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Revision as of 20:23, 2 March 2013 by Rugebiker (talk | contribs) (Changed the info so it uses the new bumblebee repositories.)


From Bumblebee's FAQ: Bumblebee is a effort to make Nvidia Optimus enabled laptops work in GNU/Linux systems. Such feature involves two graphics cards with two different power consumption profiles plugged in a layered way sharing a single framebuffer.

NOTE This guide explains how to get Nvidia Optimus working with the open source nouveau driver. Fedora does not support the proprietary Nvidia drivers. For information on how to use the proprietary Nvidia drivers with Bumblebee in Fedora 16 Click Here.

Install Dependencies

su -c "yum install -y libbsd-devel libbsd glibc-devel libX11-devel help2man autoconf git tar glib2 glib2-devel kernel-devel kernel-headers automake gcc gtk2-devel"

You also need to install VirtualGL. Download the latest version for your arch at the VirtualGL download page

Note: VirtualGL added Fedora 18 repository.You can install via yum with that command If you use Fedora 18;

 yum install VirtualGL 

If you want to run 32 bit apps on your 64 bit system, then also install:

 yum install VirtualGL.i686 

Install Bumblebee

Install the bumblebee yum repository

Fedora 17

yum -y --nogpgcheck install

Fedora 18

yum -y --nogpgcheck install

Now install bumblebee:

yum -y install bbswitch bumblebee

bumblebee with the NVIDIA proprietary drivers

The previous commands install bumbleblee with the nouveau drivers. If you want to install bumblebee with the NVIDIA proprietary drivers you must also follow these instructions:

Install the bumblebee-nonfree repository:

Fedora 17

yum -y --nogpgcheck install

Fedora 18

yum -y --nogpgcheck install

Now install bumblebee-nvidia

yum -y install bumblebee-nvidia

"bumblebee-nvidia" is both a rpm package and a shell script. The "bumblebee-nvidia" package contains the shell "wrapper" script, init scripts to run it at bootup, and a SELinux security policy, and lastly a copy of the NVidia Linux binary driver "blob" downloaded from NVidia's UNIX drivers page. This is why the packages are so large compared to the bumblebee package.


Testing bumblebee

If you want to make sure you have bumblebee up and running, write:

optirun glxgears -info

You should see some gears rotating, and in the terminal you should see "GL_VENDOR = NVIDIA Corporation" or something similar.


For speed imrovements you can use primus. Primus is a shared library that provides OpenGL and GLX APIs and implements low-overhead local-only client-side OpenGL offloading via GLX forking, similar to VirtualGL. It intercepts GLX calls and redirects GL rendering to a secondary X display, presumably driven by a faster GPU. On swapping buffers, rendered contents are read back using a PBO and copied onto the drawable it was supposed to be rendered on in the first place. Currently primus requires the NVIDIA proprietary drivers.

Install primus:

yum install primus 

If you want to run 32 bit apps on your 64 bit system, then also install:

yum install primus.i686

Testing primus

Open up a terminal and run:

PRIMUS_VERBOSE=2 primusrun glxgears

If primus is working properly, you should see "primus: profiling:" messages every so often in the terminal you ran it from.

How to use bumblebee

If you didn't install primus, change "primusrun" to "optirun".

General Usage:

primusrun [options] <application> [application-parameters]

Start Windows applications:

primusrun wine <windows application>.exe

By default, primusrun renders up to 60 fps. To render more frames per second:

vblank_mode=0 primusrun [options] <application> [application-parameters]

In practice this will probably only waste power, as most screens do not display more than 60 frames per second.

You can always run "man optirun" for more information.

Useful links