Linux Gaming: Overclock your Nvidia GPU on Linux with GreenWithEnvy

Overclocking your Nvidia card on Linux used to be a nightmare. There was lots of different commands you had to type into the terminal, and there was no easy way to monitor your temperature and fan speeds. Thanks to Roberto Leinardi’s program GreenWithEnvy, you can now overclock with a simple, clean GUI.

Getting Started

The easiest way to install GreenWithEnvy is with Flatpak. To avoid getting too technical, Flatpak is a way of distributing software that works on all Linux distributions. If Flatpak is not already installed on your system, check out Flatpack’s install guide for your distro here.

The easiest and most Linux-y way to install the GreenWithEnvy Flatpak is on the command line. Open up a terminal window and type:

flatpak install flathub com.leinardi.gwe

You’ll see something like this asking you to confirm the installation and informing you it is also downloading and installing the necessary dependencies to allow GreenWithEnvy to run.

 Type “y” and let the installer do its thing.

For those newer to Linux coming from Windows, you might be more comfortable going to Flathub directly in your browser and downloading an installer. Go to https://flathub.org/apps/details/com.leinardi.gwe, click “Install,” and download and run the installer.

In the future, to update GreenWithEnvy, just open up a terminal window and type:

flatpak update

If any of this is confusing, you can go to GreenWithEnvy’s site and read their official install guide here.

Working With Green With Envy

When you open up the program, you’ll see something like this:


GreenWithEnvy right out of the box on my 1060 card

On the upper left hand side, you can see basic information about your card – the model, the driver, memory usage, and the UUID (a unique identifier Linux uses to keep track of your GPU). Below that is information on your card’s power consumption. You can see how many watts your card is currently drawing, as well as the current, maximum, and default power limit. You can increase the power limit to allow your card to draw more power if it needs to by moving the slider and then clicking “Apply.”

For my card, the default power is 120 watts, and I can increase it up to 140. This will allow your card to get the power it needs when you start overclocking. Note that you can also decrease the power limit, preventing the card from drawing more power, but I highly recommend you not do this unless you know explicitly what you’re doing. Otherwise, you’ll experience slowdown and performance hits. On the upper right hand side, you can monitor the card’s current temperature, slowdown and shutdown temperature, and fan speed and usage.

All this data is well and good, but how do we overclock?  You’ll see on the bottom left and right some grayed out values for your clock speeds and fan temperatures. To access these, you’ll first have to set a Coolbits value. This is a special, unsupported setting that unlocks various overclocking features on your Nvidia card. The easiest way to enable is to open up your terminal and type:


sudo nvidia-xconfig --cool-bits=12

Enter your password, and then you should see something like this image. Now, restart your computer, and open up GreenWithEnvy. You’ll see the overclocking and fan profile sections are enabled.

A note for those using (my personal favorite distro) Manjaro: Manjaro reads its xorg configuration file from a different directory, so running nvidia-xconfig like this won’t work. You’ll need to modify the command to point to the correct location like so:

sudo nvidia-xconfig -c /etc/X11/mhwd.d/nvidia.conf --cool-bits=12

For more detailed explanation on what various Coolbits values enable, check out Nvidia’s documentation here.

Overclocking and Fan Control

Now that Coolbits is enabled, we can start to overclock. A warning: be careful – any overclocking can cause unexpected crashes, and even hardware failure. Always make small adjustments, and double check to make sure things are stable.

The fan control is relatively straightforward. You click the dropdown menu, select “add new profile,” and then adjust the profile as you see fit, setting the duty cycle for the fan when it hits certain temperatures. You can create different profiles and activate them by selecting the one you want and clicking the “Apply” button.

When it comes to overclocking, you can adjust both the GPU clock and the memory clock. Just like with the fan, you can create and save multiple profiles.

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