Switch Between Intel and Nvidia Graphics Card in Ubuntu 16.04

April 18, 2016 — 10 Comments

switch between Intel and Nvidia

For Ubuntu laptops with dual graphics cards, Intel graphics is being used by default. To get the best graphics performance for playing games or charting, you need to manually switch to NVIDIA graphics card.

This can be easily done after installing Nvidia graphics drivers and below steps will show you how:

1. Search for and launch “Additional Drivers” utility from Unity Dash.

additional drivers

2. When it opens, you can see a list of recommended drivers for your graphics cards:


3. Install NVIDIA proprietary driver as it shows by launching terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command:

sudo apt-get install nvidia-361

Replace nvidia-361, or just use nvidia-current instead and keep an eye on the installing process to make sure the installed driver is listed in above picture.


You may also install Intel proprietary driver, which is not required:

sudo apt-get install intel-microcode

4. After installed graphics drivers, re-launch Additional Drivers utility and apply new installed drivers, so it looks like:

additional drivers

5. Finally switch graphics card by launching NVIDIA X Server Settings and select a GPU you want at PRIME Profiles tab.

Switch Graphics Card in Ubuntu

To apply changes, log out and back in.

I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu 5+ years ago and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me on Google Plus or email to ubuntuhandbook1@gmail.com

10 responses to Switch Between Intel and Nvidia Graphics Card in Ubuntu 16.04

  1. will this work on ubuntu gnome 16.04 also?

  2. Hi!
    Is there any way to get tty’s back with 361.42???

  3. The suggestion to install “nvidia-current” caused problems for me. I assumed it would be the equivalent of the latest version, but instead of nvidia-361 it installed nvidia-304, which was not compatible.

  4. Nvidia-current didn’t work out for me either and I’m having the problem that I canot switch from NVidia to Intel GPU, there is just no Prime option available.

    • MacBook Pro 6,1: after ensuring the registers were set using the setpci, I was able to successfully start up 16.04 in EFI using Nvidia-340. However the ability to switch (using PRIME profiles) is not available nor is the ability to access the virtual terminals.

  5. I’m just confused as to why you would use the GUI to check which drivers were in use, but then open up the terminal to install the drivers, rather than using three clicks of the mouse on the screen you are on.

  6. i did as you said its working for me thanks. but the problem was when i open the “nividia server settings” its not showing as yours(last screen short).my nividia graphic card was nividia-340. i’m new to ubuntu so can you guide me how to change the settings in GPU as Nividia mode

  7. I can’t believe I almost went through the painful process of attempting to install prime and setup all the configs! So glad I found this article, thank you! Saved me a lot of time and headache.

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