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View Full Version : Deploying an OpenGL App on Linux - drivers seem nightmarish



Michael Brian Bentley
01-10-2006, 10:06 AM
It looks as tho deploying an app that uses OpenGL on Linux requires that we provide the details about how to install OpenGL on Linux, in particular how one needs to track down and install the relevant drivers for the customer's video hardware. Since the details vary from system to system, and the results are certainly going to vary, I wonder if there's an example install for any Linux-based app out there that does a wonderful job of making things happen in this regard. It seems untenable to not have a single place to look for everyone's relevant drivers, and to have an OpenGL installer that installs the right drivers.

We're currently implementing a plain old X11 graphics module for now because the OpenGL situation on Linux may not be supportable. Do the powers that be in OpenGL think that the current arrangement is a good one? Why does Red Hat think that installing the Mesa software drivers by default adequately solves the install process with any kind of competitive edge?

If our customers have to do any manual legwork to find and install drivers, it means that we will wind up doing the driver installs for them.

-Michael Brian Bentley

jide
01-10-2006, 01:09 PM
Why wanting to tell your users how to install drivers ? Is that the way under Windows ? They should really do that on their own, that's only what I think.

I guess you won't be able to install the drivers for your customers: they depend directly on the kernel version and other things.

Linux is not Windows. So, expected linux users are not the same as the windows users, this turns out.

One of the main words about linux is configurability. That's why you generally have to do more things than a simple 'click and reboot' for installing drivers. I think they still avoid users to do their own configurations (so filling all necessary files with good values) but not letting the users do that on their own is, I think, just lacks of respect regarding to the users.

Actually, as far as I know from that, only Nvidia gives quiete proper good drivers installers (even if it seems ATI tries to do the same, they seem not so easy to install).
Installing nvidia drivers is just a matter of a couple of seconds, you don't need to restart your system... I'm pretty sure it will be the same for ATI one day or another.

Redhat, fedora, debian... are linux distributions, they might provide non free drivers but they will generally all install Mesa which is a free version of GL. They do not think that it solves the installation process of proprietary drivers. What you said is non-sense.

If you implement 'a plain old X11 graphics module' for replacing your GL one, this means, to my point of view, that proprietary drivers are not so important: Mesa should suffice and still gives some acceleration depending on the hardware.