SUSE Linux includes several OpenGL drivers for 3D hardware support. Table 14.3, “Supported 3D Hardware” provides an overview.
Table 14.3. 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.
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.
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.
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 screen.
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
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.
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.
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
For information, refer to the README files in
/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/doc. Find more information about nvidia
driver installation at