Why install Mesa?

Dumb question.

Why exactly do so many HOWTOs, etc. have you install Mesa along with OpenGL drivers and Xfree stuff?

What’s missing in X + OpenGL drivers?

There is no OpenGL for linux.By that I mean that there’s no licensed implementation for OpenGL.The implementation for opengl under linux is called(you guessed it)MesaGL or mesa.With X 3.3.6 and before mesa was not part of X so you had to install it seperately but with X 4.0.0 and later mesa is part of X.

That’s mostly true. Some (most?) distros keep X and Mesa seperate so you can update one without affecting the other (Mesa is updated much more frequently than X).

You don’t need Mesa if you use the nvidia drivers…

But you need mesa-devel if you want to do opengl programming

Originally posted by linuxedge:
You don’t need Mesa if you use the nvidia drivers…

With the latest nvidia drivers is headers for OpenGL. It can be convinent to use the nvidia header because the nvidia supported extensions has prototypes in gl.h

You can also get GLU 1.3 as a seperate rpm from the Mesa page. It can be a good idea anyway to get GLUT from Mesa because you only have to link with -lglut

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