So there is a lot of buzz about hybrid graphics having a weak support. I'm currently considering buying a new laptop. Dell XPS 15 caught my eye. I will use it for work as well so I will need a large monitor for it connected by HDMI.

The question is: has someone got a Dell XPS 15 and can confirm that hybrid graphics support is working fine on 12.10 with no issues on the HDMI.

I ask this because all the buzz about the subject stops on 12.04 - does this mean that it's all ok now :) ?


I have a Dell XPS, the HDMI is hard wired to the discrete card. I normally want that card turned off too save battery. I use only the mini Display Port which works out of the box with an adapter to DVI/hdmi. On the rare occasions I need the graphic accelerations of the discrete card I use bumblebee. I normally totally ignore the HDMI port, as the mini DP just works and the HDMI port has issues.

  • In my case Nvidia has hardware problems...So, i'm unable to use HDMI port. Based on your answer, I bought a Mini Display to HDMI adaptor, and it works like a charm! You saved me, thanks!! Apr 3 '17 at 17:05

I have a Dell Inspiron 7520, which is about the same age as the XPS 15 you're talking about. My Inspiron uses an ATI graphics card, which, long story short, does not work under Linux - the Radeon driver hasn't caught up with the Southern Islands card I have. The HDMI port still works, however.

However, the XPS 15 uses an Nvidia card, which works much better under Linux using Bumblebee. Bumblebee uses a neat solution to make use of the extra card, and both open-source and proprietary drivers are supported.

Also, I hear Nvidia is trying to get X to natively support hybrid graphics. Stay tuned...

  • Seems promising :) but I actually need someone confirming that it works without too much hustle on XPS 15 :)
    – karolsojko
    Oct 25 '12 at 21:32
  • Well, to answer your question more directly, the answer is yes--Optimus is supported via Bumblebee. Oct 26 '12 at 2:46

I have an Dell XPS 15 L502x and the HDMI port does not work.

However this article mentions the mini DisplayPort working, so perhaps a miniDP-to-HDMI cable can solve the issue.


I don't own the Dell XPS model, however I do have an Asus with very similar configuration, with nvidia discrete graphic card with optimus and an integrated Intel card.

I'm running Ubuntu 12.10 on this laptop and in my experience the Intel card is more than enough for office work and I don't have any problems connecting it to a large external monitor via HDMI and working with both monitors simultaneously.

Installing the latest bumble-bee allowed me to turn the discrete card off to extend the battery life, and by using optirun I can even run an occasional OpenGL requiring app.

The video in 1080 HD format plays just fine, and the desktop effects also run without too much problem in my case. So I believe that you should be just fine with that setup, provided you don't need the nVidia card for a day to day work.

But on the other note, why not buy some similar laptop without the discrete card at all, if you don't intend to run graphic heavy stuff on it, and save some money on the way.

  • 1
    The issue is that as far as I know the Dell XPS has the HDMI strictly connected only to the nvidia card. So this is a specific question about this model. But hey, there is a point in choosing something different without the hybrid graphics. Would you recommend something ?
    – karolsojko
    Oct 25 '12 at 21:27

I have an XPS15, and HDMI does partly work. The HDMI output is supported by the nouveau drivers, but alot needs to be fixed to get it completely working.

xrandr doesn't see the HDMI connected, which makes it quite useless.

  • 1
    What do you mean by partly work ? Can you work on two screens ? Have you tried bumblebee with that ?
    – karolsojko
    Oct 25 '12 at 21:31

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