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OpenGL® will not be installed automatically during the Solaris OS installation process, although it has been
packaged with the Solaris OS CDs since Solaris 2.5.1 OS.

The command /usr/openwin/demo/GL/ogl_install_check checks if OpenGL is installed correctly
and which version it is. Note: The rotating ring also comes in handy when judging gamma correction values (see

It is recommended to always use the latest version of OpenGL. Xinerama, for example, is only supported with
OpenGL 1.2.1 or later. OpenGL can be downloaded from http://www.sun.com/solaris/


Look at the ogl_install-check output: If it prints "GLX: context is direct", OpenGL uses DGA
and applications may run at full speed. If it prints "GLX: context is indirect", OpenGL does not use
DGA, probably because the application was called from a "su -" environment.

If you log into the window system using one user ID and then switch to another (using "su"), OpenGL will switch
to "indirect mode." Due to a security feature in the Solaris OS, "su"-ing to a user other than the one who started the
window system disables DGA (Direct Graphics Access) to the frame buffer, thus making OpenGL graphics slower
than necessary.

If you wish, you can remove this security feature and thus make graphics fast for all users by doing the following:
• Become root
• Edit the permission in /etc/logindevperm from 0600 to 0666:
/dev/console 0666 /dev/fbs/* # frame buffers
• Reboot

Note that any user will now have read/write access to the contents of your screen.

DGA will also be switched off when the $DISPLAY variable is set to "hostname:display", e.g. "dumble-
" or "dumbledore.sun.com:0.0". It's better to stick with the default (":0.0") setting after lo-
cally logging into the machine.

Solaris OS Guide for New System Administrators 25

Version 1.20e, June 2004

Frame Buffers and OpenGL

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