I was planning to migrate from 3D/OpenGl development in windows to Linux, but after reading all this mess that OpenGL on linux is, I am starting to change my mind!! Mesa in not Fast(SW implemented), NVIDIA drivers are not part of the “free world”, DRI sucks and ATI drivers are terrible!! Is there any good, free, hardware accelerated, stable solution for openGL programing in Linux?? How some games can be ported to linux with all these terrible libraries??

I don’t think it’s a fair assessment to say that OpenGL on Linux is a “mess”. I’ve been using OpenGL with Linux for a number of years now. The initial setup is not as simple as for Windows. But, once you get beyond that things go fairly the same.

I’m currently using Red Hat 8.0 with plans to migrate to Fedora and/or Red Hat Enterprise. I do use nVIDIA exclusively for Linux. I also use XFree86 with the standard OpenGL libs rather than Mesa.

When i said a mess I was just exagerating. But don’t u agree that even windows been focused on DirectX, its options, support and performance in OpenGL are superior?? I prefer linux a lot, but in the 3D field i think that there is a lot of ground to conquer…

Isn’t using the Standart OpenGL libraries more complex then usinh GLUT??

Another point is that I am getting out of windows to
linux to escape the comercial stuff, but when I finally decide to start in linux I discover that the
best option is a non free Nvidia driver…

Windows setup is easier and its drivers are usually available sooner. But, I wouldn’t say that it is superior. What specifically are you referring to?

GLUT provides a portable windowing solution for examples – an extension to OpenGL. OpenGL is not tied to any OS or windowing system. Admittedly, it takes a little time to figure out the WGL (Windows extensions to OpenGL) and GLX (X Windows extensions to OpenGL) functions. But, that’s the way you should probably go for anything other than a simple example.

There’s no “cost” for the nVIDIA driver. Do you mean open source? I’ve never had a need to look at or change the driver. I’m not sure why this issue keeps coming up.

You are probably right about GLUT.
Yes I mean open source

There is no cost but there is a more basic and complex concept of ideology in game for me, an open source app in somethink that is developed in cooperation of minds and sharing knolowdge, somethink that improves the level of us all, not some money making app.

man!! U just convinced me to start with linux/openGL without glut!! Do u know any basic literature that may help me??

Thx for helping

Originally posted by evitaerc:
… open source … ideology
My guess is that there are some things in the driver that are proprietary. I’m completely in favor of open source. But, nVIDIA does have to protect critical design information to keep an edge … for making a profit.

Originally posted by evitaerc:
any basic literature that may help me??

You can always search for examples. I can give you a couple of Motif examples to get you started. Do you know Motif, Xt, or some other windowing toolkit? Some have suggested using wxWindows ( – a portable solution that provides Motif/MFC-like GUI features.

For GLX, I originally learned it from Mark Kilgard’s book, OpenGL Programming for the X Window System. It’s a bit dated; but, it’s still a good reference.

I am a newby in linux, so my experience with GTK, Motif is 0… But any tips on what way to follow is very welcome. The wxwidgets seemed very interesting, but is it stable and reliable??

Try the first tutorial over at Be sure to get the GLX source and not the GLUT version. This should get you started, although there is some room for improvement. Also get the xlib manual and ICCCM. Do a search here in the linux section for links. I posted them on a reply a while ago.

wxWidgets is stable and reliable IMO. I used it a while ago. Another thing to try is Qt. Both wxWidgets and Qt come with OpenGL examples that are very easy to follow. Both are nice libraries. Choosing between them is a matter of personal taste. IIRC earlier versions of wxWidgets required a bit more work for me in installing with OpenGL support. Even though I passed it as an option to ./configure, the various configuration files (setup.h?) in the source had it non-configured. I had to manually change it. Easy to do, though, just a pain. At the moment I’m programming MFC apps and wish I could go back to Qt :frowning: . Linux is much nicer to program in IMHO. Only thing is driver support (I’m using an ATI 9700). Features are way behind the Catalyst drivers.

The number of options presented to me is big… Now because of my lack of experience i cannot decide, I think I can use (correct me if im wrong):

GTK + Glx
Motif + Glx
WxWidgets + Glx
Qt + Glx

But i dont know the best features of each GUI lib…
whitch one is the most reliable in working with GLX??

Motif probably has the greatest learning curve because you end up needing to know much of Xt and some of X to be proficient. Motif is essentially built upon Xt which is built upon X.

I’m beginning to look at more portable solutions such as Qt and wxWindows.

Besides portability, you should consider whether or not GUI builders exist. Many exist for Motif … that’s a bonus for anything other than a very simple application.

One final thing to consider are the GUI features provided (e.g. hiearchical widgets, low-level attribute access, usage of OO concepts, etc.).

I am starting with GTK (found a cool tutorial), I have worked with other graphical enviroment in windows, but i never thought that GUIs had this similar way to work.

What do you think about GTK, is it a good choise??

First, I don’t see all you way on this post. Anyway, if you want to stay free, I’m afraid you won’t be able to proffit of the full capabilities of your hardware.


Gtk is a library toolkit that makes windows, buttons, well widgets. You will be able to use Gtk with another library (Gtkglarea or the other one -that seems best but that I always forget its name). you will then have the possibility to make widgets to get your windowing render with OpenGL.

Gtk is more higher level than Windows API that can be related with the XFree libs onto windows. However, it’s pretty much easy to use and understand. More, it will work under Windows too.

Hope this helps.

Do you need a GUI with buttons, checkboxes, etc. and a GL widget or just a simple window to render in? In the first case I’d go with Gtk or Qt depnding on whether you’re into procedural or OO programming. In the second case all you need is glx and Xlib.

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