Hello, (forgive me for cross-posting)
Here at Boeing we are beginning to write/port codes that use OpenGL on our Dell high-end dual-processor Xeon PCs running Redhat E3 WS, pre-installed by Dell. I have on my machine an NVidia Quadro FX3400, using Dell’s repackaged Nvidia driver.
Writng OpenGL apps with PCs running Linux (as opposed to SGI workstations) is new to us and we’re having trouble getting things off the ground. We’ve had problems with the Nvidia drivers in general, but also are trying to decide which implementation of OpenGL to use. Currently we have only Mesa up and running.
However, Mesa does not support several extensions that we desire (shading language in particular) and have also been told that it is not a suitable implementation for serious graphics applications. We are looking for alternatives.
It is my understanding that there is an Nvidia implementation of OpenGL that is either freely available in general, or that should be freely available to us since we have purchased Nvidia graphics cards.
We cannot seem to find out whether or not this information is true, and if so, where to find and how to install NVidia’s implementation of OpenGL.
I read on a very old Linux-how-to that the OpenGL libraries are included with the drivers to the graphics cards. The libraries we have loaded now are those from Mesa. I believe the OpenGL libraries in both implementations have the same name and location, so installing one will overwrite the other.
One source of confusion is that there seems to be multiple linux/nvidia drivers available, one that comes straight from Nvidia, another that has been repackaged and provided by Dell, and yet another that is provided by Redhat.
Dell says do NOT download and install the driver directly from Nvidia’s website. If we cannot do this, how can the NVidia OpenGL libraries be loaded?
Because of other non-related problems, we have tried using both the packaged version of the provided by Dell and the one provided by Redhat. Apparently, there have been problems with both. I have seen these two drivers referred to as “nv” and “nvidia”, although I must admit that I am confused as to which they refer to.
We haven’t been able to get support from either Redhat or Dell as both point us towards the other. We have not been able to get support from NVidia either.
(more general question)
We are attempting to make our software as portable as possible, and are contemplating requiring our users to run a conformant version of OpenGL (1.5 + extensions or 2.0?) and then writing our graphics software such that anyone with such an implementation should be able to, in theory, run our software, perhaps even under Windows. We wish to avoid writing any code that would require users to have Nvidia graphics cards in their machines. Is this a reasonable strategy, and if so, are there any pitfalls that we should try and avoid? We understand that we need to avoid proprietary extensions and use only the ARB extensions.
If at all possible, we would like to take advantage of the new vertex/fragment shading capabilities, but are concerned that this technology is too cutting edge. The software is due to be released in roughly 6 months.
I also have read something indicating that NVidia’s OpenGL Implementation does not include the GLUT (and possibly GLU, although I believe it is bundled with GL) libraries. If this is true, can GLUT be loaded on top of the NVidia GL libraries?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.