Commit b534c39e authored by Andreas Boll's avatar Andreas Boll

docs: update FAQ

Reported-by: default avatarFabio Pedretti <>

v2: (Chad Versace <>)
  - Rewrite FAQ - proper place for installing mesa.

v3: fix some typos
Reviewed-by: default avatarChad Versace <>
parent 63c3a799
......@@ -16,7 +16,7 @@
<h1>Mesa Frequently Asked Questions</h1>
Last updated: 20 September 2012
Last updated: 9 October 2012
......@@ -236,15 +236,22 @@ Basically you'll want the following:
Mesa version number.
After installing and the DRI drivers, some of these files
may be symlinks into the /usr/X11R6/ tree.
When configuring Mesa, there are three autoconf options that affect the install
location that you should take care with: <code>--prefix</code>,
<code>--libdir</code>, and <code>--with-dri-driverdir</code>. To install Mesa
into the system location where it will be available for all programs to use, set
<code>--prefix=/usr</code>. Set <code>--libdir</code> to where your Linux
distribution installs system libraries, usually either <code>/usr/lib</code> or
<code>/usr/lib64</code>. Set <code>--with-dri-driverdir</code> to the directory
where your Linux distribution installs DRI drivers. To find your system's DRI
driver directory, try executing <code>find /usr -type d -name dri</code>. For
example, if the <code>find</code> command listed <code>/usr/lib64/dri</code>,
then set <code>--with-dri-driverdir=/usr/lib64/dri</code>.
The old-style Makefile system doesn't install the Mesa libraries; it's
up to you to copy them (and the headers) to the right place.
The GLUT header and library should go in the same directories.
After determining the correct values for the install location, configure Mesa
with <code>./configure --prefix=/usr --libdir=xxx --with-dri-driverdir=xxx</code>
and then install with <code>sudo make install</code>.
......@@ -254,22 +261,20 @@ The GLUT header and library should go in the same directories.
<h2>3.1 Rendering is slow / why isn't my graphics hardware being used?</h2>
Stand-alone Mesa (downloaded as MesaLib-x.y.z.tar.gz) doesn't have any
support for hardware acceleration (with the exception of the 3DFX Voodoo
What you really want is a DRI or NVIDIA (or another vendor's OpenGL) driver
for your particular hardware.
If Mesa can't use its hardware accelerated drivers it falls back on one of its software renderers.
(eg. classic swrast, softpipe or llvmpipe)
You can run the <code>glxinfo</code> program to learn about your OpenGL
Look for the GL_VENDOR and GL_RENDERER values.
That will identify who's OpenGL library you're using and what sort of
Look for the <code>OpenGL vendor</code> and <code>OpenGL renderer</code> values.
That will identify who's OpenGL library with which driver you're using and what sort of
hardware it has detected.
If you're using a hardware accelerated driver you want <code>direct rendering: Yes</code>.
If your DRI-based driver isn't working, go to the
<a href="">DRI website</a> for trouble-shooting information.
......@@ -365,8 +370,8 @@ target hardware/operating system.
The best way to get started is to use an existing driver as your starting
For a software driver, the X11 and OSMesa drivers are good examples.
For a hardware driver, the Radeon and R200 DRI drivers are good examples.
For a classic hardware driver, the i965 driver is a good example.
For a Gallium3D hardware driver, the r300g, r600g and the i915g are good examples.
<p>The DRI website has more information about writing hardware drivers.
The process isn't well document because the Mesa driver interface changes
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