Running Enemy Territory With OpenGL 3 In 2016

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 14 November 2016 at 10:32 AM EST. 5 Comments
When finding out a few days back about the ETLegacy 2.75 open-source update with the improvements made around its OpenGL 3.2 renderer, I couldn't help but try it out to relive the original Enemy Territory on Linux with this modernized engine work.

Running ETLegacy 2.75, the default renderer is still the old renderer, but when launching with +set cl_renderer opengl2 is all that's needed to activate their experimental OpenGL 3 renderer. Given this id Tech 3 engine base is benchmark-friendly, I also incorporated a etlegacy test profile for running some benchmarks with the Phoronix Test Suite. That ETLegacy test profile is similar to my original et test profile and the defunct ETXreaL.

While a modern OpenGL 3 renderer is nice, ETLegacy still relies upon all of the original assets from when the game debuted in 2003... Thus while there are some rendering improvements, all the in-game assets still look rather dated.

Though there is an effort to create freely licensed assets for the game... Aside from making it easier to be a standalone game with freely redistributed assets not covered by the game's original EULA, hopefully these future assets will be higher quality for making the game more appealing to people in 2017 and beyond.

In terms of the performance of the new renderer compared to old, I ran some tests with a Radeon R9 Fury on AMDGPU+RadeonSI with Ubuntu Linux. Those numbers are in this result file. The game was basically CPU-bound across resolutions from 800 x 600 to 3840 x 2160 when using the default renderer with speeds around 227 FPS for this graphics card / driver. When switching to the OpenGL 3 renderer, the performance didn't scale at all with resolutions and was at 125 FPS for the same test.

Aside from hoping for new (and free) art assets for ETLegacy in the future that would be higher quality, would be fun if we ever end up seeing a Vulkan renderer for id Tech 3 to benefit ETLegacy and the many other ioquake3-based titles.

Those wanting to try out this game can visit or for benchmarking with it just run phoronix-test-suite benchmark etlegacy.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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