Tuesday, 7 October 2014

nvidia optimus

Trying to setup Mint Debian on a laptop with nvidia "optimus" is a bit different than the normal routine.

If you just install the nvidia-driver package and do nvidia-xconfig then when you try and reboot X will fail to start with;

"(EE) No Screens Found(EE)"

The reason for this is that the dual video card arrangement that Optimus provides is not supported "out of the box". You need to do a bit of extra work to get it working.

I am assuming that you have already installed the nvidia-drivers and linux kernel headers at this stage.

Next thing to do is make sure you remove /etc/X11/xorg.conf if you already have created that by using nvidia-xconfig. In fact at this point I recommend you remove nvidia-xconfig from your system entirely.

Next install some packages;

apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia primus

Now, it would be nice to think that would be it but we do need to edit a file to get things working;

vi /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf

Towards the bottom of the file in the [driver-nvidia] section change this line to look like this;


Reboot and you should be good to go.

You can test this by running this command;

optirun glxgears

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