I'm running linux mint 18.1 on a laptop with an onboard Intel graphics card and an Nvidia 970M.

I'd like the desktop environment to use the Intel graphics card, and I would like to use the Nvidia for CUDA libraries (tensorflow, cuda toolkit), and for an occasional game (go kerbal space program!).

I'm familiar with ubuntu-server, but I'm new to the desktop (a windows convert).

Can someone give me a quick rundown of what I need to do to achieve this? Tools? Installations? High level overview of what I need to configure? I need to know what I don't know, I can search for the rest.

I've been at this for a day and a half without success.


1 Answer 1


So the ultimate answer is that you need Prime and Bumblebee packages to support Optimus technology (e.g. 2 GPUs).

Prime allows you to switch profiles, meaning you can run the entire system on one or the other GPU (desktop, all apps, etc). Nice click of the button switch (plus a log out).

Bumblebee allows you to preface your programs with optirun %command% to run just that process on the NVIDIA GPU.

Know that there are active bugs in this area, I posted a list of resources that got me through all the steps here:


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