MSI GS66 11UX
MSI has released refreshed GS66 laptops with 11th Intel processors and NVIDIA Ampere graphics. Exact models are 11UH, 11UG and 11UE. Note that these models should not be confused with 10UX models as they are reported to work out of the box with Linux.
For a general overview of laptop-related articles and recommendations, see Laptop.
INSERTduring startup will open BIOS.
F11during startup will open boot menu.
LEFT ALT + RIGHT CTRL + RIGHT SHIFT + F2while in BIOS will show advanced settings.
Before installing Arch Linux, several steps need to be done in BIOS:
- Secure Boot must be disabled in BIOS > Security > Secure Boot.
- VMD controller must be enabled in BIOS > Advanced > VMD controller.
Add VMD module
Arch Linux will not detect SSD during boot from the same SSD, unless
vmd is added to Mkinitcpio#MODULES array. Ensure initramfs is regenerated, see Mkinitcpio#Manual generation.
Install audio firmware
Arch Linux will not detect audio hardware unless you install ALSA firmware.
Tips and tricks
Keyboard RGB control
Install msi-perkeyrgbAUR and see the project's README#usage. Using the
--model gs65 argument works fine with GS66 11UX models that have an US keyboard. This has not been tested with all other keyboards, but it does not work with Spanish keyboards.
Disable fan when idle
Laptop fan never powers off, even when system is completely idle. This can be fixed by installing iswAUR package, configuring EC register to be available with write support and issuing this command on boot:
# isw -s 0x72 0
By default, this device operates in Hybrid graphics which works completely fine, but one of the key features of this device is mux switch. In short, it allows physically wiring NVIDIA GPU to the display, which eliminates the need for the integrated graphics processor and resulting in improved performance.
MSI only provides Windows application (UWP or ZIP) to switch between Hybrid graphics (Intel + NVIDIA) and discrete graphics (NVIDIA) mode. Basically it sets some sort of a flag (presumably in EC register) and reboots. During the reboot, it seem to temporarily boot into BIOS, change the graphics mode and reboot back to Windows. Some reverse engineering to achieve the same functionality has been done on a similar model (see the GitHub issue and the GitHub project), but there was no success for this specific model.
While there is an option in BIOS to change such graphics, it is greyed out. Fortunately, BIOS version E16V4IMS.107 (mirror) is the most up-to-date version that does not have such option greyed out and allows to change graphics. Note that you will need to activate advanced options, allow BIOS downgrading and flash this BIOS file as a regular BIOS update.
The audio device exhibits issues under Linux, whereby audio may be lost at the start or end of playback. During continuous playback, the device behaves as expected.
This occurs using ALSA directly, meaning it is independent of software mixers like Pulseaudio or Pipewire, and also occurs in legacy mode, using driver
options snd-intel-dspcfg dsp_driver=1, and with power management disabled. It is unknown what is required to make the device operate optimally under Linux.
- TLP - general power usage optimization for notebooks.