How can I verify whether hardware acceleration is available and whether it is enabled for my video card.

1 Answer 1


If you don't already have it, install glxinfo; in APT it's part of mesa-utils:

apt-get install mesa-utils

Run glxinfo and look for a line about direct rendering (another term for hardware acceleration):

> glxinfo | grep "direct rendering"
direct rendering: Yes

If it says "Yes", hardware acceleration is enabled

  • 1
    In the spirit of teaching a man to fish, could you post some information on what the mesa-utils package and what the glxinfo command does? Aug 21, 2010 at 16:50
  • 5
    @Noah I don't actually use Ubuntu, so I know little about its packages, but Ubuntu's package description says it "provides several basic GL utilities built by Mesa, including glxinfo and glxgears". GLX is the X extension for OpenGL; glxinfo displays information about that extension, including the current direct rendering state Aug 21, 2010 at 16:56
  • 7
    "mesa-utils"? Sounds like something Jar Jar would say :)
    – Tom Zych
    Nov 7, 2015 at 9:40
  • 1
    Technically "direct rendering" only tells you whether your program is communicating directly with the graphics card driver. "indirect rendering" means you are communicating all 3D to the X server which then communicates with the graphics card. I think at some point it wasn't possible to have hardware acceleration without direct rendering, but now days indirect rendering can also be accelerated. By extension, it could also be possible to directly communicate with a driver that fakes hardware acceleration in the CPU, but i don't know of any instance of this.
    – M Conrad
    Jul 3, 2017 at 18:04
  • 3
    @MConrad is correct, llvmpipe is CPU rendering, but shows as direct rendering (glxinfo | grep "renderer"), Either you know that the used renderer is GPU based or running glxgears and monitoring GPU usage with a tool like radeontop (for AMD) will be a better test
    – untore
    Apr 29, 2021 at 14:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.