The latest client release includes support for using Optimus technology to run Steam client games. To take advantage of this you will need to install Bumblebee on your system. For installation instructions, see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bumblebee
For the best integration with Steam, we recommend installing Primus for Bumblebee. For installation instrudctions, see http://www.webupd8.org/2012/11/primus-better-performance-and-less.html
You can verify that Primus is properly installed on your system if the following comamnd executes successfully: primusrun glxspheres
There are two methods for using Optimus technology with Steam. The first method is the most efficient and involves modifying the /etc/environment
file and the command line of games requiring advanced rendering support.
1. Open /etc/environment
in your favorite editor.
2. Add a new variable with a value of primusrun (e.g. OPTIMUS_PREFIX=”primusrun”
) and save your changes.
3. Select a game - that you want to run using your discrete Nvidia card - from the Library
page of the Steam client, right-click, and select Properties
4. Click the SET LAUNCH OPTIONS...
button and specify $OPTIMUS_PREFIX %command%
for the command line.
5. Save your changes.
This method allows you to pick when the discrete NVidia GPU should be used on a per-game basis. Use of the OPTIMUS_PREFIX
environment variable allows easy modification of the command in the future if changes happen in the underlying Bumblebee project.
The second method is not as efficient (in terms of power consumption) but quicker by running the Steam client and all games using Optimus. From the command line, enter primusrun steam
instead of steam
. This is inefficient because all games do not require the power of an NVidia card and power consumption is greatly increased during a Steam client/game session.