Is it possible to run an opengl application like glxgears from the command line without starting a desktop environment?

It should directly go to exclusive full screen mode.

  • I would say: put glxgears -fullscreen alone in ~/.xinitrc and then run startx, that would be a good start.
    – cylgalad
    Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 8:25
  • thanks, but i should mention that i dont have any xwindow desktop installed, so the command startx is not available
    – clamp
    Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 8:45
  • Opengl can't run without X, at least not standalone, maybe there are other "window systems", like wayland or mir but you still need something. Also I doubt you'd get accelerated opengl without any X (proprietary) drivers.
    – cylgalad
    Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 7:51
  • Also opengl depends on X so if you have glxgears, you have X (hence the x in glXgears).
    – cylgalad
    Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 7:58

1 Answer 1


It is not possible to run an application meant for X in the command line.

But like @cylgalad said, you can have any desktop environment and put that application to run exclusively.

Try to install a lightweight desktop environment, like xfce or fluxbox.

  • 1
    I don't think you actually need any DE or WM at all for that purpose.
    – cylgalad
    Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 7:52
  • yep, i only needed to install xserver and xinit.
    – clamp
    Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 12:07

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