If when running vcgencmd on a raspberry pi you get VCHI initialization failed then you need to add the video group to your user. The vcgencmd tool requires you have this group role so without it, it will give VCHI initialization failed.
To add the user group to your user you can run:
sudo usermod -aG video <username>
Where <username> is the user you want to run the vcgencmd command with. This command adds the video group to the the user you specify.
Once you have ran the command any new logins will run the command successfully. Logging out and back into the pi will let you use the command.
Why this problem occurs
This issue happens when you try and use the vcgencmd command with a user that isn’t a member of the video group. This typically happens when you create a new user for the raspberry pi and don’t give it the same groups that the pi user has.
The solution above fixes this by adding the correct video group to the created user.
Vim is a wonderful command line text editor with syntax highlighting and everything you could ask for provided you turn on the functionality. Recently i was shown that it was also show trailing whitespace with a quick addition to the .vimrc file.
If your computer is recent and has an i3/i5/i7 intel core and a Nvidia graphics card it likely uses Optimus technology. This smart piece of software turns off the power-hungry Nvidia graphics card and runs most programs on the integrated intel graphics chip. In laptops this can save a lot of power. However this solution is only available in windows 7 upwards.
The problem occurs when you are using an operating system that doesn’t support this, as in most cases both cards will run all the time, causing major battery drain. On laptops this can severely shorten the battery life.
However there is a solution to this called bumblebee. This piece of software aims to offer similar technology in Linux-based machines. I found many tutorials on how to install it and work and ended up reinstalling fedora (17 at the time) several times.
However, I found a post from the NC State University Technical Staff Exchange on how to install bumblebee for Fedora and Redhat based distributions. I used this before to install on Fedora 17 and now just today on Fedora 18. Previously I was having a lot of issues getting it to work on Fedora 18 and according to them “nouveau drivers do not work on fedora 18 at this time” which after following their guide and installing the Nvidia ones it started to work.
If you are running a laptop with a new intel core and Nvidia graphics card and are getting poor battery life, I suggest you looking into seeing if you have Optimus technology in your laptop, and if so try this.
However, there is a warning, you will be messing around with your display drivers which could cause your system to not be able to display any GUI. Back up everything before trying this.
As usual, if you have any questions, it worked for you or you have something to add to my post, leave a comment!