Bumblebee boot option

I got Bumblebee working on my Levono W520 and it was great for battery life. I later found out that it doesn’t really support external displays which is how I use the machine most of the time. This led me to think, might it be possible to add a boot option to grub that allows me to pick between an initrd that just uses the nouveau driver and another that is setup to use bumblebee. This way I would be able to pick the right option for a docked (external monitor) and undocked (battery saving) option.

Anyone know how to get this working or know where I should be looking for such information?


Lenovo laptops are among the best Optimus systems, many of them have a three state MUX, switchable in the BIOS between Integrated(Intel)-Discrete(Nvidia)-Optimus. So look into your BIOS setup, if your laptop has it then use it to switch between Intel and Nvidia, uninstall Bumblebee and avoid Optimus mode.

Thank you for the response. Your suggestions is a good one, however, in order to switch the BIOS settings I would have to boot my laptop outside of the port replicator, switch the setting, shut down, then dock the laptop and boot again. When using the Integrated chip I am not able to get a signal on the external displays and since the port replicator sits below a monitor stand I am not able to access the laptop’s display.

Any other suggestions would be most appreciated.


Of course it could be done. Easiest way I can think of, is to have 2 installs. Comes at the cost of ~20GB but … Both of course would use the same /home.

I have a working bumblebee setup with openSUSE 12.3 on another hard disk. Is there a process someone could outline for picking up the correct files and/or directories from it and copying them to the hard disk I want to be able switch between configs on, or is it more difficult than that?

Please don’t, unless you have a lot of experience and knowledge in this area. We’d see you back with booting-, video driver- and networking issues. A lot of work.

Here’s what you need:
available through the softwaremanager. I haven’t used it for years, suddenly remembered it’s name and got back here, but it can do what you need, i.e. use various profiles on one and the same install. What I don’ know is whether it still works, now that systemd has taken over the booting.