Raspberry Pi: New Version of Raspbian Jessie with OpenGL 2.1 Support




Raspberry Pi

I must say that’s a very nice news: the new update of Raspbian Jessie (February 2016) is available with an experimental support of OpenGL for the desktop:

In this release we are shipping an experimental OpenGL driver for the desktop which uses the GPU to provide hardware acceleration. This is turned off by default – if you want to enable it, you can find it in the command-line version of raspi-config, under Advanced Options->GL Driver. Due to memory requirements, this will not work on Pi 1 or Pi Zero boards – it is solely for Pi 2. (raspi-config will only allow it to be enabled on a Pi 2; be warned that if you enable it on a Pi 2 and then move that SD card into a Pi 1 or Pi Zero, the Pi will not boot.)

If you don’t use this option, the desktop does have OpenGL support, but it uses a very slow software renderer, which makes all but the most basic OpenGL applications pretty much unusable. The hardware-accelerated version is much faster, and makes some quite decent OpenGL games playable on the Pi.

Of course, I quickly tested this support with a Raspberry Pi 2. But before, I needed to update my current version Raspbian Jessie to get the new features:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install raspi-gpio

To install the OpenGL desktop support, just do:

sudo apt-get install xcompmgr libgl1-mesa-dri

To test this support, we need some tools. GeeXLab is perfect for that except that I never built a 32-bit version for Linux… But it’s currently in the works! There is only an OpenGL ES 2.0 version of GeeXLab for Raspberry Pi. So we have to install and use Mesa utilities:

sudo apt-get install mesa-utils

The Mesa utilities are now installed. First let’s see what is the exact OpenGL support:

glxinfo

which gives:

