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I like Linux.

I like OpenGL.

I don't like X.

On Linux, is there anyway to get 3D acceleration from my Nvidia card without X? Ideally, I'd have the kernel boot, get to a console, then somehow get into a "graphics mode", where my entire monitor is just a single OpenGL screen ... and I draw stuff to it with OpenGL. Without X. Is this possible?

Thanks!

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what aspect you do not like about x? –  akira Mar 2 '10 at 15:30
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 2 '10 at 15:10

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4 Answers

Well it should be possible to use the framebuffer with hardware acceleration, see here.

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Nvidia's binary driver only works with X. You can, however, run a headless X server. See the section on "UseDisplayDevice" "none" in the README:

ftp://download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86/190.36/README/appendix-b.html#UseDisplayDevice

I believe the future Gallium + nouveau stack will work sans X, but it's still under heavy development now.

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Wikipedia has a section on Competitors to X.

Among them, a possible match for what you want is DirectFB, but it says that "The Direct Rendering Infrastructure [which is in X] ... may make these efforts redundant"

Unless you plan on writing your own operating system and then writing the applications on top of it, I would recommend sticking with X. It's been developed and used for decades, and I'm pretty sure there isn't any good replacement for it out there.

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From everything I can find it looks like OpenGL needs X.

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