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Old 02-27-07, 03:57 PM   #1
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Question Hardware openGL without X

Would it be theoretically possible to use hardware accelerated openGL without X? I would love to be able to write an app that links against nvidia's openGL and launch from the command line on a system that doesn't have X or GLX. I know Linux has direct frame buffer support, but that doesn't have hardware accelerated openGL, right?

Is this possible, or would nvidia have to release a new set of drivers for this?

If it is possible, how would I get started?
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Old 02-27-07, 06:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hardware openGL without X

IIRC this was discussed here some time ago - answer was there are no plans for that.
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Old 02-27-07, 06:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hardware openGL without X

There are some threads about this on www.opengl.org discussion boards.

As far as I know it is possible only with the software drivers (MESA). Theoretically it may be possible to do it even with the official hw-accelerated drivers, however you will still need to lanch some x server for your app each time you start it (it can be only some limited version of the x server specialy built for your app). Solution without x is not possible since the official drivers need a valid x context for rendering.

Maybe it will be possible in future by using unofficial hw accelerated drivers (http://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/)
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Old 04-08-07, 07:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hardware openGL without X

yes, its possible...

you would think, there should 1st be graphic drivers with which then you build windowing system like X, but no... instead, you have X that is requisite for using OpenGL and it rather stands on the way...

i believe this is what you looking for:

myOS - Linux based OpenGL development system without X

Minimalistic GNU/Linux system, stripped down of everything, but core necessary files to compile and run OpenGL/C code. It has simplified directory structure and cleaned up internal cross referencing. Programs compiled in myOS will run on any Linux with or without X.

Copy of the OpenGL Red Book is included, together with 45 examples from the book. Examples are organized by chapters, each in separate folder, ready to compile, run and play with. Source code is modified to use Scitech drivers and is very similar to GLUT version in the Red Book. This little collection is really all one needs to learn OpenGL. In fact the whole system being very simple to use or analyze and understand, can be a tool to teach Linux basics and C/OpenGL programming.


>"..write an app that links against nvidia's openGL and..."

"unfortunately" i use scitech drivers
(no full hw support, but still pretty good considering all the supported cards and setup free installation)

not nvida drivers,
nvida only make drivers for X, even worse thats limited to particular distros, specific configurations...

i dont see reason, dont understand, or for that matter, im completly confused why they dont make drivers for low-level Linux, like scitech??!, so we could build windowing system on top of OpenGL that will surely be faster, smaller and therefore better "new X" thingy, with all that Vista, Beryl, Compiz - 3d cube, trasparency and rubbery windows stuff being easy to program and come natural to windowing API

when/if they do decide to "transfer" they drivers to lower-level and free them of X dependency, its good to know we will have complete development system built with it in only 12Mb (or less)


other "OpenGL without X" drivers/projects:
* fbdev/DRI drivers from the mesa3d project
* directFB
* GGI/libGGI
* Scitech SNAP/MGL


i found scitech's drivers only working solution for "without X",
the rest is to big, too many dependencies, discontinued, hard to compile...
they are all based on Mesa (until nvidia helps)
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Old 04-09-07, 09:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Hardware openGL without X

First of all, nothing is going to replace X, because of all the X apps.

But besides of that - the snap-drivers are dead.

If you can read german:

in short: development of the snap drivers was stopped.

Btw, I hated the scitech snap drivers...
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Old 04-10-07, 01:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: Hardware openGL without X

Whose/what question you answering?

since you do not seem to answer any question, or ask any,
i guess, then, you're talking to me..

this is the question and what this should be about:
"Would it be theoretically possible to use hardware accelerated openGL without X?"

answer is - YES,
unfortunately not with nvidia drivers, which means no full hw accel.
but, you can still do a lot, chek out demos in myOS (12.8Mb), like gears, gears2, sharks(atlantis)... and notice the FPS

my questions, between the lines, were these:

>would it not be crazy if you had to, say... install MS Word just so you can have keyboard support and be able to type in command prompt?!


>why i need X just to use my GeForce?

* can nvidia, please, make(convert exisiting) drivers for low-level Linux?
* or let me or anyone else do that?
* why not?
* is it 'too' hard?
* is it, somehow, not economical company decision?
* do they not have time, money?
* who would not benefit?
* have they not thought of it?

but, really
build 'X'-like windowing system with OpenGL, as you normally would any other graphic app.
...just look Compiz and Beryl struggling to grab hold of OpenGL in X, is it not only natural that your window manager is OpenGL program that needs not to sweat, blink and freeze just to move few bitmaps(windows) around the desktop?

* WOULD IT NOT BE EASIER then "bundling" drivers with X?


>"First of all, nothing is going to replace X, because of all the X apps."
-not relevant, "..OpenGL without X?" was question, replacing X is not important until, but there is a whole point - cant replace X if i need X in the 1st place to use OpenGL... all those X apps could only benefit with smaller size and greater speed if managed with anything even similar to OpenGL API

>"But besides of that - the snap-drivers are dead."
-"dead", what that means? what lives - dies, drivers stop working
"snap-drivers work", is more correct statement
all the drivers source code and supporting API documentation is available on their site and even more OpenGL and other demos including game DOOM, everything working quite nicely and WITH SOURCE CODE

what drivers are "alive"?
what drivers do you suggest?
(i've tried them all, as far as i know)

>"If you can read german..."
>"in short: development of the snap drivers was stopped."
-huh? whats your agenda? i spoke to Scitech's GM, they are selling SNAP/MGL technology, drivers are of HIGH standard and were not free because they are good and had they market, just recently they went GPL and released source code, "core" development was stopped probably some time ago, but only because it WORKED! and with the time they only had to include new hardware support, or new extensions and graphic specifications, but that was limited, of course, with information that does not go out of nvidia or ati doors, considering all that, long list of supported hardware and the performance of scitech drivers is quite amazing!

these are not just graphic drivers, but complete i/o, interrupt and other device drivers, ALL you need to build complete OS or app like X.

do you want me, or others not to use scitech drivers for some reason?

what drivers do you suggest?

i dont work for scitech, i love my nvidia (winXP) cards, and apprecite their efforts to help developer community and other stuff, and i wish their Linux drivers are not dependant of X ...or MS Windows for that matter! look, scitech does this for DOS as well, and its even more complete, and hw accelerated, is it not great that you can deploy your OpenGL app on a Live CD or USB with minimal OS to run them, and many other things you can do with compact system..
more here: http://one.xthost.info/zelko/opengl.html

its simple,
if you want "OpenGL without X" and manage to do it with anything but scitech, especially nvidia drivers, please let me know!

>"Btw, I hated the scitech snap drivers..."
-ok, i see you're angry there... but, what drivers do you suggest?

please, what say you?
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