Linux / UNIX: Test Graphical Performance ( 3D Acceleration / FPS )

by on August 29, 2009 · 15 comments· LAST UPDATED August 29, 2009

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How do I test my graphical performance including FPS under Linux operating system? How do I find out if 3D acceleration support is included or not under Linux?

You need to use the glxgears program is a port of the "gears" demo to GLX. It displays a set of rotating gears and prints out the frame rate at regular intervals. It has become quite popular as basic benchmarking tool.

Open a terminal and type the following command:
$ glxgears

Fig.01: glxgears in action (FPS rate is displayed in background)

Fig.01: glxgears in action (FPS rate is displayed in background)

Above is a result from my Quadro FX 570/PCI/SSE2. FPS rate < 1000 means you either lack 3D acceleration support or driver is not loaded.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alexei August 29, 2009 at 11:37 am

Duuno where you got this < 1000 FPS advice. FPS < 1000 simple means that your card is old. For example, my card is NVidia GeForce 4 MX440, and together with CPU AMD Sempron2500+ it is only capable to display 270 FPS.

However, driver is loaded, 3D acceleration works, and Compiz is doing great job.


2 Corben August 29, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Alexei, check your settings again.


3 Model9 August 29, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Interesting command. So what is considered as the best FPS for desktop apps, games and some 3D/CAD/CAM stuff? 30? 100? 1000?


4 Johan August 29, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Mine averages to about 440 FPS on an Intel Mobile GM965. I always thought this adaptor doesn’t support 3D acceleration. Anyway, “lsmod” doesn’t reveal any driver loaded for this pretty much integrated adaptor.


5 M.S. Babaei August 29, 2009 at 3:51 pm



6 kgas August 31, 2009 at 10:46 am

glxgears out put alone won’t judge the graphics card performance. A lot is there in the net to support this. For eg in Arch Linux forum this had been extensively discussed and If I remember correct there is also a mention about this in the kernel mailing list.
I have 945GM/GMS, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics card and shows 297 FPS. Compiz works fine. If you resize the glxgears window the FPS rate will differ.


7 Fabiano September 3, 2009 at 3:42 am

My NVIDIA 8600GT – gets: 17457 frames in 5.0 seconds = 3491.376 FPS
AMD DUAL CORE X2 5000 + 64bit UBUNTU


8 Linux User September 6, 2009 at 11:04 pm

“It has become quite popular as basic benchmarking tool.” … According to most technical users is this totally wrong. It is just a demo or a test, nothing more. A simple google search tells more:


9 sarvesh September 21, 2009 at 10:23 am

I recently compiled a kernel linux-2.6.31 over linux-2.6.29, it rebooted 2-3 times after grub loader is not loading the grub and boot directory is also missing.


10 sarvesh September 21, 2009 at 10:25 am

how to install grub loader?


11 Phoebe September 26, 2009 at 11:13 pm

my system crashed and I reinstalled with the CD. I can’t get past the window for “user name and password”? What can I do? I have tried every combination of of passwords and nothing is working!


12 Corben September 27, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Phoebe, boot system from CD (rescue mode) and remove password from /etc/shadow or try single user mode. It depends what OS have you got.


13 Zach September 5, 2012 at 5:51 am

Also, If you have vblank sync enabled because of your shitty nvidia card (or other reasons) this locks it to 60fps or whatever your vertical refresh rate is.


14 Antonello November 14, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Hello, what does it means? I have 60 FPS, but with a sentence that sounds very much like whatever you are speaking about:
“Running synchronized to the vertical refresh. The framerate should be
approximately the same as the monitor refresh rate.”

Thank you,
Antonello (intel+ATI i5 laptop, ubuntu 12.10)


15 Alex August 14, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Hello! I got a problem.

When I was using my X server without installing my gpu’s driver, glxgears showed a performance about 300 FPS, after installing my gpu’s driver, performance is the same.

My gpu is nvidia geforce 7300.

Anybody knows how to fix that problem?<



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