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Bumblebee Project

Bumblebee aims to provide support for NVIDIA Optimus laptops for GNU/Linux distributions. Using Bumblebee, you can use your NVIDIA card for rendering graphics which will be displayed using the Intel card.


$ urpmi bumblebee

After installation completes, add yourself to the "bumblebee" group to enable use of the optirun command. You will have to re-login for group changes to take effect.


To run your application with the discrete NVIDIA card run in the terminal:

$ optirun [options] <application> [application-parameters]


$ optirun firefox

For a list of options for optirun run:

$ optirun --help

Starting and stopping the bumblebeed daemon

On Mandriva, Bumblebee runs as a systemd daemon. It can be started by:

# systemctl start bumblebeed.service

It can be stopped by:

# systemctl stop bumblebeed.service

To enable autostart:

# systemctl enable bumblebeed.service

To disable autostart:

# systemctl disable bumblebeed.service

After installation, the daemon should have already started itself automatically as well as enabled itself for autostart.

If it doesn't work

  • Run optirun with the --debug commandline line parameter (as in: "optirun --debug glxgears", for example), and it should provide some meaningful error message as to where the problem is.
  • If the bumblebeed daemon could not be reached, stop the daemon and manually run it (as root), also with the --debug parameter. It should print a lot of helpful info and error messages. Also make sure you are added to the bumblebee group!
  • If the GPU could not be started, make sure nvidia drivers are installed properly and power management is working correctly. A reboot might help as well (this restores some internal PCI values that may be corrupted).
  • If X could not be started, you may have to edit the /etc/bumblebee/xorg.conf.nvidia file. Some errors will also specifically tell you that you need to do this and tell you exactly what to change there.
  • Still having trouble? Ask for help in #bumblebee on irc.freenode.net

If after a reboot the whole screen is upside-down and/or garbled

You installed nvidia drivers through some other means than the Mandriva packages - this overwrites the Intel hardware acceleration with non-compatible files. Un-install them and replace by the Mandriva packages. If that doesn't fix the problem, you may have to force-reinstall the Intel drivers and xorg files with urpmi --replacepkgs (do a search for packages containing libGL.so, specifically!). It is possible to use the latest official nvidia drivers as well, but it requires a lot of manual configuration. You need to backup the intel-compatible files and move the nvidia versions to a new directory (for example /usr/lib/nvidia-current), then move the intel files back to their original location. The directory that contains the nvidia-compatible files needs to be put in /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf as well.

If you want to use nouveau instead

The version of nouveau in Mandriva is not recommended for Optimus configurations, so you may want to manually compile and install a newer version (the more recent, the better). Then change the line "Driver=nvidia" in /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf to "Driver=nouveau". That should be all you need to do. When using nouveau, bbswitch is no longer required for power management and vga_switcheroo can be used instead (enabled by default if bbswitch is not installed), but an extremely recent development version kernel is required for it to work on all models, so this is not advised. Keeping bbswitch installed should allow the nouveau drivers to work with power management on all Optimus model laptops. In the future vga_switcheroo should/will surpass bbswitch in functionality, so the option to use it is there.

Power Management

A primary goal of this project is to not only enable use of the discrete GPU for rendering, but also to enable smart power management of the dGPU when it's not in use. We're using either bbswitch (a module) or vga_switcheroo (kernel module, experimental) to do this in Bumblebee.

Since Bumblebee 3.0, this feature is enabled by default, using bbswitch. This allow automatic power management, without any configuration needs.

If Power Management doesn't work on your laptop, please go to this Power Management (PM) page and help to improve Bumblebee.


Please join #bumblebee channel on Freenode for Bumblebee help / suggestions / questions / etc.

Reporting bugs/problems

First of all: If you have any problem, please read this article: https://github.com/Bumblebee-Project/Bumblebee/wiki/Troubleshooting

If your issue is not solved, you can join the #bumblebee IRC channel to ask for help (recommended). See also https://github.com/Bumblebee-Project/Bumblebee/wiki/Reporting-Issues

If you're asked to create a bugreport, run the following command as root:

# bumblebee-bugreport


If you're unsatisfied with Bumblebee, you can remove it via:

$ urpme bumblebee

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