Linux OpenGL support

Hi all,

I want to program and use OpenGL under my favourite platform, Linux. Do I have to go and download Mesa? Doesn’t Linux directly support OpenGL. Also, there are many Linux games wich require OpenGL.How are these going to play???


Mesa is only the software implementation of OpenGL. It should be part of every decent Linux distribution, so yes, Linux supports OpenGL directly (without having to install anything extra), but I wouldn’t recommend using it.

Like on windows the hardware implementation comes with the drivers of the graphic card, at least ATI and NVIDIA provide Linux drivers for their cards. I have no experience with ATI on Linux, but the NVIDIA drivers work without problems…

What graphics card do you use? Which Linux distribution?
If it’s an Nvidia card just download their binary drivers and use them.
If it’s a new ATI card (Radeons 9500 or better) you probably want to use the drivers ATi provides.
For all other cases like older Radeons, Intel integrated graphics and so on the free DRI drivers seem to be the best choice.
Mesa serves both as a framework for OpenGL drivers and as a software-rendering fallback.

My card is an Nvidia TNT2 and my distro is Debian Woody v.3 kernel 2.4.18. I know about the drivers, but if I want to code OpenGL under Linux, what do I need? Could I just take the gl.h & glu.h from Windows and use them in Linux?

Thanks! :slight_smile:

nope. the windows headers are not portable to linux.

just download and install the driver from nvidia. you’ll find all header files in /usr/share/doc/NVIDIA_GLX-1.0/include/GL

Thank you!!! Really useful your advices! :smiley:

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