BumbleBee drivers on Ubuntu 12.10

My ASUS laptop has 2 graphics cards, one Nvidia and the other Intel. Ubuntu uses the Intel one by default, but that leads to poor performance for gaming. So I need to install the Bumblebee drivers.

  1. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable
  2. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
  3. sudo apt-get update
  4. sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic
  5. sudo apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia bbswitch-dkms
  6. Reboot or re-login

Swat PPA has the latest Nvidia drivers.

Except that I log back in and ‘optirun glxspheres’ returns:

[ 118.398232] [ERROR]Cannot access secondary GPU - error: Could not load GPU driver
[ 118.398323] [ERROR]Aborting because fallback start is disabled.

Luckily this can be fixed by editing /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf. Look for the line that says ‘Driver=’ and add ‘nvidia’ at the end. Then reboot, and test with ‘optirun glxspheres’. The graphics card light should switch from blue to white, and the output should look something like the following:

Polygons in scene: 62464
Visual ID of window: 0x21
Context is Direct
OpenGL Renderer: GeForce GT 540M/PCIe/SSE2
111.175734 frames/sec - 124.072120 Mpixels/sec
112.450230 frames/sec - 125.494456 Mpixels/sec
125.164298 frames/sec - 139.683357 Mpixels/sec

The fix comes from here.

If its still not working try reinstalling using the advice at http://www.ivegotavirus.com/how-to-fix-bumblebee-on-ubuntu-12-10/

Hopefully this is a bit cleaner in 13.04.


By Sam

Drupal developer from Perth, Western Australia. I love programming, gaming, the Internet, growing vegetables and hiking.

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