Experiences on 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver with Mobile GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q Design

Hey I’ve used these forums a lot as a lurker coding in CUDA many years ago so I thought I’d actually create an account and share some knowledge about a recent problem I overcame.

I recently purchased an Asus Rog Zephyrus (I believe it was a GA502 model) when it came on sale. This particular model was billed as Asus - 15.6" Gaming Laptop - AMD Ryzen 7 - 16GB Memory - NVIDIA geforce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q - 512GB Solid State Drive - Metalic Hairline Black.

I then went to install my favorite linux distro (Xubuntu) and went with the current LTS (18.04). Oh boy. I ended up disabling secure boot because even though I could use all the other hardware (sound, wifi, etc), I could not get the Nvidia drivers to recognize the video card. I was perpetually stuck in 800x600 resolution and when I could get the X settings to pop up, it was not just blank but missing all the interior panes.

So I ran this forum’s debug log script and was seeing that it was producing messages that were fundamentally at odds with the kernel. I even ran suggested builds on the kernel source in order to try to overcome these things. No dice.

At this point, all I wanted was to have a resolution higher than 800x600.

So after reinstalling many times thinking that something got messed up between Grub and Xubuntu, I found that there was better driver support coming in Linux 5 and then I thought to try Xubuntu’s 19.04 release. As soon as I started the install, it was already at 1920x1024 or whatever I don’t recall. I still tried to install the drivers from the PPA for the latest Nvidia drivers but it didn’t seem to affect much.

So to people reading this who are having issues with this mobile graphics card as described above, I tried nearly everything on the 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver with no luck. I spent a good three nights on this and the answer seems to be to just early adopt 19.04 and await 19.10 for an LTS.

I will try to answer any questions or upload any logs (I kept the debug output but it’s very large). Hopefully this post saves someone some time.