I would like to try out WebGL on a laptop with an ATI Mobility Radeon 9000, WinXP/32, DirectX 9.0c.

Some time ago I have gotten it to work with Firefox and software rendering.

However, I heard about ANGLE and that some versions of Chrome support it. So I installed Chrome 11, canary build. Does that support ANGLE? Do I somehow need to activate it?

Because, all WebGL pages that I tried with canary build say something like: "Failed to initialize WebGL"

  • are you refering to code.google.com/p/angleproject ?
    – akira
    Feb 17, 2011 at 18:17
  • Yes, and I only need very basic WebGL support.
    – feklee
    Feb 17, 2011 at 18:22
  • ATI ship their own OpenGL drivers, why do you need a layer between OpenGL and DirectX?
    – akira
    Feb 17, 2011 at 18:30
  • Because WebGL needs OpenGL ES 2.0, which the drivers for the Mobility Radeon 9000 doesn't provide.
    – feklee
    Feb 17, 2011 at 19:18
  • I would also like to have some information about ANGLE and if it is already really used by chrome and/or firefox... if someone knows, please share some information (more than the from the project page) Feb 18, 2011 at 17:27

3 Answers 3


Firefox uses ANGLE by default. This is at least true on my Windows 7 machine, I had to explicitly disable ANGLE to use native rendering.

You can see what drivers you are using via about:support. In my case, as I am using native rendering, the drivers are the following: NVIDIA Corporation -- GeForce 210/PCI/SSE2 -- 3.3.0. Were it using ANGLE, it would state that instead.

You can change this by going to about:config and toggling webgl.prefer-native-gl to true.

Note: I'm using Firefox 5 on the Aurora branch, so all of this might not be accurate on Fx 4. That said, I've cross-referenced the ANGLE stuff against the documentation over at https://developer.mozilla.org and it seems accurate.

  • Thanks for the info - very valuable! Just tried WebGL with Firefox 4 in safe mode, and it does not work. A simple example page reports: "Could not initialise WebGL, sorry :-(" Have not tried the page with Firefox 5.
    – feklee
    Apr 18, 2011 at 19:36
  • What does about:support report under 'WebGL Renderer'?
    – Rushyo
    Apr 19, 2011 at 9:36
  • It reports: (WebGL unavailable). The same with the following options set to true: webgl.enabled_for_all_sites (deprecated anyway), webgl.force-enabled
    – feklee
    Apr 19, 2011 at 20:39
  • This is the same with webgl.prefer-native-gl set to false as well? There's also webgl.disabled and webgl.force_osmesa to consider. These should both be false.
    – Rushyo
    Apr 20, 2011 at 10:38
  • webgl.prefer-native-gl, webgl.disabled, and webgl.force_osmesa are all set to false (default).
    – feklee
    Apr 20, 2011 at 21:50

I've been using webgl on chrome dev on xp for a couple of months. All of a sudden it's not working. My digging led to http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=72975 . Seems like it's now turned off by default for win xp. I can confirm xp crashes with webgl, ff4 does too. Shame

  • 1
    Thanks Colin, for digging that up! Many useful information there, though nothing about ANGLE. I tried the "--ignore-gpu-blacklist" Chrome command line switch in stable and in canary build, but to no avail.
    – feklee
    Mar 17, 2011 at 12:10

I don't know for Firefox, but someone noticed (using GLIntercept) that Chrome was using DirectX on his computer to display WebGL contents, however I'm not sure if it's really Angle or an internal Google equivalent:


He doesn't mention having to activate anything, so I think it's an automatic fallback.

  • Fact is that WebGL does not work with Chrome and Chrome canary build on my system. Yet according to dxdiag.exe Direct3D 7, 8, and 9 work fine on my system. When visiting some simple WebGL test, for example, then Chrome canary build displays a popup window: "Unable to initialize WebGL. Your browser may not support it."
    – feklee
    Feb 28, 2011 at 23:17
  • Just discovered that there is updated information. Comment 28 to the aforementioned issue says: "GPU acceleration is no longer disabled on Windows XP in Chrome 11: it will run on up-to-date drivers." Still doesn't work for me, perhaps because of old drivers. Unfortunately I am already running the ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 driver version 6.14, which is the latest AFAIK.
    – feklee
    Apr 25, 2011 at 15:20
  • By the way, some gamers have reported downgrading to version 6.5 as a solution to fix issues with 3D acceleration. However, on my system dxdiag.exe reports that DirectX 9.0c works fine, and I can see the rotating cube.
    – feklee
    Apr 25, 2011 at 15:21

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