NVIDIA drivers for laptop - Bumblebee v/s The Hard Way - Some questions

Well there are two ways by which NVIDIA drivers can be installed for a laptop. One is NVIDIA Bumblebee https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:NVIDIA_Bumblebee and other https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:NVIDIA_the_hard_way

I’ve two questions regarding that.

  1. Is the difference only in complicacy of installation (although nothing hard in installation - the only problem reinstall nvidia driver when kernel updates) or is there any significant difference in stability or performance.
  2. What I understand is the Bumbulbee enables the use of swithable graphics for a laptop. So, if I install by the hard way will I be needed to install bumblebee also?

The Nvidia proprietary driver is what you install either way, your ‘hard’ way or also with bumblebee.

It depends on your hardware, what to choose.
With a Nvidia graphics card as your only graphics card, like on some desktop systems, you will want to use the Nvidia driver from the openSUSE Nvidia repositories.

With a hardware consisting of a system with two graphics cards, like modern Intel core-i processors, that bring an integrated graphics card within the main processor and
can have an additional discrete graphics card like a Nvidia for doing the hard work of gaming etc.,
you may want to choose between the two graphics adapters,
powering off the heavy graphics from Nvidia, if you are not gaming, thus reducing power consumption and reducing the heat stress on your system.

This is especially interesting for laptops, of course.

In that case you have to use bumblebee for managing the facultative use of the Nvidia card.
Bumblebee is using the same prorietary Nvidia driver, but it modifies the installation process and therefore
you have to avoid the regular Nvidia repositories and their installation process, if you want to use the bumblebee management.
(Uninstall everything you may already have installed from the openSUSE Nvidia repositories before even trying to use bumblebee.)

There may be a third situation, if your laptop has a veritable switch to turn off or on the Nvidia card within the BIOS, which I don’t include herein.

If your system has no such real switch, the graphics system has to be managed by software like bumblebee.
Then the integrated graphics of the intel core-i is always on, connected to the laptop screen via a X-server:0.
Bumblebee will power on the Nvidia graphics card, if you call a program with:

optirun 'program name'

A second X-server:8 will be activted for the Nvidia card, that gets its input via the Nvidia proprietary driver from the optirun program and
transfers its video output stream to the main X-server:0 and the intel integrated graphics puts it through to the laptop screen.

Any other program, not called by the ‘optirun’ prefix, will connect directly to the X-server:0, which is handled by the intel integrated card.
If no optirun call activates the Nvidia card, bumblebee will power off the Nvidia card completely.

If you want to install bumblebee, forget about the other openSUSE Nvidia repositories, deactivate or uninstall them.
You have to use the bumblebee repository http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/X11:/Bumblebee/openSUSE_13.2/ and
the nvidia-bumblebee and nvidia-bumblebee-32bit packages there will download the proprietary Nvidia drivers and install them in a way that suits the bumblebee program.

But be warned, that this installation process can be hard and tedious and even, if the system does what you want after a successful installation, an update can ruin everything.

That’s because the proprietary drivers are not included into the open source maintenance process of openSUSE, because Nvidia does not hand out the source code of its drivers.

At the moment the bumblebee system is working well though, with the following packages from X11:/Bumblebee/openSUSE_13.2/x86_64 :
VirtualGL VirtualGL-32bit bbswitch bbswitch-kmp-desktop bumblebee dkms nvidia-bumblebee nvidia-bumblebee-32bit primus primus-32bit

Take also a look at this thread:https://forums.opensuse.org/showthread.php/502460-Hints-to-get-Bumblebee-working-on-an-Optimus-laptop-with-discrete-Nvidia-graphics-card

This describes my present knowledge or hypothesis about the working of the bumblebee process - any correction is welcome!

I am using openSUSE 13.1 in my laptop and Bumbleebee works fine for most software. However, a few of them always failed with messages:

lib:  extension "GLX" missing on display ":0".
Error: couldn't find RGB GLX visual or fbconfig
Xlib:  extension "GLX" missing on display ":0".
Xlib:  extension "GLX" missing on display ":0".
Xlib:  extension "GLX" missing on display ":0".
Xlib:  extension "GLX" missing on display ":0".
Xlib:  extension "GLX" missing on display ":0".
Xlib:  extension "GLX" missing on display ":0".
Xlib:  extension "GLX" missing on display ":0".
Xlib:  extension "GLX" missing on display ":0".

