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

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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.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

16 comment

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    1. 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)

  10. 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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