Install and usage
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Here you will find instructions in many ways to install, test and use Bumblebee.
The best and recommended way to install Bumblebee is through your distribution repositories. If not such packages exist, then you can still install Bumblebee manually from source.
Install from packages
Stable Package: https://www.archlinux.org/packages/?q=bumblebee
AUR Package (develop branch): https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/bumblebee-git
Chakra Wiki: https://chakraos.org/wiki/index.php?title=Bumblebee
Debian Wiki: https://wiki.debian.org/Bumblebee
Fedora Wiki: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Bumblebee
Portage: http://packages.gentoo.org/package/x11-misc/bumblebee (
Overlay: https://github.com/Bumblebee-Project/bumblebee-gentoo/ (use
layman -a bumblebee to add)
Slackware Docs: http://docs.slackware.com/howtos:hardware:nvidia_optimus
Ubuntu Wiki: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bumblebee
Install from source
Here are some instructions on how to build the Bumblebee daemon (
bumblebeed) and client (
optirun). Whenever you see a command preceded by
# means it must be run as root (i.e. with
- the source tarball from https://github.com/Bumblebee-Project/Bumblebee/downloads
- a C compiler
- glib-2.0 and development headers
- libX11 and development headers
- libbsd and development headers
- help2man (optional, but recommended)
If you're building from git, you'll also need:
- autotools (2.68+ recommended)
- either VirtualGL or primus
- bbswitch (optional but recommended for Power Management)
- drivers. nouveau is an opensource choice. If you want to use the proprietary NVIDIA driver, you have to install it in a way such that its library files won't conflict with the Mesa libraries (notably libGL.so).
Build and install
After downloading the source tarball, extract and configure it:
$ tar xf bumblebee-VERSION.tar.gz $ cd bumblebee-VERSION $ ./configure
If you have retrieved the code from the git repository, you need to run
autoreconf -fi prior to running
To set your default driver to
nvidia you need to pass some configuration flags to
$ ./configure CONF_DRIVER=nvidia CONF_DRIVER_MODULE_NVIDIA=nvidia-current \ CONF_LDPATH_NVIDIA=/usr/lib/nvidia-current:/usr/lib32/nvidia-current \ CONF_MODPATH_NVIDIA=/usr/lib/nvidia-current/xorg,/usr/lib/xorg/modules
Note: Those settings are intended for Ubuntu users, your paths may differ. (See the Warning under Using Nvidia header in Supported Drivers for more information)
Note: the default installation path is
/usr/local, configuration files
will be installed to
/usr/local/etc/bumblebee. To change this to
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc
For more configuration options, run
./configure --help for more information.
Once the configuration has completed, build the binaries:
To install it system-wide:
# make install
Then you must create group
bumblebee on your system and add yourself to it
# groupadd bumblebee # gpasswd -a $USER bumblebee
Re-login to apply changes.
You're not ready to use Bumblebee yet, the daemon must be started first (see Usage below).
The daemon must be started before the client can be used.
Have a look at Configuration for configuring Bumblebee. Often, no further modifications are needed.
The daemon can be started manually with:
# bumblebeed --daemon
For more command line options, run
bumblebeed --help (or
bumblebeed if you've installed manpages).
If you want to start Bumblebee automatically when the system starts,
you need to use an initscript. Some example initscripts have been
build in the
scripts/ directory. Refer to your distributions
documentation for instructions on installing one.
To run a program you just run
$ optirun <program-name>
optirun --help for options or run
man optirun if you've
installed manual pages.
The next command runs the
glxspheres program on the discrete
$ optirun glxspheres