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Dated: Apr. 15, 2013

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When asked the question what graphic card to choose for a Linux machine users, experienced, but not sufficiently familiar with subject matter, will usually answer: „AMD for laptop, nVidia for desktop“. Having in mind the lack of the support of the „vanilla“ Linux kernel for the modern nVidia Optimus technology that enables the consistency of one integrated and another „discreet“ graphic card in laptops, by which the more powerful one should „light up" only when the graphic and processor needs that, previous opinion have sense. But, the community promptly answered this problem with their Bumblebee project.
Let us resume – if you have an nVidia graphics card without integrated graphics card, the installation of the Nouveau driver should be enough for you if you are looking for freedom, ie. owners nVidia drivers if you are looking for performance. In the case that you are a proud owner of a transmitter with a modern Intel processor from the i3/5/7 generation, in this moment you will have to call the Transformers to help you out, more precisely the little Bumblebee.
This project is actually a wrapper system that installs nVidia graphic drivers and extra tools that enable turning on the strong graphics when needed. The app that needs to use the nVidia graphic card is started with the command optirun. The team of the project Bumblebee secured packages for the Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, Mandriva and of course Ubuntu Linux distributions, but the installation can be done from certain generic packages on other distributions by following detailed instructions (even CentOS 6 and Slackwar are covered). We will in detail explain the enabling of the nVidia graphic card GTX 660M on the model Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 with the i5 processor, with the freshest Ubuntu 12.10 x86_84.

A step into the world of robots

The first step is to adding the PPA treasuries and the installation of the fitting Bumblebee and nVidia packages:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia linux-headers-generic
This process will take a few minutes, and when it is successfully finished, you can immediately check if everything is ready for use by restarting the machine and in the terminal start glxgears, and then optirun glxgears. If after the second command you get wheels that give a lot better frame rates, the operation is successful, If not, you need some more hacking.

And what now?

The tool for controlling the discreet graphic card from the Bumblebee package bbswitch can communicate not so good with your graphic card, why you need to install a fresher, development version using the GIT, in our example a part for Lenovo machines. All the commands that follow should be started as root:
git clone git:// bbswitch.git -b hack-lenovo

Bumblebee Projectcd bbswitch && mkdir /usr/src/acpi-handle-hack-0.0.1

cp Makefile acpi-handle-hack.c /usr/src/acpi-handle-hack-0.0.1

cp dkms/acpi-handle-hack.conf /usr/src/acpi-handle-hack-0.0.1/dkms.conf

apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

dkms add acpi-handle-hack/0.0.1

dkms build acpi-handle-hack/0.0.1

dkms install acpi-handle-hack/0.0.1

When all of that is done without mistakes, and there is no reason not to be, you should manually add the newly built acpi-handle-hack in the list of kernel modules that should be loaded when starting the system:
echo acpi-handle-hack | sudo tee -a /etc/modules

sudo update-initramfs -u

Finishing the Xorg settings

The only thing left is to tell the Bumblebee what driver we want to use for the nVidia graphic card, and because of that we start:
sudo gedit /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf
and as a value for the Driver we set nvidia:
Driver = nvidia
If it happens that after that when we try to start the optirun we don’t get nothing, and in the dmesg exit we find AE_NOT_FOUND, in the file
sudo gedit /etc/bumblebee/xorg.conf.nvidia
need to add a # (hash) at the beginning of the following line:
Option "ConnectedMonitor" "DFP"
And right below it add a new that is:
Option "UseDisplayDevice" "none"
• • •
The Operation of transforming the "Penguin" is done with that, and the results of this hassle will be felt when you ride some demanding game in your Bumblebee vehicle. If you get the invitation for Steam for Linux Beta, your luck is even greater. You can see project homepage here. Good luck!


Now that you've gotten free know-how on this topic, try to grow your skills even faster with online video training. Then finally, put these skills to the test and make a name for yourself by offering these skills to others by becoming a freelancer. There are literally 2000+ new projects that are posted every single freakin' day, no lie!

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