When NVIDIA Optimus technology first seen the light, it wasn’t compatible with Linux. Many solutions to this problem appeared then. Using Bumblebee is one of them. In this post I am going to show you how to do that.
As you can see in the comments bellow, the steps in this tutorial don’t work in some cases. You can follow it at your own risk.
For people who don’t know what “NVIDIA Optimus” is, I advise you to read this: http://www.nvidia.com/object/optimus_technology.html. You also need to know that “Discrete GPU” means NVIDIA graphics card.
To make things clear, we’re going to install Bumblebee in addition to some other “important packages”, and we’re going to do this through some PPA repositories.
Firstly, add the repositories, then update:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable
sudo apt-get update
The first one contains NVIDIA drivers, the second one contains Bumblebee files.
Secondly, install the “important packages” :
sudo apt-get install linux-source linux-headers-generic
Finally, install Bumblebee and the NVIDIA driver:
sudo apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia
That’s all; but you need to restart you machine before doing anything else. After that, you will be able to run programs using your discrete graphics card. For example, let’s run Firefox using the discrete GPU:
Using the CLI is awesome, especially when the background is black and the text is green, if you see what I mean. However, some people don’t like it. Let’s add a graphical user interface (bumblebee-ui) then.
First, install git, because the bumblebee-ui project doesn’t have a Launchpad PPA
sudo apt-get install git
Then, create a folder named git and navigate into it:
Finally download bumblebee-ui files and install it:
git clone https://github.com/Bumblebee-Project/bumblebee-ui.git
That’s all. After restarting you computer, you will see a an indicator that allows you to to run programs using NVIDIA GPU without calling any command.