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Information for *ubuntu 16.04 and later

It is my understanding that one should run sudo apt-get install nvidia-XXX-updates nvidia-prime and then select desired graphics card from the Nvidia-X Settings GUI. I have not yet tested this solution, but I am able to select the Nvidia GPU on my system running Kubuntu 16.04.

Original Information

Just (re)installed Kubuntu 13.04. I broke my last installation after trying to install Nvidia's graphics driver.

I would like to know whether I should install the Nvidia driver, the bumblebee thing or something else entirely...? I am not a totally new to linux, but I'm no expert on what I should be doing here.

Could someone please explain to me what software/drivers I should install for my graphics card, and how to go about installing such things. Obviously this is a very specific question, so it might be difficult to answer.

I'm pretty certain this is an optimus enabled card, and I know there has been a lot of difficulty with drivers for them...

NOTE: Question is not an exact duplicate because this is specific to hardware involved. Also question should be left unclosed due to quality of answer given, which may help others.

marked as duplicate by Mitch, Eric Carvalho, rɑːdʒɑ, user68186, Jorge Castro May 13 '13 at 15:10

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Run lspci -nn If it's an optimus system, you will see two VGA controllers on the list. One Intel and one Nvidia. – grimpitch May 11 '13 at 23:27
  • This outputs a bunch of stuff - the important two lines say "Intel 3rd Gen Graphics Controller" and "VGA Compatible Graphics Controller NVIDIA Corp GK104M [GTX 670MX]" Where should I go from here? – user3728501 May 12 '13 at 11:43
  1. You need to install an Nvidia driver first, let's say the nvidia-313-updates, that one works well for me.

    sudo apt-get install nvidia-313-updates

  2. Add the Bumblebee repository to your system and install Bumblebee:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install virtualgl bumblebee-nvidia

  3. Reboot your system

  4. Check whether it's working

    Run glxspheres and optirun glxspheres and compare the FPS values (Intel and Nvidia GPU respectively). Bumblebee also has a power management function, it switches the discrete Nvidia card off when it's not in use (you don't run any application on it). This power state can be seen by running: cat /proc/acpi/bbswitch.

  5. If it's all up and running, you can try the alternative primus bridge for Bumblebee (the default is virtualgl). It performs better on some GPUs. Install it by:

    sudo apt-get install primus

    Execute primusrun glxspheres to see it's performance.

    Run any application on the Nvidia GPU using optirun app_name or primusrun app_name.

  • 1
    The above method is pretty comprehensive. The only risk point is finding the right nvidia driver that works for your system. In case the 313-updates version mentioned above, doesn't work for you (your display is messed up after reboot), you may need to use the Ctrl+Alt+F1 tty terminal and uninstall the nvidia drivers. Then you can install any one of the other options available (310, 319 etc..) until you find the one that works for you. Happy hunting :) – charlie May 13 '13 at 7:29
  • Oh right, this is fantastic, thanks for your help! Stuck doing revision at the moment, after the exams I'll update you and accept answers etc. – user3728501 May 18 '13 at 12:38

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