System - Deal with NVIDIA Graphic Card & Ubuntu 16.10


At leboncoin, we’re using Lenovo Thinkpad T460p laptop with a serious hardware config (Intel Core i7 vPro, 16Go RAM, Dual GFX Intel/Nvidia & SSD) which is comfy for our daily tasks.

But last week, some artefacts appeared (black pixels blinking) on my screen (finally due to a bad cable…) and I also noticed that I was only using the Intel card and never the other one (Nvidia).

So I decided to setup the Nvidia graphic card and install drivers and tools as Bumblebee for example.

Obviously, the Internets has a lot of informations about setup, etc, but I faced some troubles to setup it on Ubuntu 16.10.

This quick guide is a sum up of all of my researches and provide a working method.

Based on Nvidia GM108M [GeForce 940MX] and Ubuntu 16.10.

Graphic Card setup

Add PPA repository

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa
$ sudo apt update

Install the latest version

Currently, the version 375 is the most stable, but feel free to use a newer one

$ sudo apt-get install nvidia-375 nvidia-opencl-icd-375 nvidia-common 
  nvidia-prime nvidia-settings

Activate the driver

From System Settings or directly from the menu / Dash, open Software & Updates, click on the Additional Drivers tab, select the driver you want to use, and click “Apply changes”

(Opt) Disable Power Management

This step is mandatory if:

Kernel >=4.8, with a system for which the nvidia card is not the primary output and a BIOS released >=2015.

Currently, there’s a bug with Nvidia graphic cards and Kernel >= 4.8 and the workaround consists to disable the Power Management for PCI Express cards in GRUB

Add the kernel option

Add pcie_port_pm=off kernel option on GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT line in /etc/default/grub


GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash pcie_port_pm=off"

Update GRUB
$ sudo update-grub

If interested, issues are opened for Nvidia and Bumblebee

Verify !

Once done, restart your system !

To ensure your Nvidia card is correctly installed, you can try these commands:

  • dmesg

    $ dmesg | egrep -ni "bbswitch|nvidia"
  • nvidia-setup

    $ nvidia-setup

    And verify informations about your graphic card (GPU 0).

  • glxinfo

    $ glxinfo|egrep "OpenGL vendor|OpenGL renderer"

Power Saving

Set Intel card as default

To avoid black screen login, set the intel card as default:

$ sudo prime-select intel

Install Bumblebee

Bumblebee is available in Ubuntu default repository

$ sudo apt install bumblebee

Blacklist your driver

Open /etc/modprobe.d/bumblebee.conf with a text editor (as root) and add your driver a the end of file:

# 375
blacklist nvidia-375
blacklist nvidia-375-updates
blacklist nvidia-experimental-375

Note: If you install some newer Nvidia graphics drivers (nvidia-378, etc.), you’ll need to add them too in the same way.

Configure Bumblebee

Open /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf and modify some parts:

  • In bumblebeed marker
  • In driver-nvidia marker

Note: Same as above, if you install a newer drivers, don’t forget to update paths with the correct version number`

Upgrade XORG

  • Find the bus ID for the Nvidia graphic card
    $ lspci | egrep 'VGA|3D'
  • Uncomment and modify the busID parameter in /etc/bumblebee/xorg.conf.nvidia
    BusID "PCI:02:00.0"


That’s all !

After rebooting, you can verify the state of you graphic card with:

$ cat /proc/acpi/bbswitch

To launch an application with Nvidia:

optirun <application>

Guillaume Chenuet

Make it simple, but significant.