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Mesa is an open source 3D computer graphics library that provides a generic OpenGL implementation for rendering three-dimensional graphics on multiple platforms.

Get informations from Mesa

First, you will need the Mesa utilities:

# apt-get install mesa-utils

Among the mesa tools, glxinfo will help you to know more about the chip that your computer uses.

The command

$ glxinfo | grep OpenGL

will report something similar to this:

OpenGL vendor string: Intel Open Source Technology Center # The manufacturer
OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI Intel(R) Haswell Desktop  # The type of the chip
OpenGL core profile version string: 3.3 (Core Profile) Mesa 10.3.2 # The OpenGL version fully supported, here 3.3 thanks to Mesa 10.3.2 .
OpenGL core profile shading language version string: 3.30 # The GLSL version fully supported

If in the OpenGL renderer string: you see llvmpipe, that means your system doesn't use the GPU but the CPU instead to render the computer graphics. If you want to use the GPU look at the GraphicsCard page. Many times you just need to install the firmware-linux-nonfree package from the non-free repositories, in order to active the driver.

3D acceleration

To determine whether 3D acceleration is working, use the glxinfo tool. Run the following command:

$ glxinfo  | grep rendering

The output should be:

direct rendering: Yes

Testing performance

To see how many frames per second your video card is putting out, run the following command:

$ glxgears -info

Note: The gears test is not very effective, many drivers work very well with a bad FPS in this test.