Ubuntu users with laptops housing NVIDIA’s "Optimus" technology, which allows Windows users to switch between Intel integrated graphics and NVIDIA’s own graphics chips as and when needed, may be interested to learn of a new open-source tool which aims to enable the feature on Linux.
Called ‘Bumblebee‘, the tool gives users the ability to ‘shut down’ the NVIDIA graphics card when not required and use the integrated graphics – ideal for word processing and basic web-browsing where long battery life is a boon; it can switch back to dedicated graphics when you need some GPU grunt and – rather impressively – it can use both cards at the same time so that each GPU handles a different task.
No auto-switching. Yet.
The ‘automatic graphics switching’ feature, which can intelligently use the appropriate graphics source depending on the application in use, isn’t available yet for Linux.
More information, along with details on how to get the very-much-in-development utility can be found @ github.com/MrMEEE/bumblebee