how well most of the system just worked out of the box. I can only think of 3 things that didn't work, two of which I am still working on fixing.

    1. The touchpad supported tapping just fine, but scrolling was non existent and all solution on Google are no help. So far I believe it's because there is a synaptics driver that isn't being loaded on system start (probably because it doesn't know that it needs to load, or what device is the touchpad).

    2. The function brightness keys do not work. I thought that this was fairly ironic because the brightness keys for the keyboard, print, music keys, and sound all work perfectly but only the brightness keys do not (usually its the other way around). I am still trying to figure out a fix for this.

    3. Device drivers have mixed results. I have the most recent up to date versions of the mesa (32 and 64 bit) and nouveau (64 bit only) drivers but games (only tested from Steam) don't seem to work properly. Initially they didn't work at all because I was missing a texture decompression library, which I installed from here: libtxc_dxtn-1.0.0-2.fc17.i686.rpm Download Mirrors

    After I installed that the textures loaded and I could play all my games, but they were still pretty buggy and also have low performance. I have a feeling that my GeForce video card is just idling, but I cannot tell for sure. I tried to install NVIDIA's driver but after going through their process I ended up with an error and no error message.
     
  5. neoideo

    neoideo Notebook Consultant

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    Some updates regarding the keyboard :)

    @dgilmore: For the Nvidia card, have you used bumblebee to manage the intel and nvidia GPUs? should work or at least the error should be well described
     
  6. Linoman

    Linoman Newbie

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    Awesome work. Do you have dual boot?
     
  7. neoideo

    neoideo Notebook Consultant

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    yes. Used the UEFI boot partition that came with Windows, installed grub in there.
     
  8. Yosomono

    Yosomono Notebook Geek

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    Hopefully all our Linux concerns will go away when this happens!

    SteamOS

    And perhaps it will help move Linux into the mainstream!
     
  9. neoideo

    neoideo Notebook Consultant

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    Would be a dream come true, lets hope it happens!
     
  10. SparkImvu

    SparkImvu Newbie

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    Hi, i am actualy on the way to see if i can make the sbui work. I tryed Ubuntu gnome 13.10 and got some surprise
    the keyboard is not working corrrectly but , the sbui is detected as razor, Usa under lsusb the sbui actualy and still works at a trackpad but acts a bit weird ... no multi-touch supported or too sensitive ? actualy turning a finger on the trackpad actualy induce right click o_O .
    the buttons actualy send something to one of the usb device... problem is on windows there is 2 razor device to razor core driver might be a key since sbui is in that driver.
    i tryed conctact razor as for porting their sbui manager to linux actualy they said that they have no ETA to support alternative os -_-"
    if we send a process to the sbui it might handle it once we get to know what the core module needs to do.
    all apps of the sbui are actualy .exe apps that can lunch without an sbui (well they actualy crash but tryes to run)
    this is a good projeck to do and i am confident that there is a way to make this work
     
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