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Article ID: 1311 - Last Modified: June 3, 2011

How do I use the hardware-accelerated OpenGL graphics capability of my NVIDIA video card under Linux?

First, ensure that the proprietary NVIDIA graphics driver is installed. This driver provides hardware-accelerated OpenGL support, which may not be provided by other drivers. The NVIDIA driver is available from NVIDIA's website:

http://www.nvidia.com

If you are unsure about whether or not the driver is loaded, use the following command to check:

/sbin/lsmod | grep nvidia

which should return a single line of output, similar to the following:

nvidia 4092208 18

If no is output is returned, then the driver is not loaded and may need to be installed. If you are certain that you have installed the driver, then you may need to use the nvidia-xconfig utility to configure the X server, and then reboot the machine.

Once the driver is loaded, you should confirm that OpenGL support is enabled using the following command:

xdpyinfo | grep GLX

which should return:

GLX
NV-GLX

If this fails, then the nvidia-xconfig utility can be run without arguments to add OpenGL support. A restart of the X server may be required.

Further information about the nvidia-xconfig utility is available in the man page:

man nvidia-xconfig

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