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Cura AppImage with NVIDIA Optimus under Ubuntu / Linux Mint

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Below is a workaround for running Cura under Ubuntu / Linux Mint on laptops with with NVIDIA Optimus (hybrid Intel and NVIDIA graphics).

 

My laptop's gen 4 Intel CPU only supports OpenGL 3.3, at least under Linux Mint Mate 18.3 (based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS) which means Cura defaults to the "Compatibility Mode" layer view.  I tried several MESA versions including the native Ubuntu repository and various PPA's including oibaf-graphics-drivers with no success.  I have not tried running Cura under Ubuntu Mate 18.04, so it's possible the newer distro supports OpenGL 4.x for my older CPU.

 

If you have a newer generation Intel CPU that supports OpenGL 4.x, there is no need for this workaround unless you want Cura to run under your NVIDIA card.

To check your OpenGL version: glxinfo | grep -i version

NVIDIA Optimus OpenGL version: optirun glxinfo | grep -i version

 

The workaround is to extract the AppImage and modify cura.sh to run with "optirun".

 

Example: Cura-3.2.1.AppImage

sudo mkdir /mnt/Cura
sudo mount -o loop ./Cura-3.2.1.AppImage /mnt/Cura
sudo mkdir /opt/Cura/Cura-3.2.1
sudo cp -a /mnt/Cura/* /opt/Cura/Cura-3.2.1

sudo umount /mnt/Cura

 
sudo nano /opt/Cura/Cura-3.2.1/usr/bin/cura.sh
Change the line:
cura $@
to:
optirun -b primus cura $@
Ctrl+x and Enter to save the file
 
Note: “optirun cura $@" runs Cura but the drop-down menus do not work correctly without "-b primus".

To run the extracted AppImage:
/opt/Cura/Cura-3.2.1/AppRun
 
For this to work, you need NVIDIA drivers and bumblebee. The clearest instructions I have found for installing bumblebee are here: http://lenovolinux.blogspot.com.au/
I am using the following:
nvidia-384 and supporting libraries from https://launchpad.net/~graphics-drivers/+archive/ubuntu/ppa
bumblebee, primus, and virtualgl from https://launchpad.net/~bumblebee/+archive/ubuntu/testing
intel, mesa, and supporting libraries from https://launchpad.net/~oibaf/+archive/ubuntu/graphics-drivers
 
 

 

 

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