Getting Started

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Revision as of 06:52, 6 March 2006 by Dorbie (talk | contribs) (Linux)
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Installing OpenGL runtime libraries


If you are running Windows 98/NT/2000, the OpenGL library has already been installed on your system. Otherwise, download the Windows OpenGL library from Microsoft.

This library alone will not give you hardware acceleration for OpenGL, though, so you will need to install the latest drivers for your graphics card:

Some sites also distribute beta versions of graphics drivers, which may give you access to bug fixes or new functionality before an official driver release from the manufacturer:


Graphics on Linux is almost exclusively implemented using the X windows system. Supporting OpenGL on Linux involves using GLX extensions to the X Server. There is a standard Application Binary Interface defined for OpenGL on Linux that gives application compatability for OpenGL for a range of drivers. In addition the Direct Rendering Infrastucture (DRI) is a driver framework that allows drivers to be written and interoperate within a standard framework to easily support hardware acceleration, the DRI is included in of XFree86 4.0 but may need a card specific dirver to be configured after installation.

Vendors have different approaches to drivers on Linux, some support Open Source efforts using the DRI, and others support closed source frameworks but all methods support the standard ABI that will allow correctly written 3D applications to run on Linux.