Bumblebee

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Bumblebee is a solution to Nvidia Optimus hybrid-graphics technology allowing the user to use the dedicated graphics card for rendering.

This is a small tutorial on how to install and run Bumblebee under Chakra. For detailed information and troubleshooting, please read the complete guide at the Archlinux Wiki.

Choose your graphics driver

The bumblebee package which is available in Chakra supports the proprietary drivers from Nvidia. The Nouveau free drivers support is deprecated and will most likely not work anymore. For better results, please use the nvidia module instead. If you want nouveau, you can try using PRIME.

Nvidia

sudo pacman -S nvidia

You can then continue and install the rest of the needed packages

Install the bumblebee package

sudo pacman -S bumblebee

Install bbswitch for Power Management

sudo pacman -S bbswitch

Configuration

After you install these packages you also need to enable the bumblebee service for systemd:

sudo systemctl enable bumblebeed.service

And add yourself in the bumblebee group:

sudo usermod -a -G bumblebee yourusernamehere

Install optional Primus support

A new feature has been added with Bumblebee v3.1, called primus, which you can use to launch applications instead of standard optirun. Have in mind that this is experimental at the moment, and there are some incompatibilities with programs.

To use this you first need to install the primus package:

sudo pacman -S primus

Then run applications like this:

primusrun glxspheres

You can also use "optirun -b primus glxspheres" or set Backend=primus in /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf.

Other optional lib32 dependencies

You can install these if you need to run 32bit applications with bumblebee:

  • lib32-virtualgl: run 32bit applications with optirun
  • lib32-nvidia-utils-bumblebee: nvidia drivers utilities and libraries (32-bit)

Testing Bumblebee

Reboot before doing this. You can test Bumblebee with this command:

optirun glxspheres

If it succeeds it means you are system is able to offload render to the Nvidia card.

Test that the Nvidia Card is off

Run this command:

optirun --status
Bumblebee status:  Ready (3.0.1). X inactive. Discrete video card is off.

Or you can use:

lspci -d10de: -vvv
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GF108 [GeForce GT 540M] (rev ff) (prog-if ff)
       !!! Unknown header type 7f

If you get the "Unknown header type" warning, similar to the one above, then bbswitch is working and the Nvidia card is off.