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Recipe 15.6. Troubleshooting 3D Acceleration Problems

15.6.1 Problem

You went through the steps in Recipe 15.5, but you still don't have hardware acceleration.

15.6.2 Solution

Start from the beginning, and make sure all the pieces are in place.

Is your video card supported? See this chapter's "Introduction" for a list of supported models, and check and for current information.

Did your driver modules load? Run lsmod to find out:

$ lsmod

Module            Size  Used by    Not tainted

tdfx              30432  17

agpgart           37312   0 (unused)

tdfx is a 3dfx Voodoo3 driver. agpgart is needed for the AGP subsystem to work. If your driver module or agpgart does not show up in lsmod, look in the /lib/modules directory to see if the modules exist:


If either one is missing, you'll need to build and load it. (See Recipe 10.7.) Then restart X.

Is the dri subsytem working? If /proc/dri/0 exists, then it is:

$ ls /proc/dri/0

bufs  clients  mem  name  queues  vm  vma

If it doesn't, it may be that DRI was not enabled in the kernel. Check your kernel .config file. Look for:

# Hardware configuration




# DRM 4.1 drivers



If CONFIG_DRM=y is not there, you'll need to rebuild the kernel. If the DRM module for your video card is not there, you can build and load it without rebuilding the kernel. Look in the kernel configurator for Character Devices, Direct Rendering Manager (XFree86 DRI support).

Unlike other kernel modules, all of these will be loaded by the X server. Make sure they are entered in the Modules section in XF86Config.

Always check /var/log/XFree86.0.log. Look for error messages, and check that all the modules listed in the Modules section of XF86Config loaded. If you still can't figure it out, visit the Getting Help, Resources, and Community Lists pages on

15.6.3 Discussion

If you are using drivers supplied by the manufacturer of your video adapter, you'll need to look to them for support. Check your documentation, make sure you have the right driver, and look on the manufacturer's web site for user forums and support knowledge bases.

Enabling hardware acceleration for supported cards is a matter of having the correct kernel configuration and making sure the relevant kernel modules load. See Chapter 10 for how to build kernels and modules.

15.6.4 See Also

  • The DRI User Guide (

  • The Resources page at, for documentation for your version of XFree86 and for hardware-specific information, including drivers and configurations

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