The Bumblebee Project – NVIDIA Optimus support for Linux

What is the Bumblebee project?

The Ubuntu Wiki has a better explanation:

“Bumblebee aims to provide support for NVIDIA Optimus laptops for GNU/Linux distributions. Using Bumblebee, you can use your NVIDIA card for rendering graphics which will be displayed using the Intel card.Bumblebee is officially supported by Ubuntu in 14.04 newer. However, all releases are supported by the Bumblebee Project community from Ubuntu version 12.04 up to 14.04.”

I came across this while searching a driver for my graphics card.  I’m using a DELL laptop with a hybrid graphics card – NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M.  I found no satisfactory drivers in the linux(Ubuntu) platform that works perfectly.  Even though I tried configuring with different versions of NVIDIA Drivers for Ubuntu, the module was always crashing when the application loads.  I setup bumblebee, and it worked.

Click here for the instructions to setup graphics cards for your NVIDIA Optimus laptops with Linux(Ubuntu distribution)

After configuration, use the optirun command to run the application with the NVIDIA card,

optirun ./myapp

To test it, install glmark2 which is a benchmarking tool for Opengl.

sudo apt-get install glmark2

After successful installation, run the command in the terminal,

optirun glmark2

It will show up the details of the graphics card and performs various tests along with preview.

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