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Nvidia Optimus Drivers for Ubuntu

So you installed Ubuntu on your Nvidia powerd laptop and now you are having issues installing the proprietary drivers. Well, this is caused by Linux not having enough support for the Nvidia Optimus technology, but support is on the way from Nvidia. For now? We use Bumblebee.

What is Bumblebee

It is a separate program built to provide support for Nvidia Optimus on Linux. The Nvidia Optimus technology helps you to use the powerful Nvidia GPU only when you need it. So, you can use it to play games and used the Intel GPU for normal work and save a lot of battery life.

How to Install

By default Bumblebee does not work on Ubuntu but it can be, here is how…

If your graphics card is 4xxM series or lower :

Open the terminal (ctrl+alt+T) and enter the following commands to add the PPA and install Bumblebee :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install linux-source linux-headers-generic
sudo apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia

If your graphics card is 5xxM series or above :

Open the terminal (ctrl+alt+T) and enter the following commands to add the PPA for latest Nvidia drivers, add the PPA for Bumblebee and install Bumblebee :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install linux-source linux-headers-generic
sudo apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia

If both methods fail, try the beta Nvidia drivers :

Open the terminal (ctrl+alt+T) and enter the following commands to install the Beta drivers :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Test it out

To test Bumblebee, run the following command :

optirun glxspheres

If it works, you are good to go! Now, to run a program with the Nvidia GPU, use the command ”optirun” before the program (or the game) name. For example, ”optirun firefox”.

Leave us a comment and let us know how this works out for you.

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