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I have a Dell n5110 laptop which comes with a regular nvidia GPU and an Itel CPU, interconnected via optimus. While there is no problem in windows 7, the real problem is with linux. The GPU is always on though not detected by linux and usesa lot of power.

Is there is way I can switch off this in linux?

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migrated from Feb 20 '12 at 20:42

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It'll be a BIOS setting if it's at all possible. Depends on the hardware - it's possible on Thinkpads for sure but you'll have to check if there's a discrete/integrated setting for your machine. – YXD Feb 20 '12 at 16:44
If it is not possible, try Bumblebee, as proposed below. While it's not perfect, works quite well. – Renan Feb 20 '12 at 21:01

I've heard good things about Bumblebee as a way to control Optimus GPUs in Linux. Unfortunately, there is not much in the way of official support from NVIDIA for Optimus in Linux.

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Bumblebee works pretty well, but it's not automatic: you have to explicitly specify when you want to use the nVidia card. – Renan Feb 20 '12 at 20:46
Renan, if you have the bumblebee daemon running in the background. This will take care of everything automatically. – Pavan Yalamanchili Feb 20 '12 at 23:55

If you install the Bumblebee Project, you can switch off the GPU using the power management. It uses bbswitch to accomplish this, or vga_switcheroo, which is part of the kernel.

If that doesn't work, they recommend that you report it as a bug on Github

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