The New SuperTuxKart Looks Better, But Can Cause GPU/Driver Problems

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 17 December 2014 at 11:49 AM EST. 80 Comments
A new SuperTuxKart beta premiered today after one year of work and lands their new graphics engine that leverages OpenGL 3.1 for rendering. I've now had some hands on time with this open-source GL3 game with some initial thoughts.

With today's SuperTuxKart 0.8.2 beta, an Intel HD Graphics 3000 "Sandy Bridge" GPU is expressed as the bare minimum for running the game now that it leverages OpenGL 3.1 and newer. The developers also recommend using the proprietary drivers as opposed to the open-source Mesa/Gallium3D drivers.

In my limited testing of the new SuperTuxKart release, I'd recommend using the binary blobs... When I first tried using the Nouveau Gallium3D driver with a Kepler graphics card, the latest Git code ended up seg faulting.

The game does look much better than the older versions of SuperTuxKart, but even though it now has a GL3 engine don't expect it to look like a AAA game as some of the art assets still leave a lot to be desired, etc.

Linux users wishing to test the new beta are sadly limited to building from Git/SVN code. The developers hope to have out a source snapshot for Linux users shortly, but there's no pre-compiled Linux binaries officially available at this time. It isn't much of a headache though compiling SuperTuxKart on Ubuntu.

The older version of SuperTuxKart is supported by the Phoronix Test Suite / The commands for running an automated test are roughly the same as the older release, but the --track command seemed to have some issues for me on this new beta. It also appears there might be some other command-line changes with this new beta. Once there is an official Linux packaged snapshot, I'll work on getting the PTS/OB test profile updates for being able to easily run performance tests of the new beta via phoronix-test-suite benchmark supertuxkart.

If the command-line changes in the new beta can be worked around, I should be able to deliver a number of interesting GPU/driver combination benchmarks of the new GL3 graphics engine. Any SuperTuxKart developers are welcome to contact me to hopefully work together to improve some of the benchmarking abilities of the racing game so they can benefit from increased test exposure and results from many different systems.
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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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