Ubuntu 17.10+ — Setting Laptop Video Card as Default

I found a great article on setting up Ubuntu to utilize your laptop’s built in graphics card, rather than the built in INTEL CPU/GPU.

First off, check your current settings by running.
glxinfo|egrep "OpenGL vendor|OpenGL renderer*"

That should result in the following result:
mptz@mptz-laptop:~$ glxinfo|egrep "OpenGL vendor|OpenGL renderer*"
OpenGL vendor string: NVIDIA Corporation
OpenGL renderer string: GeForce GT 745M/PCIe/SSE2

This shows I’ve set my video card settings for the internal graphics card.

I got this working using this article:

They recommend checking your video card settings using the following command.
lspci -k | grep -A 2 -i "VGA"

Lspci will give the details on the current hardware settings, so this is a great place to verify. There is also a GUI location you can check, which is in System Settings, under details. It will show you all the current hardware specs on your laptop/computer.

Let’s check the available device drivers within the Ubuntu GUI. Goto Software & Updates, under the Additional Drivers tab. You’ll see a number additional drivers, and the default will likely be set to Using X.Org X server.
sudo ubuntu-drivers devices

This will give use the result of which drivers are recommended for our video card, it’s pretty much the same order as the GUI with the most recommended at the top of the list.

Choose the recommended driver and hit apply changes in the GUI and it will automatically install and configure it.

If you don’t have NVidea-settings install it,
sudo apt install nvidia-settings

Once your driver is setup, you can open nvidia-settings and view your current video card settings under PRIME Profiles.

To confirm you can check the GUI under System Settings and Details again, or run the first commands we ran again. You should see a new default in place.
glxinfo|egrep "OpenGL vendor|OpenGL renderer*"

lspci -k | grep -A 2 -i "VGA"

I found that constantly running on the GPU caused the laptop to get a lot hotter and use a LOT more battery that normal. I recommend manually swapping between the video card settings before and after graphic intense tasks.

Enable built in CPU/GPU.
sudo prime-select intel
Enable video card.
sudo prime-select nvidia

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