The Dell XPS L502x is a hybrid graphics portable from few years back (2011?). It came with Windows 7 by default and as we all know Optimus technology (switching between the low-end Intel HD3000 graphics engine and mid-end NVIDIA GeForce engine) is working more or less flawless on the Windows OS. On Linux however things have not been so great, users had to fiddle around with the Bumblebee package which eventually would or wouldn’t work, plus if you wanted to use the power profile one had to run the application by adding the ‘optirun’ command (ex: optirun glxspheres).
More recently NVIDIA has done some improvement on their behalf into supporting Optimus by deploying the nvidia-prime package. And as of Ubuntu 14.04 this is also available in the LTS release, however in my experience it was not working… Running the ‘nvidia-settings’ command gave me a “PRIME: is it supported? no”-message. So how did I fix it?
Well first open “Software & updates”, go to the last tab that is about hardware drivers and install the Nouveau display driver. Newt open a terminal and run following commands:
sudo apt-get purge bumblebee*
sudo apt-get purge nvidia-*
Now reboot. When you’re logged in again, open the same drivers tab of the “Software & updates” window you’ve opened previously, and now again install the NVIDIA binary driver (nvidia-331-updates). Afterwards check if all necessary packages have been uinstalled, so run following commands:
sudo apt-get install nvidia-settings
sudo apt-get install nvidia-prime
If all went well during the driver install running both these commands should not install any extra packages. Now reboot again. When logged again, run again ‘nvidia-settings’ in a terminal, now you should see the following message: “PRIME: is it supported? yes”.