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Bumblebee Daemon

Bumblebee daemon is a rewrite of the original Bumblebee service, providing an elegant and stable means of managing Optimus hybrid graphics chipsets. 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.

Build Requirements

Source tarballs can be downloaded from

The following packages are dependencies for the build process:

  • pkg-config
  • glib-2.0 and development headers
  • libx11 and development headers
  • libbsd and development headers (if pidfile support is enabled, default yes)
  • help2man (optional, it is needed for building manual pages)

If you are building from git, you will also need:

  • autotools (2.68+ recommended)

Runtime dependencies

If you want to use optirun for running applications with the discrete nVidia card, you will also need:

  • At least one back-end for optirun:
  • Driver for nvidia graphics card: nouveau or the proprietary nvidia driver. Don't install it directly from as it will break 3D capabilities on the Intel graphics card and therefore affect the display of frames from the nvidia card.

If you want to make use of Power Management, you will need:

  • bbswitch
  • If you're brave and want to try the switcheroo method, install at least the optimus patch (merged in Linux 3.3). Note that suspend is not yet supported by this method.


If you are building from git, you first need to run autoreconf -fi to generate the configure script.

Next, run the configure script to check for dependencies and populate the Makefile:


To set the default driver to nvidia and adjust the library and module paths for it, use ./configure like:

./configure CONF_DRIVER=nvidia CONF_DRIVER_MODULE_NVIDIA=nvidia-current \
  CONF_LDPATH_NVIDIA=/usr/lib/nvidia-current:/usr/lib32/nvidia-current \

For all available options, run:

./configure --help

After configuring, you can build the binaries with:


Installing System-wide and Packaging

You can build the binaries and set the system wide paths at configure time

./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc

After building the binaries and bash completion script, it can be installed together with an udev rule (unless --without-udev-rules was passed) using make:

sudo make install

For packagers you need to add DESTDIR=$pkgdir

make install DESTDIR=$pkgdir

Example initscripts are available in the scripts/ directory. Currently, Upstart, systemd and Sys V initscripts are available.


The first time you install Bumblebee, the bumblebee group has to be created. Users who are allowed to use Bumblebee need to be added to the group:

sudo groupadd bumblebee
sudo gpasswd -a $USER bumblebee

To run Bumblebee after installing it system-wide, run:

sudo bumblebeed --daemon
optirun -- <application>

For more information, try --help on either of the two binaries.

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