22.4 OpenGL—3D Configuration
22.4.1 Hardware Support
SUSE® Linux Enterprise includes several OpenGL drivers for 3D hardware support.
Table 22-3 provides an overview.
Table 22-3 Supported 3D Hardware
NVIDIA* Chips: all except some legacy
chipsets (GeForce2 and older)
ATI* Rage 128(Pro)/Radeon (up to 9250)
If you are installing with YaST for the first time, 3D acceleration can be
activated during installation, provided YaST detects 3D support. For
nVidia graphics chips, the nVidia driver must be installed first. To do
this, select the nVidia driver patch in YOU (YaST Online Update). Due to
license restrictions, the nVidia driver is not included in the distribution.
If you update your system instead, the procedure for configuring 3D hardware
support is different. This depends on which OpenGL driver is used. Further
details are provided in the following section.
22.4.2 OpenGL Drivers
The OpenGL drivers nVidia and DRI can be configured easily with SaX2. For
nVidia adapters, the nVidia driver must be installed first. Enter the
command 3Ddiag to check if the configuration for nVidia
or DRI is correct.
For security reasons, only users belonging to the group video are permitted to access the 3D
hardware. Therefore, make sure that all local users are members of this
group. Otherwise, the slow software rendering fallback
of the OpenGL driver is used for OpenGL applications. Use the command
id to check whether the current user belongs to the group
video. If this is not the case,
use YaST to add the user to the group.
22.4.3 The Diagnosis Tool 3Ddiag
The diagnosis tool 3Ddiag allows verification of the 3D configuration in
SUSE Linux. This is a command line tool that must be started in a terminal.
Enter 3Ddiag -h to list possible
options for 3Ddiag.
To verify the X.Org configuration, the tool checks if the packages
needed for 3D support are installed and if the correct OpenGL library and
GLX extension are used. Follow the instructions of 3Ddiag if you receive
failed messages. If everything is correct, you only see done messages on the
22.4.4 OpenGL Test Utilities
For testing OpenGL, the program glxgears and games like
tuxracer and armagetron (packages have
the same names) can be useful. If 3D support has been activated, it should
be possible to play these smoothly on a fairly new computer. Without 3D
support, these games would run very slowly (slideshow effect). Use the
glxinfo command to verify that 3D is active, in which
case the output contains a line with direct rendering:
If the OpenGL 3D test results are negative (the games cannot be smoothly
played), use 3Ddiag to make sure no errors exist in the configuration
(failed messages). If correcting these does not help or if failed messages
have not appeared, take a look at the X.Org log files.
Often, you will find the line DRI is disabled in the
X.Org file /var/log/Xorg.0.log. The exact cause can
only be discovered by closely examining the log file—a task requiring
In such cases, no configuration error exists, because this would have
already been detected by 3Ddiag. Consequently, at this point, the only
choice is to use the software rendering fallback of the DRI driver, which
does not provide 3D hardware support. You should also go without 3D support
if you get OpenGL representation errors or instability. Use SaX2 to disable
3D support completely.
22.4.6 Installation Support
Apart from the software rendering fallback of the DRI
driver, some OpenGL drivers in Linux are still in developmental phases and
are therefore considered experimental. The drivers are included in the
distribution because of the high demand for 3D hardware acceleration in
Linux. Considering the experimental status of some OpenGL drivers, SUSE
cannot offer any installation support for configuring 3D hardware
acceleration or provide any further assistance with related problems. The
basic configuration of the graphical user interface (X Window System) does
not include 3D hardware acceleration configuration. If you experience
problems with 3D hardware acceleration, it is recommended to disable 3D