Open-source “Nvidia Optimus” graphics switching tool ‘Bumblebee has a PPA for easy installation in Ubuntu.

Bumblebee‘ provides users of laptops housing NVidia’s “Optimus” technology the ability to ‘shut down’ the NVIDIA graphics card when not required and use the less power-hungry integrated graphics instead. This ideal for word processing and basic web-browsing where longer battery life is required.

It can switch back to dedicated graphics when GPU grunt is needed and – rather impressively – it can use both cards at the same time, with each GPU handling a different task.

Interested users should note that Bumblebee lacks automatic graphics switching.


The following PPA provides Bumblebee packages for Ubuntu 10.04, 10.10, 11.04 and 11.10.


To add via a Terminal enter the following two commands separately: –

  • sudo apt-add-repository ppa:mj-casalogic/bumblebee
  • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install bumblebee

This PPAshould only be added by those whose laptops have NVidia Optimus technology.A list of Optimus-enabled laptops can be found

Hat tip to Billy R.

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