When will Ubuntu (or a Linux kernel) have native nvidia Optimus support? Estimates? Weeks/months/years?

"Native nvidia optimus support" as in when I run a graphically-demanding application, my nvidia graphics card will automatically kick in (like in Windows). Or at least a way that I could click some button to turn my GPU on for when I want to run any game.

I heard somewhere that Manjaro allegedly had native optimus support; is this true? If so, is there a way to implement this in Ubuntu?

I'm running Bumblebee right now, yes I know what it is and what it does, but it's extremely impractical. I can't game on Linux with this. You have to start applications via command line/terminal, and usually most modern games aren't just one function (ie: when you call on the "game", it's really just a loader/splash screen, that calls upon other functions; and when the secondary functions are called, they're not optirun'ed).

  • Read this article here: webupd8.org/2013/08/using-nvidia-graphics-drivers-with.html . I'm not add this as an answer because I don't have optimus to test it(for 100% results)
    – NickTux
    Oct 22 '13 at 22:41
  • 1
    You could edit your launchers instead of needing to use the command line. That way you're only dealing with the problem once for each game.
    – Oli
    Oct 22 '13 at 23:21
  • Yep, I edit my launchers. You can either edit *.desktop files or launch options if playing from Steam.
    – Sparhawk
    Oct 25 '13 at 2:41
  • NVIDIA Optimus doesn't have "native" support on Windows, it's done by NVIDIA's proprietary driver. At least the proprietary driver is working on Windows, but on Linux I didn't have the same luck. All my attempts to use my Optimus notebook on Linux failed. I tryed bumblebee and NVIDIA's proprietary too (nvidia-prime switch), but nothing seems to work till now. I'm looking for a solution too. +1 for your question.
    – renatov
    May 18 '15 at 23:38

check out this post.

i don't know about "native" support but there's already some drivers that support Nvidia Optimus.


  • This article is from a long time ago and the OP is questioning about a bleeding edge solution. This link is obsolete already.
    – renatov
    May 18 '15 at 23:41

Since you already know what Bumblebee is and What it does and how it works. Will only answer one of your questions.

I heard somewhere that Manjaro allegedly had native optimus support; is this true? If so, is there a way to implement this in Ubuntu?

The Answer is no.

Manjaro has inbuilt bumblebee support. You still need to use prmusrun or ptirun to launch your games from command line.

Linux has a different Graphics Stack than windows. It has evolved over time and become exceedingly complex. Moreover because of a small market share, Companies like Nvidia are not ready to invest time and effort in supporting Optimus out of the box. Hence we do not have out of the box Optimus support.

Most likely things are going to stay like this for a long time, Unless Mir comes along or Wayland makes its way into the Dektop. May be with a different display server things become a bit easy to work with.

As of now Bumblebee is the only workable solution on Linux.

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