name of display: :0.0
display: :0  screen: 0
direct rendering: Yes
server glx vendor string: SGI
server glx version string: 1.4
server glx extensions:
    GLX_ARB_multisample, GLX_EXT_visual_info, GLX_EXT_visual_rating, 
    GLX_EXT_import_context, GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap, GLX_OML_swap_method, 
    GLX_SGI_make_current_read, GLX_SGIS_multisample, GLX_SGIX_fbconfig, 
    GLX_SGIX_pbuffer, GLX_MESA_copy_sub_buffer, GLX_INTEL_swap_event
client glx vendor string: Mesa Project and SGI
client glx version string: 1.4
client glx extensions:
    GLX_ARB_create_context, GLX_ARB_create_context_profile, 
    GLX_ARB_get_proc_address, GLX_ARB_multisample, GLX_EXT_import_context, 
    GLX_EXT_visual_info, GLX_EXT_visual_rating, GLX_EXT_framebuffer_sRGB, 
    GLX_EXT_create_context_es2_profile, GLX_MESA_copy_sub_buffer, 
    GLX_MESA_multithread_makecurrent, GLX_MESA_swap_control, 
    GLX_OML_swap_method, GLX_OML_sync_control, GLX_SGI_make_current_read, 
    GLX_SGI_swap_control, GLX_SGI_video_sync, GLX_SGIS_multisample, 
    GLX_SGIX_fbconfig, GLX_SGIX_pbuffer, GLX_SGIX_visual_select_group, 
    GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap, GLX_INTEL_swap_event
GLX version: 1.4
GLX extensions:
    GLX_ARB_get_proc_address, GLX_ARB_multisample, GLX_EXT_import_context, 
    GLX_EXT_visual_info, GLX_EXT_visual_rating, 
    GLX_MESA_multithread_makecurrent, GLX_OML_swap_method, 
    GLX_SGI_make_current_read, GLX_SGIS_multisample, GLX_SGIX_fbconfig, 
    GLX_SGIX_pbuffer, GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap
OpenGL vendor string: Mesa Project
OpenGL renderer string: Software Rasterizer
OpenGL version string: 2.1 Mesa 8.0.5
OpenGL shading language version string: 1.20
OpenGL extensions:
    GL_ARB_multisample, GL_EXT_abgr, GL_EXT_bgra, GL_EXT_blend_color, 
    GL_EXT_blend_minmax, GL_EXT_blend_subtract, GL_EXT_copy_texture, 
    GL_EXT_polygon_offset, GL_EXT_subtexture, GL_EXT_texture_object, 
    GL_EXT_vertex_array, GL_EXT_compiled_vertex_array, GL_EXT_texture, 
    GL_EXT_texture3D, GL_IBM_rasterpos_clip, GL_ARB_point_parameters, 
    GL_EXT_draw_range_elements, GL_EXT_packed_pixels, GL_EXT_point_parameters, 
    GL_EXT_rescale_normal, GL_EXT_separate_specular_color, 
    GL_EXT_texture_edge_clamp, GL_SGIS_generate_mipmap, 
    GL_SGIS_texture_border_clamp, GL_SGIS_texture_edge_clamp, 
    GL_SGIS_texture_lod, GL_ARB_multitexture, GL_IBM_multimode_draw_arrays, 
    GL_IBM_texture_mirrored_repeat, GL_3DFX_texture_compression_FXT1, 
    GL_ARB_texture_cube_map, GL_ARB_texture_env_add, GL_ARB_transpose_matrix, 
    GL_EXT_blend_func_separate, GL_EXT_fog_coord, GL_EXT_multi_draw_arrays, 
    GL_EXT_secondary_color, GL_EXT_texture_env_add, 
    GL_EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic, GL_EXT_texture_lod_bias, 
    GL_INGR_blend_func_separate, GL_MESA_resize_buffers, GL_NV_blend_square, 
    GL_NV_light_max_exponent, GL_NV_texgen_reflection, 
    GL_NV_texture_env_combine4, GL_SUN_multi_draw_arrays, 
    GL_ARB_texture_border_clamp, GL_ARB_texture_compression, 
    GL_EXT_framebuffer_object, GL_EXT_texture_env_combine, 
    GL_EXT_texture_env_dot3, GL_MESA_window_pos, GL_NV_packed_depth_stencil, 
    GL_NV_texture_rectangle, GL_NV_vertex_program, GL_ARB_depth_texture, 
    GL_ARB_occlusion_query, GL_ARB_shadow, GL_ARB_shadow_ambient, 
    GL_ARB_texture_env_combine, GL_ARB_texture_env_crossbar, 
    GL_ARB_texture_env_dot3, GL_ARB_texture_mirrored_repeat, 
    GL_ARB_window_pos, GL_ATI_envmap_bumpmap, GL_ATI_fragment_shader, 
    GL_EXT_stencil_two_side, GL_EXT_texture_cube_map, GL_NV_depth_clamp, 
    GL_NV_fragment_program, GL_NV_point_sprite, GL_NV_vertex_program1_1, 
    GL_APPLE_packed_pixels, GL_APPLE_vertex_array_object, GL_ARB_draw_buffers, 
    GL_ARB_fragment_program, GL_ARB_fragment_shader, GL_ARB_shader_objects, 
    GL_ARB_vertex_program, GL_ARB_vertex_shader, GL_ATI_draw_buffers, 
    GL_ATI_texture_env_combine3, GL_EXT_depth_bounds_test, 
    GL_EXT_shadow_funcs, GL_EXT_stencil_wrap, GL_MESA_pack_invert, 
    GL_MESA_ycbcr_texture, GL_ARB_depth_clamp, GL_ARB_fragment_program_shadow, 
    GL_ARB_half_float_pixel, GL_ARB_occlusion_query2, GL_ARB_point_sprite, 
    GL_ARB_shading_language_100, GL_ARB_sync, GL_ARB_texture_non_power_of_two, 
    GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object, GL_ATI_blend_equation_separate, 
    GL_EXT_blend_equation_separate, GL_OES_read_format, 
    GL_ARB_pixel_buffer_object, GL_ARB_texture_compression_rgtc, 
    GL_ARB_texture_rectangle, GL_ATI_texture_compression_3dc, 
    GL_EXT_pixel_buffer_object, GL_EXT_texture_compression_rgtc, 
    GL_EXT_texture_mirror_clamp, GL_EXT_texture_rectangle, 
    GL_EXT_texture_sRGB, GL_EXT_texture_shared_exponent, 
    GL_ARB_framebuffer_object, GL_EXT_framebuffer_blit, 
    GL_EXT_framebuffer_multisample, GL_EXT_packed_depth_stencil, 
    GL_NV_fragment_program_option, GL_APPLE_object_purgeable, 
    GL_ARB_vertex_array_object, GL_ATI_separate_stencil, 
    GL_ATI_texture_mirror_once, GL_EXT_draw_buffers2, GL_EXT_draw_instanced, 
    GL_EXT_gpu_program_parameters, GL_EXT_texture_array, 
    GL_EXT_texture_compression_latc, GL_EXT_texture_sRGB_decode, 
    GL_MESA_texture_array, GL_ARB_copy_buffer, GL_ARB_draw_instanced, 
    GL_ARB_half_float_vertex, GL_ARB_map_buffer_range, GL_ARB_texture_rg, 
    GL_ARB_texture_swizzle, GL_ARB_vertex_array_bgra, 
    GL_EXT_separate_shader_objects, GL_EXT_texture_swizzle, 
    GL_EXT_vertex_array_bgra, GL_NV_conditional_render, 
    GL_ARB_draw_elements_base_vertex, GL_ARB_explicit_attrib_location, 
    GL_ARB_fragment_coord_conventions, GL_ARB_provoking_vertex, 
    GL_EXT_provoking_vertex, GL_ARB_robustness, GL_ARB_texture_storage

The OpenGL version supported by the new Raspbian Jessie is OpenGL 2.1.

To see if this support really works, launch glxgears:

glxgears


Raspberry Pi - Raspbian Jessie + OpenGL 2.1 support

This is great because that means that I can use the Linux version of GeeXLab on the Raspberry Pi. I just need to compile GeeXLab for Linux in 32-bit and it should work…

The new Raspbian comes with a Linux 4.1.17 kernel:

umane -a
> Linux raspberrypi 4.1.7-v7+ #817 SMP PREEMPT Sat Sep 19 15:32:00 BST 2015 armv7l GNU/Linux