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Having heard the news about Ubuntu's coming move back to Gnome Desktop, I've decided to embrace this change earlier and upgraded from Ubuntu 16.10 to Ubuntu Gnome 17.04, and I'm quite happy about it.

I've already begun enjoying some advantages, like the straightforward option of using the Dedicated AMD Graphics Card instead of the Integrated Intel Graphics when launching applications as seen in the screenshot. This is very helpful especially considering that AMD has stopped supporting Ubuntu after version 15.04 for my hybrid graphics card...enter image description here

However, I wonder (given the fact that vga-switcheroo is practically useless for me) if there's any way of enabling this option globally in some way so that all applications (e.g. when a file is clicked to open in the default application) run using the Dedicated Graphics Card. What I have in mind is that I'd rather have all apps use the Dedicated Graphics Card when the computer is not running on battery power...

NOTE: It is also possible to launch individual apps using the dedicated GPU by running them with the environment variable DRI_PRIME=1 (e.g. DRI_PRIME=1 inkscape) from terminal. And this can be achieved by manually editing desktop configuration files, and inserting env DRI_PRIME=1 to the Exec= line (e.g. Exec=env DRI_PRIME=1 inkscape %F).

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    Don't know exactly why, but the onboard intel opens faster then the AMD Radeon... About 4 secs better to open a java app
    – insign
    Feb 8, 2020 at 4:18

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If I'm right what you want to ask is, how run a specific app on dGPU always, instead of right clicking on it and selecting Run dedicated GPU.

It mostly depends on the Desktop Environment.

Here is screenshot from my KDE setup:

enter image description here

Here I have checked it to run on a dedicated GPU and now it always runs on the dGPU, I'm not sure if gnome does it bt if you explore into the launcher editor you might find a option to set it permanently.

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  • Thanks, it seems this is yet another reason to consider switching to KDE ;-) Unfortunately Gnome desktop configuration files don't offer anything like this. I think this can only be implemented in Gnome by manually inserting env DRI_PRIME=1 to the Exec= line. However, I think I would ideally prefer using discrete GPU globally (instead of configuring individual apps) when the computer is not running on battery power.
    – Sadi
    May 31, 2017 at 9:10
  • Do you know how to do it with GNOME?
    – VELFR
    Dec 22, 2020 at 21:12

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