Home Pop!_OS Switching Graphics in Pop!_OS (GUI, command-line ways)

Switching Graphics in Pop!_OS (GUI, command-line ways)

by Kiran Kumar
Published: Updated:
hybrid graphics pop!_os

Pop!_OS 20.04 was released recently with a slew of features matching the tune of the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS launch! Based on Ubuntu 20.04 “Focal Fossa,” Pop!_OS 20.04 comes with several significant features that we discussed in detail in our featured article. Today, I will talk in detail about one of the features I loved in this release  – the Graphics Switcher.

Switching Graphics in Pop!_OS

Pop!_OS 20.04 comes built-in with the “system76-power package“, which includes the ability to switch between Intel, NVIDIA, and Hybrid graphics modes. These options can be quickly accessed from the “Power” menu on the desktop’s top right corner.

Hybrid Graphics Mode

Power Options Menu showing Graphics modes

Integrated, NVIDIA, and Hybrid Graphics

These modes are useful when your laptop has a dedicated NVIDIA graphics card and Intel’s integrated graphics. I’m referring to “Laptop” here because these modes are added to get the best battery juice while on the move. If your laptop is plugged into a power source all the time, the switcher tool is not helpful to you. You are better off running the laptop using dedicated NVIDIA graphics to get the best performance.

If your laptop’s usage is not resource-intensive all the time, you can use the “Integrated Graphics,” which gives a lower graphical performance but longer battery life. NVIDIA Graphics mode uses dedicated graphics 100% of the time, draining the battery much faster. A hybrid set is introduced to get the best out of both worlds. While in this mode, your PC will automatically utilize the NVIDIA performance on demand, for instance, when you run a graphics-intensive app like a game. At other times, the system uses onboard Intel graphics. Every time you switch between the three modes, you must restart the system for the new settings to take effect.

Command-line way

For the Terminal dwellers or those not using GNOME DE, there is an option to switch the graphics by command line too. Launch the Terminal and enter the following command first to see the graphics mode the system is currently using:

sudo system76-power graphics

In my case, I’m on the Integrated Graphics, so it displayed ‘Intel.’



If you want to switch to NVIDIA graphics, I first suggest saving and closing all the applications you are running with only the Terminal open, and then fire the following command:

sudo system76-power graphics nvidia
The system doesn’t provide any feedback if the switch was successful. To ensure I used the graphics command, I still see that the system is using the onboard graphics.
Terminal - changing modes

Terminal-changing modes

Like in the GUI mode, you need to restart your computer to apply the new settings.


After the reboot, I noticed that NVIDIA graphics mode was enabled.

Terminal - After Reboot

Terminal – After Reboot

Similarly, for switching to Intel Graphics, use the command,

sudo system76-power graphics intel

followed by the reboot command.


And for Hybrid Graphics, use

sudo system76-power graphics hybrid

followed by the reboot command.


Of course, you can use the help command to see the options:

system76-power help
Command Options

Command Options


That’s all about utilizing the Graphics selector as per your need to get the best battery life from your laptop. I use it all the time on my test laptop, enabling the NVIDIA mode while running Virtual machines and editing multimedia. Integrated graphics is my friend for the rest of the time.

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Gagan May 19, 2020 - 11:26 AM

I’m trying to switching graphics in pop os
Buy I’m getting error as # daemon returned an error message :”does not have switchable graphics”

Here's a Cookie November 20, 2020 - 7:39 PM

How to get this on any laptop running Ubuntu 20.10?

Elias Jachniuk December 20, 2020 - 4:39 PM

i’ve made a fork of linux mint’s nvidia prime applet and changed it to work with pop-os, it should be useful if you like pop-os but not so much gnome desktop


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