How can I switch between two GPU's on-the-fly using Ubuntu 11.04?

I have an Asus EEE1015PN intel N550 with two GPU's: GMA3150 and Nvidia ION2. For example Windows 7 will switch to the bigger CPU when I pull up a full HD movie.

  • Whith github.com/MrMEEE/bumblebee I think I succeded to switch between the two GPU's (after i run the disable-nvidia script AND REBOOT i get a glxgears result: ~60 fps, and if i run the enable-nvidia and reboot i get about ~450 fps) - but aren't there any methods to do this without rebooting? Jul 10, 2011 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


You can use vga_switcheroo to switch between graphic drivers / GPU's, but it doesn't work on the fly. Watch this question for any on-the-fly solutions that come up.

One guy has written up a very detailed tutorial on setting this up under Fedora 14/Ubunut 10.10. You might have to adapt for 11.0, but it seems to cover the bases pretty well.

Ubuntu has documentation for using this on their wiki under HybridGraphics.

There is also a very useful overview of the process on the Gentoo wiki.

An experimental alternative system using ACPI is available from the Linux Hybrid Graphics blog which has instructions for checking out and running the toggle app for several different graphics chipsets as well as ongoing documentary of different models.

  • ehh, how could i use this vga_switcheroo? Jul 6, 2011 at 8:59
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    @Lance: I edited my answer with some links, but googling "ubuntu vga_switcheroo" worked very nicely. Always make some effort to find existing answers before asking questions.
    – Caleb
    Jul 6, 2011 at 9:09
  • there is no /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch !!! Jul 6, 2011 at 12:56
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    You don't need three exclamation points for that. A note on how it gets enabled can be found in the section "Enabling vga_switcheroo" in the Ubuntu doc I linked.
    – Caleb
    Jul 6, 2011 at 13:20
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    In my mind StackExchange is more about learning and helping others learn than about doing people's work for them. I don't have time today re-write an article that seems to be quite well written already. The subject matter is not something I'm qualified to write something better than is already available. The clear answer I tried to provide was the name vga_switcheroo which you didn't know and some links which would point you in the right direction. If that's not enough you can wait for another answer or ask a more specific question.
    – Caleb
    Jul 6, 2011 at 14:10

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