Nvidia Optimus is a technology available for notebooks, used to increases battery life by switching the dedicated GPU off when it's not needed and then switching it on again when it's needed. When the dedicated GPU is off, the integrated graphics chip is used.
Nvidia Optimus GPU switching is officially only supported on Windows 7, but it's also unofficially available on Linux thanks to the Bumblebee project.
Bumblebee 3.0 "Tumbleweed" has been released yesterday - here are the release highlights:
- Server / client re-written in C which provides increased performance and reliability
- Automatic power management which also survives suspend
- Improved error detection and reporting
- Better system integration
- Switch to Upstart startup mechanism
- acpi_call has been replaced with bbswitch and vga_switcheroo
- Nouveau support for the Ubuntu PPA package
- "optirun --status" will now show the current status of Bumblebee and the secondary GPU on your system
- Xorg configuration greatly simplified, provided defaults usually work out of the box.
Please note that I do not own a Nvidia Optimus powered device so I couldn't test this!
To install Bumblebee 3.0 "Tumbleweed", see the Bumblebee installation wiki page (instructions for Arch Linux, Debian, Ubuntu - PPA included, and installation from source). Oh, and to use it, you obviously need a Nvidia Optimus powered notebook.