Bumblebee and nVidia Display

by pdcurtis

UUID: bumblebee@pdcurtis
Score: 7
Last edited: 1 week ago
Last commit: 575909b957e74e840ac3f49af3c34ec5524ec068

Displays Status of Bumblebee and nVidia GPU Temperature

Bumblebee And NVidia Display Applet (BAND)


The Bumblebee And NVidia Display (Band) Applet is a relatively simple applet I wrote for my Chillblast Defiant laptop which has an Core i7 Haswell architecture and Optimus technology to switch between the integrated Intel 4600 graphics and discrete nVidia GTX 765M graphics. The switching is done by use of Bumblebee. This Applet allows one to monitor whether the power consuming discrete graphics is on and display the GPU temperature, but only when it is enabled. Monitoring the temperature requires the graphics processor to be turned on every time it is measured - some applets do this all the time and that uses a significant extra amount of power.


It is useful to have continuous indication of whether the Discrete Graphics Processor Unit is in use and its temperature which is a concern on some laptops. The latest versions of Cinnamon provide more support so the option of running programs is now less important.


The Right Click (Context menu) gives the ability to easily run the nVidia Settings program without use of the terminal and also the System Monitor and Power Statistics, all useful for monitoring Bumblebee and Power consumption which is paramount when using a laptop on batteries.

The standard Left Click menu provides a configurable list of programs which one can run using the discrete nVidia graphics through Bumblebee - this otherwise requires them to be called through optirun in a terminal or via a modified launcher. This list is configured using the standard applet configuration mechanism. Currently there are two examples - glxspheres64 is a very good test of the speed of the graphics but may need to be installed. The other example is the nVidia Settings program which is also on the right click menu so it can be overwritten. There are 5 'slots' currently and if you do not require a slot set the Display Name to null or leave it completely empty. One can also configure the update rate of the applet in settings.

The current version has improved error checking to ensure bumblebee is loaded and does not fill the error logs with messages when that is the case. It displays a message of ERROR if bumblebee if bumblebee is not loaded and a message when you hover.To Follow


The applet requires at least Cinnamon 1.8 and 2.0 is desirable to access the configuration from within the applet.

The Bumblebee and the nVidia graphics packages obviously need to be installed but no other packages are needed.

glxsheres64 only needs to be installed if you want to use the applet to test the relative performances of the Intel and nVidia graphics processors. glxsheres64 is part of the VirtualGL package which needs to be installed from http://sourceforge.net/projects/virtualgl/files/VirtualGL/ - download the latest version and install using gdebi (should be the default for a right click on the downloaded file). It should run about five times faster when the nVidia GPU is active and is a very good test as to how good your cooling is for both the CPU and nVidia GPU when it is active.

Manual Installation:

  • Make sure Bumblebee is installed and working.
  • Download from the Spices Web Site
  • Unzip and extract folder bumblebee@pdcurtis to ~/.local/share/cinnamon/applets/
  • Install glxspheres64 if required.
  • Enable the applet in System Settings -> Applets
  • You can also access the Settings Screen from System Settings -> Applets or from the Applets Context menu


2 months ago
This Applet should work with Cinnamon 3.2 and retain it's settings during an upgrade from Mint 18 to 18.2 but if you find anything odd first do a completely un-install and reload it. NOTE: It should not and does not display in vertical panels as textual information needs to be displayed in the panel which is not possible with a vertical panel.

Please let me know if you have any problems.

Please also take the time to rate applets - it is important both for new users and to motivate applet writers!
7 months ago
@samdraz Can you confirm it is now OK - temperature script is back to what it was in v20_0.9.8
7 months ago
temperature script need to include "-c :8"
8 months ago
This applet is not required if you are using Nvidia Prime instead of Bumblebee to select between Graphics processors - the optimum solution with the more recent nVidia Drivers. I no longer use it so I am unable to check the changes work although they are identical to those I have made on several other applets. If you have problems let me know please. I have a very simple version for nVidia Prime under development which will provide the nVidia graphics processor temperature but little more.
2 years ago
@richardg I have been using BAND under the Cinnamon 2.4 from romeo for a week or so without seeing any differences. Did it work under 2.2? Do you actually have a very narrow empty icon? If so what do you see if you hover over it and do you have a right click context menu? Can you access the configuration screen from the right click menu or from Cinnamon Settings? And the obvious question, are you sure Bubblebee and the Nvidia drivers all installed and Running correctly as you will not get a full display without them? What nvidia driver version are you using? My system is still on nvidia driver version 331.38 but that should not affect the applet.
2 years ago
Doesn't show an Icon in Cinnamon 2.4.

Looks like it installs (No error messages).

2 years ago
Nice applet, but temperature is empty for me. LM17-64bits with cinnamon, nvidia-331.
3 years ago
I have improved the error checking to ensure bumblebee is loaded and does not fill the error logs with messages when it is not loaded. It now displays ERROR in the panel if bumblebee is not loaded and a message when you hover. I have also slightly changed the timing to allow more time for the nVidia provided program which delivers the temperature to complete which may help terndrup. For information I am still using the 319.60 driver. Thanks for the various comments.
3 years ago
Superb! I was missing this widget from KDE world. Thanks, now I will know whether Supertuxkart is running on Nvidia or not. :-)

3 years ago
I also made a brief tutorial and at the official greek linux mint community. Thanks again for this very useful applet!
3 years ago
Very nice applet. Thanks pdcurtis.
I installed it to my Acer V3-771G and it works without problems.

*terndrup temperature is appeared to me by this applet when GPU is on.
But i installed the newest Nvidia driver following these instructions :

3 years ago
Just tried the applet on my ASUS Zenbook UX32VD running Linux Mint 16 and it works great, though mine doesnt show the temperature of the GPU, when its running a GPU enabled program it just says "GPU C" so Im guessing that temperature string is just empty. Does the temperature display require additional scripts?

Great applet ;)