screenshot of an indicator applet running on the Ubuntu MATE desktop
Nvidia Optimus Linux Switcher

If you’re using Nvidia Optimus on Linux you switch between discrete and integrated graphics using the ‘mate-optimus’ utility.

This panel-based applet even supports the Nvidia PRIME offloading feature included in the latest NVIDIA 435.x Linux beta driver and the Nvidia 435.21 Linux stable drivers — both of which are now available in daily builds of Ubuntu 19.10.

Nvidia PRIME offloading (for those who’ve not heard of it) is a useful feature that allows Linux users on multi-GPU set-ups (i.e. laptops with Nvidia Optimus) to offload specific intensive tasks to the discrete NVIDIA GPU, while using the lower-power integrated Intel GPU used to handle everything else.

It’s a handy feature, and one that’s now easier to use on the Cinnamon, GNOME Shell, Budgie and MATE desktops thanks to the mate-optimus indicator applet, developed by Ubuntu MATE’s project lead Martin Wimpress.

The latest version of ‘mate-optimus’ is the 19.10.x series targeted at Ubuntu 19.10. Among the changes the applet has seen over the past week:

  • Support for NVIDIA On-Demand
  • Displays active OpenGL renderer
  • Log out prompt when switching GPUs on supported desktops
  • Refactored GPU capability detection and made it more robust
  • Added an About dialog

If you’re currently running an Ubuntu 19.10 daily build you can install the latest version of mate-optimus using your preferred software tool, or using the terminal command sudo apt install mate-optimus.

Install MATE Optimus on Ubuntu 19.10

If you’re running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or 19.04 you can install an older version of the mate-optimus applet direct from the repos.. While those versions do not boast the very latest changes (as listed above) the applet still offers a functional, user-friendly way to switch between discrete and integrated graphics with Nvidia Optimus.

Finally: the indicator will ONLY show up on systems that support Nvidia Optimus, with the required Linux drivers installed and enabled.

H/T Robert

graphics drivers indicator-applets NVIDIA Nvidia PRIME Ubuntu MATE