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I have a Macbook Pro 6,2. It uses Nvidia Optimus technology and would not work with Bumblebee as the i915 driver would fail. I had to uninstall Bumblebee, install nvidia-current, and blacklist nouveau and i915 to get my laptop up and running. So basically right now I'm running solely on my dedicated GPU which means I get only about 2:30 hrs of battery life.

Am I stuck with this short battery life until Nvidia provides proper support for their hardware?


marked as duplicate by user68186, Uri Herrera, belacqua, Eric Carvalho, Kevin Bowen May 29 '13 at 3:08

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.


Battery life in Linux sometimes tends to be shorter due to drivers not being able to automatically going into a sort of Power Saving mode.

Although the following suggestions won't change lots if your graphics card is on maximum power consumption permanently, I've found they've helped increase my battery life quite a bit:

  • Install CPUFreq

    sudo apt-get install indicator-cpufreq 

You will then be able to click on the icon to the right of the keyboard icon in this screenshot below (indicator bar):

enter image description here

And this should open up a menu like below:

enter image description here

The lower your processor speeds the less power it will consume, so either go with Powersave or put it on the minimum, this reduces battery power consumption especially well if you have a multi-core CPU.

  • Install TLP if you're running Ubuntu 13.04:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linrunner/tlp
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install tlp tlp-rdw smartmontools ethtool

For how to configure TLP in detail check the answers to this question on power-saving in 13.04 they explain more than enough for your needs I'd expect.

  • Install Jupiter if you're running 11.10, 12.04 or 12.10

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/jupiter
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install jupiter

This applet can be opened using the lightning bolt in the indicator bar:

enter image description here

Or alternatively if it doesn't start up automatically you can turn launch it by typing jupiter into a terminal window (opened using Ctrl+Alt+T). Once you click on the lightning bolt you'll have the following menu open up where you'll be able to choose your power-consumption setting: enter image description here

Additionally in the devices tab you can disable wifi and bluetooth if you don't need them and would rather have more battery-life.

  • Install powertop: sudo apt-get install powertop

You run the app by typing in sudo powertop in the terminal and you use the arrow keys to go the far right column entitled Tunables, you should see something like this:

enter image description here

Using the arrow keys select each of the "Bad" settings and set them to "Good" by pressing enter, this should ensure your computer is using your battery in an optimal way.

Set Jupiter and CPUFreq on startup

Normally Jupiter and CPUFreq should start up automatically next time you reboot but if they don't all you have to do is go into start-up applications and type in the following:

  • For jupiter

enter image description here

  • For CPUFreq

    enter image description here

Obviously you can change the names and comments of the start-up programs to whatever you want as long as the command stays the same.

So in short to answer your question:

If it is your GPU which is draining your battery, then you have to wait on nVidia. However if any other component is also draining power the steps I've highlighted above will help you solve any problems and increase your battery life.

NB. Some information taken from the following sources:

Many thanks to both of them.

  • 1
    +1....good answer ... just want to update you that jupiter is no longer in development and you can say no longer compatible with the new kernel, right now its TLP, laptop mode, and custom scripts in /etc/pm/power.d/ .... – Qasim May 28 '13 at 11:15
  • @Qasim As of which kernel version is Jupiter no longer supported? (I thought it was only from 13.04 that it didn't work) So that I can edit it into my answer, I'll keep the jupiter reference for those like me who also have computers running an older kernel. Thanks for the heads up regarding the kernel (and the upvote) :) – Oyibo May 28 '13 at 12:16
  • 1
    no no you don't need to edit the answer ...read the question askubuntu.com/questions/285434/… " I read it is no longer compatible with the new kernel. " ...i also red the news i don't where the same thing... – Qasim May 28 '13 at 12:31
  • 1
    @Qasim ah yes didn't read the question posted properly there, thank you! – Oyibo May 28 '13 at 12:42

You could try switching to a non hardware accelerated desktop, (sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop) and then select lxde from the cog menu at login. You can also put your screen brightness down.


You normally can switch to integrated graphics only mode in BIOS. On a PC you can normally access it by pressing Del or F2 during startup. I don't know about MacBooks, just google it.

If you have entered the BIOS search for the option to switch the graphics mode. You should be able to switch between Dedicated Graphics (NVidia only), Integrated Graphics (Intel only) and Optimus.


Since Bumblebee version 3.0 "Tumbleweed", it can disable the NVIDIA card in a safe way to save power (press release). You can also run programs using the discrete card for better performance. Installation instructions:

Add a PPA containing recent drivers as the one in the Natty repository is outdated:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates

Add the Stable Bumblebee Releases PPA and install Bumblebee using the proprietary NVIDIA driver:

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

If you have 32-bit applications like Wine, and run 11.10 Oneiric or later, you will need extra libraries:

sudo apt-get install virtualgl-libs:i386

Allow yourself to use Bumblebee by adding yourself to the 'bumblebee' group. (replace $USER by your username)

sudo usermod -a -G bumblebee $USER

Reboot or re-login to apply the group changes If you'd like to run a program on the nvidia card now, use the optirun program:

optirun firefox &

All the post are old, Here the new one "How to install Bumblebee" How to switch between hybrid Graphics Intel/nVidia? Do not use the old post for installing bumbleebee, you will end up with nothing...

You also check Bumblebee Wiki

And for Power Saving look for an answer @ Oyibo

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