GNOME Adds Bit To Launcher Files For Indicating Apps That Should Run On Discrete GPUs

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 4 May 2020 at 12:12 PM EDT. 25 Comments
The GNOME Shell has long provided the ability for easily launching applications on alternative GPUs namely for multi-GPU/Optimus-type setups especially with the increasing number of laptops having both integrated and discrete graphics. GNOME is now introducing an addition to .desktop files so applications can specify if they should run on the dedicated GPU if available.

GNOME developers have introduced a new PrefersNonDefaultGPU entry key to the .desktop file specification for launching programs. This allows for automatically launching the application on discrete GPUs for PRIME-enabled setups. This is basically a hint for the shell to activate running the GPU on the dGPU rather than the user having to right click on the application and opt for launching on the alternative GPU. For those with single GPU systems, this new option will have no impact on you.

Now it's a matter of seeing how many applications begin making use of this PrefersNonDefaultGPU option for improving the multi-GPU/PRIME experience.

Across several commits today the support was merged to the GNOME Shell. This blog post further describes this PrefersNonDefaultGPU addition.
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