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.
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.