How to Tell Which Graphics Card is Active in Ubuntu / Linux Mint

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Have both integrated and dedicated graphics cards in your PC? Here’s the quick tip shows you which one is being in use in Ubuntu 22.04 and/or Linux Mint 21.

Many laptops and desktop computers have more than one graphics cards. Linux usually takes use of integrated GPU out-of-the-box. Though, you can always verify which one is active via this quick tutorial.

Single command to check which GPU is active

A Linux command is always the most efficient way to tell the things.

If you don’t hate Linux commands, either search for and open terminal from start menu or press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run command:

glxinfo |grep -e OpenGL.vendor -e OpenGL.renderer

This commands works in most Linux. And, it outputs which GPU is being in use.

OpenGL vendor string: NVIDIA Corporation
OpenGL renderer string: NVIDIA GeForce 940M/PCIe/SSE2

NOTE: If you got glxinfo command not found, install it by running command:

sudo apt install mesa-utils

Verify Graphics via System About dialog

For Ubuntu with the default Gnome Desktop environment, just open “Settings” from system tray menu.

Open Gnome Control Center

When it opens, scroll down and navigate to ‘About‘ page. There’s “Graphics” information shows the current in use GPU.

Not sure if it’s a bug that it shows GPU info twice. But when working in hybrid mode, it will show the both graphics cards (e.g., NVIDA/Intel) in the page.

Other desktop environments may also has about page (e.g., “About Xfce” in XUbuntu) that shows current active graphics card:

Use System profiler and benchmark tool (Hardinfo)

In case you don’t like Linux commands, and your Linux desktop environment does not have about page for the information, try ‘Hardinfo’.

This tool is available in most Linux’s system repositories, including Debian, Ubuntu, Arch Linux, Fedora, openSUSE. Just search for and install it using your system Software App, App Center, or Software Manager.

Once installed, launch the tool and navigate to “Computer -> Display” in left pane, then you’ll see the information about the active GPU via OpenGL section.

Hi, I'm Merilyn Ne, a computer geek working on Ubuntu Linux for many years and would like to write useful tips for beginners. Forgive me for language mistakes. I'm not a native speaker of English.