I have followed http://ubuntuportal.com/2012/01/bumblebee-3-0-tumblewed-nvidia-optimus-gpu-switching-for-linux-has-been-released-how-to-install-bumblebee-3-0-on-ubuntu.html this guide to install nvidia driver on my Dell Inspiron N5110 notebook (Intel HD Graphics 3000 + NVIDIA GeForce GT525M), but i always get some error while i want to start any program with the optirun command.

Terminal says:

adam@Adam-LT:~$ optirun firefox
[ 1482.559417] [ERROR]Cannot access secondary GPU - error: Could not load GPU driver

[ 1482.559517] [ERROR]Aborting because fallback start is disabled.

My laptop cooler always cools the laptop, which means that nvidia card is consuming power in the background. (Terminal sometimes says something daemon-server is not running.) Can you give me some solution for this?

3 Answers 3


I recently had this problem as well.

For me, all I had to do was run the following commands. I'll break them down:

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo apt-get purge bbswitch-dkms bumblebee-nvidia

That installs the PPA-Purge utility and removes BBSwitch and Bumblebee

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic

That installs the proper Linux headers. For some reason, BBSwitch wouldn't (for lack of a better word, insert) itself into the kernel.

Then a simple

sudo apt-get install bbswitch-dkms bumblebee-nvidia

fixed everything. Oh, and a reboot, of course :)

Hopefully this will help you at least a little bit! Please let me know how you go

  • 1
    I think it is sufficient to run sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r) && sudo dkms autoinstall && sudo restart bumblebeed. That installs the stuff to get bbswitch compiled and restarts bumblebeed so that is able to detect bbswitch.
    – Lekensteyn
    Oct 20, 2012 at 8:26
  • 1
    Worked for me too, great!
    – Makario
    Nov 5, 2012 at 4:27

On an upgrade from Ubuntu 12.04 to 12.10 it is logical that bumblebee has been installed before. The PPA however becomes disabled on the upgrade, so you will need to enable it again!

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install bbswitch-dkms bumblebee-nvidia

At this moment the new version of bumblebee will be installed as well as nvidia-current as it is a dependency of bumblebee-nvidia.

If your home directory is encrypted the installation process will hang at update-initramfs. This can be solved by disabling FRAMEBUFFER=y in /usr/share/initramfs-tools/conf-hooks.d/cryptsetup

# This will setup non-us keyboards in early userspace,
# necessary for punching in passphrases.

# force busybox on initramfs

# and for systems using plymouth instead, use the new option
# FRAMEBUFFER=y  # DISABLED to install nvidia drivers

Now optirun works perfectly on my system, Geforce GT 650M, on an Asus N56V.


Did you try " optirun glxspheres " from the guide? And what does is say ? Mine says;

toddi@ubuntu-e530:~$ optirun glxspheres Polygons in scene: 62464 Visual ID of window: 0x21 Context is Direct OpenGL Renderer: GeForce GT 630M/PCIe/SSE2

according to this more official site; " http://bumblebee-project.org/install.html " - that I followed - it says to run " sudo apt-get install bumblebee-nvidia " witch it seems not to do in the guide you linked to.

!! NOTE !! I no expert. This is just what I did - and it seems to work here. I have not tested anything else than the first command - just got this computer, and since I am most interested in saving battery.

  • 1
    adam@Adam-LT:~$ optirun glxspheres [ 4817.799920] [ERROR]Cannot access secondary GPU - error: Could not load GPU driver [ 4817.800070] [ERROR]Aborting because fallback start is disabled.
    – Adam
    Oct 18, 2012 at 21:27

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