Bumblebee 3.0 on Sabayon and Gentoo Linux

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Here we are again. Some progresses have been done by the guys working at Bumblebee. Some interesting progresses. With the 3.0 release, they are now able to power off the discrete GPU when not used, allowing your notebook to drain less battery energy and last longer. Last but not least, it won't warm any longer.

The following how to worked for an ASUS X53SC-SX042V notebook powered by a GeForce GT520MX (not the 1215N I used for the previous guide). From now on, please follow this article and not the previous. All the commands are issued in a root shell.

Most of the useful staff was available in the mva overlay. Since I'm on Sabayon Linux, I ported the needed ebuilds to our sabayon overlay. So, for pure Gentoo users, there is a small step to do:

layman -a sabayon

This will download all the stuff you need. From now on, things should be the same for both Sabayon and Gentoo users.


  • layman -S
    Synchronizes all your ebuilds from the Sabayon overlay
  • emerge --sync
    It's good to have also the latest stable version of the Portage tree :)
  • equo install nvidia-drivers libbsd help2man virtual/linux-sources:0 dev-perl/Locale-gettext:0
    This will make things faster for Sabayon user, installing what is needed from binary pre-compiled packages. Pure Gentoo users can skip this step and just rely on the Portage dependency resolution system
  • USE="static-libs pic" emerge libjpeg-turbo::sabayon
    Tells Portage to emerge the libjpeg-turbo package from the sabayon overlay, using the position independent code feature. This would cripple the performances on x86: amd64 version of your operating system is recommended in order to get the best
  • VIDEO_CARDS="nvidia" emerge bumblebee --autounmask-keep-masks
    This will install all Bumblebee, BBSwitch and VirtualGL, configuring them for using the proprietary nVidia drivers
  • now you need to modify the file at /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf, changing "VirtualDisplay=:8" to "VirtualDisplay=:1"
  • add your user to the "bumblebee" group
  • rc-update add bumblebee
    Adds the bumblebee service to your startup
  • reboot
  • That's it! From now on, your nVidia card will be shut down when unused, and you can use it to accelerate your workflow by launching
    optirun commandname
    commandname will run using your nVidia card. I tested it successfully with XMBC and glxgears.

Some final notes.

Please remember that if you switch your kernel, you'll need to install the new sources and to re-emerge bbswitch. Otherwise, it won't work.

As you may note, I  have still not added any space for comments here. However, I opened a thread in the official Sabayon Linux forum: please use it as reference for comments and suggestions.


Enjoy your discrete card :)

The ebuilds in Sabayon overlay have been updated. Now it's no longer required to run USE="static-libs pic" emerge libjpeg-turbo::sabayon (it will actually return an error). Moreover, all this stuff is in Entropy: I wrote a new guide for Sabayon users to install all the required stuff without messing with Portage.