Actually the intel GPU is completely useless for my daily work since my software always request dedicated GPU. I am using Dell M3800 and the BIOS doesn’t provide option to disable intel GPU. So I am just wondering is there any similar tool in SUSE provide " Nvidia-Prime " like that in Ubuntu?

If yes, could someone show to the detailed steps to do this? I read the “hard way” installing nvidia driver from suse wiki, but it doesn’t help too much since it main;y about standard driver installation or bumblebee.

thx a lot

Question1: If Ubuntu offers, what you need, why don’t you try this distribution?
Question2: Why do you use OpenSUSE 13.1 and not the current 13.2 version?
Question3: What’s your hardware (Optimus??)

I don’t know about a Nvidia-Prime version for OpenSUSE.
There is an alternative call of the Nvidia graphics card to ‘optirun’, ‘primusrun’, but ‘primusrun’ also is based
on the bumblebee architecture, as far as I know.

I got bumblebee working well with OpenSUSE 13.1 and now with 13.2, but the installation problems differ considerably.
So I don’t think I can be of much help without using the same distribution version.

If you have not a hardware switch, but the usual Optimus architecture, you will always need the Intel integrated graphics card,
even, if the Nvidia GPU is doing the computing. The Nvidia is sending then the results to the Intel graphics and then it goes through the Intel to your screen.

Your error code

lib:  extension "GLX" missing on display ":0"

shows that the program tried to use the integrated Intel graphics card, associated with X-server:0, not finding there the GLX capabilities,
which the Nvidia card would offer at X-server:8. Did you call this program with ‘optirun program’ ?
Only then bumblebee will switch the Nvidia card on. Just calling ‘program’ will use the Intel integrated card at X-server:0, that won’t have the
desired GLX functions.

Installing the Nvidia driver the hard way on an Optimus system is not an option, it will break GLX support for the Intel graphics. It must be uninstalled before installing the bumblebee version, otherwise you get this ‘lib: extension “GLX” missing on display “:0”’.
Recent nvidia installers should restore mesa support if uninstalled, but if that doesn’t work try to reinstall the package xorg-x11-server.

That’s three mean questions.

(1) This shouldn’t be the major reason if one OS provide better GPU driver. Ubuntu is so unstable for professional design that I would never ever consider such kind OS.
(2) Why should I use the latest one? Stable is my priority. I am not satisfied with 13.2 after 2 months use in my laptop
(3) probably yes, Intel HD4000+ nvidia K1100M

That crashed software seems to have some problem for optirun. All others works fine without any problems.

If I interpreted correctly, do you mean I just uninstall bumblebee all related packages and download the latest .run driver from Nvidia official website and install it as normal way? If it doesn’t work fine, I just be sure “xorg-x11-server” is reinstalled?

That’s it?

Will latest driver disable Intel HD-4000 and make Nvidia to be the default GPU devices?

No, read what I wrote, never install anything but the bumblebee nvidia driver on an Optimus system, and if you have installed it, be it the hard way or the repo way, uninstall it before you proceed to install bumblebee.

That’s doesn’t make too much sense to me, because currently I am using bumblebee in my laptop and most software goes well with it. However, there is only 1,2 software cannot be evoked by optimus.

That’s why I am asking whether it is possible to have similar solution with that of Unbuntu Nvidia Prime.

finally the following issue for certain software:

libGL error: No matching fbConfigs or visuals found
libGL error: failed to load driver: swrast
[VGL] WARNING: The OpenGL rendering context obtained on X display
[VGL]    :8 is indirect, which may cause performance to suffer.
[VGL]    If :8 is a local X display, then the framebuffer device
[VGL]    permissions may be set incorrectly.

was solved by:

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/nvidia/libGL.so.346.35 /usr/local/lib/libGL.so.1
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/nvidia/libGL.so.346.35 /usr/local/lib/libGL.so

sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/nvidia/libGL.so.346.35 /usr/local/lib64/libGL.so.1
sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/nvidia/libGL.so.346.35 /usr/lib64/lib64/libGL.so.

Have SUSE Linux fun