Howto, Linux

Nvidia Hybrid GPU in Arch Linux with Bumblebee

Hybrid GPUs are very common nowadays. Here one GPU is used to perform graphics intensive task another is used to perform non intensive task (to preserve battery). In Linux we have two options to achieve this, PRIMUS and BUMBLEBEE , let’s take a look how to use Bumblebee to install and switch to discreet graphics card for certain applications. Note that, this is for nVidia ONLY. Also, please replace all the pacaur calls with pacman if you don’t have pacaur. Or install pacaur

  • Install some required packages using this command pacaur -S bumblebee mesa nvidia xf86-video-intel --noconfirm
  • If you need 32 bit libs (to run steam or wine) install some more packages pacaur -S lib32-virtualgl lib32-nvidia-utils --noconfirm
  • Add your username to the bumblebee group (replace user with your username) sudo gpasswd -a user bumblebee
  • Enable the bumblebee daemon with sudo systemctl enable bumblebeed.service
  • Restart your computer.
  • Now to check the installation we need one more package pacaur -S mesa-demos --noconfirm
  • Issue this command from terminal to check everything is working fine optirun glxgears

If glxgears fail you should try glxspheres64 / glxspheres32 depending on your system.

Note: If glxgears failed, but glxspheresXX worked, always replace “glxgears” with “glxspheresXX” in all cases. Also this method requires mainline kernel, for any other kernel you need nvidia-dkms package.

Now you can run any softwares with optirun <application> !

Feel free to let me know if you have any problem, I’ll be happy to help.

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