Setting up the Nvidia Driver and Optimus Manager

2 minute read


Step 1: Installing the Nvidia Driver and Optimus Manager Packages

Before we begin, be sure to check if the desktop manager (or DM) you use is supported. This information can be found here.

Install the proper nvidia driver and utilities with the following command:

$ sudo pacman -S nvidia nvidia-utils lib32-nvidia-utils lib32-nvidia-libgl

If you are unable to install lib32-nvidia-utils or lib32-nvidia-libgl, don’t worry as these may not be required unless you plan on using Steam.

Once the driver packages are done installing, you can install the optimus-manager package from the AUR. To do this, you can use an AUR helper. If you don’t have one already, I would recommend yay. So, I install the package with this command:

$ yay -S optimus-manager

Step 2: Configuring the Driver

Be sure to remove any previous Xorg configurations, you may have stored in /etc/X11 as these may interfere with Optimus Manager.

Copy the default configuration file to /etc/optimus-manager/optimus-manager.conf with this command:

$ sudo cp /usr/share/optimus-manager.conf /etc/optimus-manager/optimus-manager.conf

Then open the new file in your favorite text editor:

$ sudo vim /etc/optimus-manager/optimus-manager.conf

You can set whatever options you would like here, just make sure to set startup_mode=nvidia or startup_mode=auto if you plan on using GPU switching.

If you are not using a DM, be sure to put the following line into your ~/.xinitrc file near the top:

xrandr --setprovideroutputsource modesetting NVIDIA-0

If you did not set the DPI option in optimus-manager.conf, then add the following line after the previous one in the same file:

xrandr --dpi 96

Step 3: Starting Optimus Manager

Now that you have the drivers installed and Optimus Manager configured, you need to enable the Optimus Manager service and start it. You can do this with the following commands:

$ sudo systemctl enable optimus-manager.service
$ sudo systemctl start optimus-manager.service

Now that the service is running and set to run on startup, the driver should be setup and ready to go. If you are in a graphical session, you may have to reboot.

Once you have rebooted, you can check if the driver is running with the command:

$ sudo lspci -v | grep -i "nvidia"

You should see the following in the output:

Kernel driver in use: nvidia

If you do not see this, then be sure to checkout the links below to troubleshoot the problems.


Your system should now be using your Nvidia GPU. You will likely notice a major increase in performance upon rebooting. I hope this post was helpful.


GitHub: Askannz/optimus-manager

Manjaro Wiki: Optimus Manager

Arch Wiki: NVIDIA

Arch Wiki: NVIDIA Optimus

Arch Wiki: #Tearing/Broken VSync