1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

The Linux GPU Driver Limitations For Opera 12

Free Software

Published on 13 October 2011 10:28 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
2 Comments

For those interested in the GPU hardware acceleration support for Opera 12 that was made available with this morning's release of Opera 12 Alpha, here's the stipulations regarding the "out of the box" Linux GPU driver support.

- If using the ATI/AMD Catalyst Linux driver, the OpenGL version string must be greater than OpenGL 2.1.9551. This prevents some very old Catalyst legacy drivers from using 2D/3D acceleration in Opera. All newer Catalyst drivers are being handled "out of the box" with Opera 12. The requirement for Firefox GPU acceleration with the Linux Catalyst driver is OpenGL 3.0 or newer.

- The NVIDIA binary driver must be newer than the 257.21 release. This is the same driver as required by Mozilla Firefox for its hardware acceleration.

- 2D acceleration is supported if using an open-source Linux GPU driver, but for 3D acceleration on Opera 12 you will need a Mesa release newer than Mesa 7.10.3, regardless of using a classic DRI driver or a Gallium3D driver. Releases prior to Mesa 7.10.3 are not compiling shaders correctly for Opera. Uff da!

- Those using Intel GMA 950 graphics have 2D acceleration support in Opera, but 3D acceleration is discouraged due to "poor 3D performance and may freeze the browser." Newer Intel graphics on Linux should work fine with Opera.

- 3D support when using the Nouveau driver is currently blocked, since this open-source NVIDIA driver has problems compiling certain fragment shaders. 2D support in Opera should work fine on Nouveau.

- If you happen to be falling back to Mesa's software rasterizer (i.e. no Mesa hardware support), Opera prefers its own software acceleration fall-back as it should be faster than using Mesa's old "swrast" driver. Using LLVMpipe with Opera should also work fine.

These Linux driver requirements are similar to the Linux driver requirements by Mozilla Firefox, at least as of Firefox 6.0 after most of the issues were sorted out. Basically if you're using the latest AMD/NVIDIA binary drivers on non-legacy hardware, you should be in good shape. If you're using the open-source drivers with the very latest Mesa code, aside from Nouveau, you should mostly be in good shape.

If your driver configuration has been blacklisted, you can still force Opera to use the hardware acceleration. From an Opera blog post, "You can check the current status on your machine by opening opera:gpu. If the page says "Vega backend Software", try to upgrade your driver. Note that some cards are not supported by the vendor anymore, and these may still be blocked even if you have the latest driver for that card...
If you see a bug, try to turn off hardware acceleration by setting opera:config#UserPrefs|EnableHardwareAcceleration to 0, restart Opera, and see if the bug is still there. Not surprisingly, this turns off hardware acceleration, so remember to set the preference back to 1 after testing to enable hardware acceleration again (0=off, 1=auto, 2=force on)."

Benchmarks of Opera 12 hardware acceleration under Linux (possibly compared to Mozilla Firefox) will come once the Opera 12 final release is near, which should be around lutefisk season (Christmas).

For information on the other new features found in Opera 12 Alpha, see the earlier posting from today.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Intel Xeon E5-1680 v3 & E5-2687W v3 Compared To The Core i7 5960X On Linux
  2. Intel 120GB 530 Series SSD Linux Performance
  3. Btrfs/EXT4/XFS/F2FS RAID 0/1/5/6/10 Linux Benchmarks On Four SSDs
  4. AMD's Windows Catalyst Driver Remains Largely Faster Than Linux Drivers
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Mesa Git Yields Performance Improvements For Newer AMD GPUs
  2. Apple OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 Performance
  3. Mesa 10.5-devel Brings Some Intel Haswell HD Graphics Changes Over Mesa 10.3
  4. NVIDIA vs. Nouveau Drivers With Linux 3.18 + Mesa 10.4-devel
Latest Linux News
  1. Weston's IVI Shell Sees New Version
  2. IMP Launches As Another Open-Source Computer Attempt
  3. Git 2.2.0 Released With 550+ Changes
  4. GNOME 3.15.2 Released
  5. Quantum OS Aims For A Linux Desktop With QML, Wayland & Material Design
  6. New Open-Source, Linux Benchmarks To Feast On
  7. FreeBSD Plans For The Next Ten Years
  8. Qt 5.4 Planned For Release On 9 December
  9. Meizu's Ubuntu Phone Not Expected Until Early Next Year
  10. DragonFlyBSD 4.0 Drops i386 Support, Improves Graphics
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  2. Hurrican SDL Port
  3. Roadmap to Catalyst 14.10 ?
  4. how to configure module phoromatic ?
  5. PulseAudio 6.0 Is Coming & Other Linux Audio Plans For The Future
  6. Debian Developer Resigns From The Systemd Maintainership Team
  7. Cant get working Kaveri APU - A10-7850k
  8. Script for Fan Speed Control