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Install and usage

Samsagax edited this page · 30 revisions

Here you will find instructions in many ways to install, test and use Bumblebee.


The best an recommended way to install Bumblebee is through your distribution repositories. If not such packages exist, then you can still install Bumblebee from git.

Install from packages


AUR Package:




Ubuntu Wiki:

Install from Git

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 sudo).


Build Requirements
  • pkg-config
  • autotools (2.68+ recommended)
  • libX11 and developer headers
  • libbsd and developer headers
  • git
Runtime Requirements

Build and install

Now go to a directory of our liking, clone the repository and configure.

$ git clone git://
$ cd bumblebeed
$ autoreconf -fi
$ ./configure

To set your default driver to nvidia you need to pass some configuration flags to ./configure step:

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

Note: Those settings are intended for Ubuntu users, your paths may differ. (See the Warning under Using Nvidia header in Supported Drivers and Configuration for more information)

Note: for system-wide installations, additional arguments must be passed to ./configure script. Most times $ ./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc is enough. Run $ ./configure --help for more information

Once configuration is ready make the binaries:

$ make

To install just run

# make install


Then you must create group bumblebee on your system and add yourself to it

# groupadd bumblebee
# usermod -a -G bumblebee $USER

Log out and in again to apply changes.

Optionally you can use an init script to start the daemon at boot time.

WIP: Add init options


First you would like to take a look at Configuration to tweak Bumblebee to your liking. Then you must run the Bumblebee daemon

# bumblebeed -vv --daemon

Run $ bumblebeed --help for more options.

To run a program you just run

$ optirun <program-name>

Run $ optirun --help for options


$ optirun glxspheres

will run glxspheres on your dedicated GPU.

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