Howto to get openGL working on Debian (for Google Earth)
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postat de firefly in 2006-10-09 19:26

3D drivers (openGL) have awlays been a source of problem on Linux. A lot of people just don't care, since they don't use there computer to play games. But yesterday, something change this fact: Google released a native version of Google Earth for Linux. Fine, except that I'm unable to get hardware openGL working and Google Earth is really slow, so I decided to fix that. (done on two computers..)

Configure your kernel

Be sure to have AGP (Device drivers->Character device) and DRM (Device drivers ->Graphic drivers) enabled for your card. Now rebuild it using the usual way.. and reboot.

After the boot look at dmesg, you should find something like this:

agpgart: Detected 892K stolen memory.
agpgart: AGP aperture is 128M @ 0xf0000000
[drm] Initialized drm 1.0.1 20051102
[drm] Initialized i915 1.4.0 20060119 on minor 0
[drm] Initialized i915 1.4.0 20060119 on minor 1
(If you have a Dell computer like D400 with Intel 855GM, you need to
choose the i915 driver for DRM, edit the linux/.config since it doesn't appear in common menuconfig)
Install latest xorg
#sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg

Let's go, for a long update... (I'm switching from 6.9 to Xorg 7.0).. I spent a little time to fix some errors here.. but nothing really important.

Install openGL libs:

  • xlibmesa-dri
  • xlibmesa-gl
  • xlibmesa-glu
  • mesa-utils
  • libgl1-mesa-dri
  • libgl1-mesa-glx

Start your Xserver, and look in /var/log/Xorg.0.log, you should fine stuff like this:

(II) I810(0): [drm] created "i915" driver at busid "pci:0000:00:02.0"
(II) I810(0): [drm] added 8192 byte SAREA at 0xe0b2f000

So we can test check with glxinfo

display: :0  screen: 0
direct rendering: Yes
server glx vendor string: SGI
server glx version string: 1.2

Be sure to have direct rendering ok.. if this is ok, .. you can start glxgears - printfps ... and Google Earth :) ..


Some users have some trouble w/ DRI not working with strange messages ( sizeof(I830DRIRec) does not match ...), or strange display updates (out of syncr windows .. ). This seems to be bugs in Mesa, you can try the latest experimental (which fix all issues for me). Simply install this packages:

  • libgl1-mesa-dri_6.5.0.cvs
  • libglu1-mesa_6.5.0.cvs
  • libgl1-mesa-glx_6.5.0.cvs


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