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Bumblebee is a project created to enable the use NVIDIA Optimus technology, which involves two distinct graphics cards that work together, sharing a single framebuffer, to provide a better power management.


Before you proceed, make sure you do have a NVIDIA Optimus setup. Find if you have using this command:

lspci | grep VGA

Your output must have at least two graphics cards and one of them must be NVIDIA.

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 09)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GF108M [GeForce GT 540M] (rev a1)

To install Bumblebee, you'll need to install the bumblebee, nvidia and bbswitch packages:

# xbps-install -S bumblebee nvidia bbswitch

After installation, add your user to the group bumblebee:

# gpasswd -a user bumblebee

Enable the bumblebeed service:

# ln -s /etc/sv/bumblebeed /var/service

And reboot.


In order to use the dedicated graphics card, the program must be lanuched using optirun:

$ optirun [options] program [program specific options]

The program will then use the dedicated GPU, and once the program closes, the dedicated card will be powered off. For a list of optirun-specific options, refer to its man page.

$ man optirun

In order to use the NVIDIA Control Panel, it must be launched with specific parameters:

$ optirun -b none nvidia-settings -c :8