Using OpenGL Without An X Server With NVIDIA
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 23 January 2016 at 03:53 PM EST. 24 Comments
Recent releases of NVIDIA's proprietary Linux driver support creating OpenGL contexts outside of the X Server.

Besides working towards Wayland/Mir support, with NVIDIA Linux engineers decoupling the OpenGL support from the X Server has also allowed supporting OpenGL without any display server active. This use-case is particularly useful for GPU-accelerated server render farms and the like where they may have no interest in having a display server running.

With the NVIDIA 355/358 driver series is support for full OpenGL contexts using EGL without an X Server running, including for multi-GPU rendering. While this is primarily aimed at NVIDIA HPC Linux customers, if you are interested in learning more about the procedures, see this recent NVIDIA developer blog post entitled "EGL Eye: OpenGL Visualization without an X Server."
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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 or contacted via

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