3D Graphic Cards

Introduction to 3D Video Acceleration

Most video hardware should work automatically with Ubuntu. With some types of video hardware, 3D acceleration (which is needed by some games) is not supported automatically, but you may be able to fix this yourself.

To find out whether 3D acceleration is working, enter in a terminal:

glxinfo | grep rendering

If 3D acceleration is working, the result will be:

direct rendering: Yes

If not, follow these instructions to activate 3D acceleration.

3D Nvidia Video Card Driver

No Nvidia Video cards have 3D acceleration enabled automatically with Ubuntu, because the manufacturer does not release open source drivers. However, it is possible to activate 3D acceleration. The process depends on which type of video card you have.

To set up the new driver, enter in a terminal:

sudo nvidia-glx-config enable 

You can adjust the settings of the new drivers by running nvidia-settings (see the run application manual for help on how to run an application without using the menu). If you wish, add a menu entry for this program (see the menu editor manual for help on how to add menu entries).

3D ATI Video Card Driver

Many ATI video cards work well with Ubuntu automatically. To check that 3D acceleration works with your card, see the section called “Introduction to 3D Video Acceleration”.

If it doesn’t work:

  1. Install the xorg-driver-fglrx package from the “Restricted” repository (see Chapter 3, Adding, Removing and Updating Applications).

  2. To set up the new driver, enter in a terminal:

    sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

    Agree to automatic detection of your video, and choose the driver fglrx when asked.

Restart the computer for the changes to take effect.