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Before installing Bumblebee, many users with optimus enabled systems, when they install the nvidia driver, this latter get on conflict with the integrated graphics driver and then remains inactive. One gets a black or blank screen when booting....

yesterday, Nvidia updated their driver (nvidia-current) to version 290.10 Certified that fixed many bugs and regressions for amd64 systems, and amongst them :

  • Fixed a bug that prevented the driver from loading on some systems with integrated graphics.

Does it mean that now even though we do not install Bumblebee, if we install this update separately, we would be able to use the nvidia card ? Does it mean the nvidia card would be on boot recognized by X? A xinerama scenarion would be possible with an external monitor through the HDMI port connected by default on many systems to the nvidia card?

Thanks for your hints or answers See:

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I doubt it. nVidia Optimus simply does not work on Linux distributions because of the design of the X server which cannot handle it (yet). The issue that nvidia has fixed possibly applies to certain hybrid graphics setups with a hardware mux or detection of the nvidia card on certain muxless machines ( (note: that's just speculation, I haven't tested the driver nor any reliable source for these changes)

See also the Additional Information tab:

Some designs incorporating supported GPUs may not be compatible with the NVIDIA Linux driver: in particular, notebook and all-in-one desktop designs with switchable (hybrid) or Optimus graphics will not work if means to disable the integrated graphics in hardware are not available. Hardware designs will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so please consult with a system's manufacturer to determine whether that particular system is compatible.

Related question to Optimus in general: How well do laptops with Nvidia Optimus work?

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Wayland e is the way to go. Scheduled for summer 2012 by Canonical. Nvidia does not want to provide Optimus Support for Linux unless X is replaced by WAyland. Sticking to Bumblebee is the way to go untill then! Thanls for the elucidation :) – Hanynowsky Nov 23 '11 at 22:37

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