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Feb
9

New Raspbian release adds experimental OpenGL driver

Posted by Oliver Hill

A new OpenGL driver headlines the latest Raspbian update.

A new release of Raspbian is now available for download. The update primarily consists of bug fixes, but there are also new updates to some of the standard applications; including Scratch, Sonic Pi and Node-RED.

While Raspbian will still look pretty much the same as it did previously, it does have one new, key feature that has certainly caught our attention. An experimental OpenGL driver for the desktop has been implemented, which uses the GPU to provide hardware acceleration.

This boost to hardware acceleration can make some OpenGL games now playable on the Pi 2.

We should mention, however, that this new feature won’t work on Pi 1 or Pi Zero boards, but only Pi 2. Users may find some instability while using the feature, but it’s expected these kinks will be ironed out over time.

If you’re already running Raspbian Jessie image, you can update it manually by using:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

sudo apt-get install raspi-gpio

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    • OpenGL version?

    • Charlie Whitman

      It’s definitely interesting. It’s too bad that it doesn’t exist for the Pi 1 because the GPU on the Pi 1 is so disproportionately better than the CPU. A backend like this could make it so you could run the Compton compositor and offload a lot of the work displaying the desktop to the GPU for better performance. Of course this is probably still worth it on the Pi 2 as well.