I want to run games on Ubuntu with Steam. I installed Bumblebee and Primus and the default nVidia driver(304). I've read that the 310 driver gives a huge performance boost so I wanted to try that. I installed the nvidia-experimental-310 & nvidia-settings-310 and configured bumblebee.conf On the bottom he points out that I have to edit /usr/bin/primusrun to use nvidia-experimental-310


# Readback-display synchronization method
# 0: no sync, 1: D lags behind one frame, 2: fully synced

# Verbosity level
# 0: only errors, 1: warnings (default), 2: profiling

# Secondary display

# "Accelerating" libGL
# $LIB will be interpreted by the dynamic linker
export PRIMUS_libGLa=${PRIMUS_libGLa:-'/usr/lib/nvidia-310-updates/libGL.so.1:/usr/lib32/nvidia-310-updates/libGL.so.1'}

# "Displaying" libGL
# export PRIMUS_libGLd=${PRIMUS_libGLd:-'/usr/lib/$LIB/mesa/libGL.so.1'}

# Directory containing primus libGL

# On some distributions, e.g. on Gentoo, libnvidia-tls.so is not available
# in default search paths.  Add its path manually after the primus library
case $PRIMUS_libGLa in
/usr/lib*/nvidia-310-updates*|'') # nvidia is used by default
;; esac

# Mesa drivers need a few symbols to be visible
# export PRIMUS_LOAD_GLOBAL=${PRIMUS_LOAD_GLOBAL:-'libglapi.so.0'}

# Need functions from primus libGL to take precedence

# And go!
exec "$@"

My system

Lenovo ideapad Y580
Ubuntu 13.04
Intel Core i7
nVidia GTX660M

When I run optirun glxspheres I get this output:

Polygons in scene: 62464
Visual ID of window: 0x20
Context is Direct
OpenGL Renderer: GeForce GTX 660M/PCIe/SSE2
150.527939 frames/sec - 167.989179 Mpixels/sec

When I run vblank_mode=0 optirun -b primus glxspheres I get

292.591142 frames/sec - 326.531714 Mpixels/sec

with my nvdia

However when I run primusrun glxspheres I get

Polygons in scene: 62464
Visual ID of window: 0x20
Xlib:  extension "NV-GLX" missing on display ":0".
Context is Indirect
OpenGL Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel(R) Ivybridge Mobile 
63.910723 frames/sec - 71.324367 Mpixels/sec

I also tried to set vblank_mode=0 optirun -b primus %command% in the Steam which doesn't open any game (TF2 & Trine 2). The article says I should update the primusrun to use nvidia-experimental-310 but I replaced it with nvidia-310-updates because those are the folders which exist.

  • Did you ever solve this? I am in exactly the same boat.
    – glenatron
    Oct 26, 2013 at 19:20
  • Posted an answer
    – Dominic
    Oct 27, 2013 at 12:21
  • @glenatron What I did is, I purged everything related to bumblebee and reinstalled it. I'm using the nvidia-331 driver
    – Dominic
    Oct 27, 2013 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


Ok so I never fixed it and I didn't primusrun to use the Nvidia card. However it's not necessary to use the primusrun launcher binary.

I now run my games from Steam with

optirun -b primus %command%


If you want to run Big Picture on your Nvidia card you can do that: http://bartinger.at/run-steam-big-picture-on-an-optimus-card/

optirun -b primus steam -bigpicture

From the command line

Edit: I'm using the nvidia-331 driver. My bumblebee config on pastebin. I hope it helps someone.

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