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10. FAQ: Glide versus OpenGL/Mesa?

10.1 Is Glide OpenGL?

No, Glide is a proprietary 3Dfx API which several features specific to the Voodoo Graphics (tm) and Voodoo Rush (tm). A 3Dfx OpenGL is in preparation (see below). Several Glide features would require EXTensions to OpenGL, some of which already found in other implementations (e.g. paletted textures).

The closest thing to a hardware accelerated Linux OpenGL you could currently get is Brian Paul's Mesa along with David Bucciarelli's Mesa Voodoo driver (see below).

10.2 Does Mesa work with 3Dfx?

As of Mesa 2.3 Beta3, Mesa works with Linux Glide 2.2, similar to Mesa with Glide for DOS/Windows. There are patches to Mesa 2.3b3 for Linux Glide 2.3.1. Later versions of Mesa will work with Linux Glide 2.4; as the API did not change, the patches to Mesa-2.3b3 might be sufficient. The Glide distribution is not part of the Mesa distribution.

You will need to get the Mesa library archive from the FTP site.

10.3 Where to get additional information on OpenGL?

Use Mark Kilgard's Gateway to OpenGL Info at, and proceed from there.

10.4 Where to get info on Mesa?

The Mesa home page is at There is an archive of the Mesa mailing list. at This list is not specific to 3Dfx and Glide, but if you are interested in using 3Dfx hardware to accelerate Mesa, it is a good place to start.

10.5 Where to get information on Mesa Voodoo?

For latest information on the Mesa Voodoo driver maintained by David Bucciarelli see the home page at

10.6 Is there a commercial OpenGL for Linux and 3Dfx?

3Dfx has publicly announced an OpenGL implementation for Windows for this year (2H97). It is not known whether this will be available for Linux as well.

As for third party commercial OpenGL, I am aware of three products:

The latter was distributed by Portable Graphics, and was a straight Linux port of the OpenGL reference software implementation, with a link kit for an older revision of the XFree86 X servers. Portable Graphics never promised hardware support. To my knowledge, this product is no longer available.

The other two promised support for hardware accelerators, but both are tied to proprietary ports of the X server, and both do not support any 3D acceleration, as far as I know.

10.7 How about GLUT?

Mark Kilgard's GLUT distribution is a very good place to get sample applications plus a lot of useful utilities. You will find it at, and you should get it anyway. The current release is GLUT 3.4.

However, as GLUT handles double buffers, windows, events, and other operations closely tied to hardware and operating system, a Voodoo-GLUT requires several specific modifications. There is an alpha release available as part of the most recent Mesa distribution (David Bucciarelli, Henri Fousse).

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