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My laptop has both an onboard Intel graphics card and a nVidia GeForce with Cuda and Optimus. I installed Bumblebee and can now run applications on the nVidia card by typing optirun [application name] in terminal. This works great.

Still, my laptop is plugged in most of the day, so it makes sense for Ubuntu to always use the nVidia card by default.

Is there some way to force it into always using the nVidia card, or even better, to get it to use the nVidia card if it's using mains power and use the Intel graphics when it runs on battery power?

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You can always set nVidia only in the BIOS. That is not comfortable, though. –  queueoverflow Dec 5 '12 at 11:53
    
Thanks, but no luck there ;-). I just checked and the BIOS only supports disabling nVidia and not the other way around. –  JacobusR Dec 5 '12 at 15:31
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There is no way to set the Nvidia card as default except in the BIOS. Nvidia is finally working on drivers supporting Optimus and making bumblebee obsolete. Maybe it will be possible with that driver.

There is no way to say when the driver will be available, but it will need XServer 1.13 and Linux Kernel 3.5 which are included since Ubuntu 12.10.

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