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How well do laptops with Nvidia Optimus work?

I am new to Linux ("Ubuntu") and have been using Windows until now. I have decided to try Ubuntu out since version 11 however my laptop is a MSI with the GT540 Nvidia Optimus.

I have tried several methods to get the desktop use the Nvidia card but could never get it working. Finally, I decided to upgrade to 12.04. It works great but again I can't get the card to work 100%.

I have made headway though, using some how-to's, I can run glxspheres in with the optimus command but what do I do from here? The desktop does not work and I can't run glxgears. I have used the bumblebee way but don't know the version. Any help please?

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@fossfreedom these days you also get ironhide as an alternative option, but i do not have an Nvidia videocard right now so i can't be in the topic. –  user827992 Jul 13 '12 at 21:52
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What do you mean by "I can't get the card to work 100%" and "The desktop does not work"? You have not provided enough information. –  Sepero Jul 15 '12 at 16:58
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marked as duplicate by Lekensteyn, Mitch, RolandiXor, Takkat, Jorge Castro Sep 15 '12 at 23:29

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1 Answer

First, get rid of the Nouveau driver:

sudo apt-get purge xserver-xorg-video-nouveau

Then install Bumblebee:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install bumblebee

Now you can run stuff on the NVidia card like so:

optirun <command>

This works for me (I have a 520M) but you may want to do this on a fresh installation of Ubuntu if X isn't working (I can get it running out of the box and you should too).

And there isn't a real reason to run X on the NVidia card; there's no real performance boost. The NVidia card only helps if you're running a game that uses a lot of GPU power.

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