Hardware/ platform support


I have a laptop with a crappy Intel GMA965 graphics card. According to OpenGL Extensions Viewer my drivers support OpenGL 2.0 and GLSL 1.10. I would think
that would be sufficient to run some basic demos in Chromium, but alas.

I get a ‘this demo requires a WebGL-enabled browser’ message. Well, this message is confusing because it suggests the browser is the problem, but it seems to
me my hardware is (or, to be more specific, Intel’s lazyness). Other demos give a more specific error like ‘OpenGL context not found’.

I haven’t been able to find exactly what is required in terms of hardware/ drivers (well OpenGL 2.0 ES but what does that mean if utilities report OpenGL and
GLSL support only?).

Any ideas appreciated!



You need at least OpenGL 2.1, I believe. You’re right, the error message is unhelpful.

On the plus side, Google’s ANGLE project aims to get rid of the dependency on having reasonably up-to-date OpenGL support in your graphics drivers, by making WebGL run on top of Direct3D. So hopefully that will be live in Chromium sometime in the non-too-distant future.



Thank you Giles. It’s time I upgraded my hardware.

I agree ANGLE could be a boost for WebGL adoption, especially because users will be required to a) have a compliant browser (don’t get me wrong, I dislike the direction
MS is taking but I guess it could be expected, and a lot of people are using IE) and b) have compatible drivers (which will be a big ask given Intel’s reputation for lousy
OpenGL support). Especially the latter could potentially leave a lot of people in the cold because all these netbooks used for browsing the web have Intel graphics (well,
a lot of them anyway). So as a developer you may lose a lot of potential users because you may be able to convince a user to install a vastly superior browser but
a new graphics card, well… but I guess that is the way of the world.

For me I’m probably going to get a machine with a card that has proper OpenGL support anyway because I am sick of it :).

I hope you keep up work on your website because it’s great (Learning WebGL).

Absolutely. If ANGLE works out and Chromium (and perhaps Minefield?) use it to support WebGL via DirectX, then once WebGL hits the production versions of the browsers, we can assume that anyone who’s updated their browser recently will have it. For Chrome users, this will happen almost right away, as it updates automatically. Firefox tend to strongly promote new versions, so we can expect pretty rapid uptake there too. IE users will be the only ones left out in the cold, so perhaps we’ll wind up putting in code that checks for a WebGL context, and if it can’t find it, displays text saying something like “It looks like your browser doesn’t support WebGL. To see the 3D graphics on this page, you need to install the latest version of Firefox or Chrome. If you’re happy with Internet Explorer and don’t want to move, you might want to consider installing Chrome Frame so that you can see this page, and other pages using the latest web standards: http://code.google.com/chrome/chromeframe/

Thanks! I’m very busy in my day job at the moment, but will be writing up lesson 16 very soon. Lesson 17 is already in the planning stage.