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

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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{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Alexei August 29, 2009, 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.

  • Corben August 29, 2009, 2:37 pm

    Alexei, check your settings again.

  • Model9 August 29, 2009, 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?

  • Johan August 29, 2009, 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.

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


  • kgas August 31, 2009, 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.

  • Fabiano September 3, 2009, 3:42 am

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

  • Linux User September 6, 2009, 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:

  • sarvesh September 21, 2009, 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.

  • sarvesh September 21, 2009, 10:25 am

    how to install grub loader?

  • Phoebe September 26, 2009, 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!

  • Corben September 27, 2009, 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.

  • Zach September 5, 2012, 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.

    • Antonello November 14, 2012, 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)

      • Martin October 17, 2015, 9:45 pm

        Turn off synchronization and you will see the real speed (FPS):
        vblank_mode=0 glxgears

  • Alex August 14, 2013, 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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