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glxgears is a small and simple MESA OpenGL demonstration program that comes with GNU/Linux distributions. It's technically a part of mesa-demos but it ships with the glx-utils package and is thus installed as a default (unlike other mesa-demo programs like glxheads, shape, offset, etc).

It's not a benchmark

A lot of pages on the Internet refer to glxgears as a benchmarking tool. It's not. It's just a very simple OpenGL demo.

Run some actual games like SuperTuxKart with a frame and/or frame-time heads-up display overlay for real-world graphics performance or use glmark2 or vkmark2 for a bit more meaningful synthetic benchmarks.

Launch options

glxgears can be run in -stereo mode to test VR headsets. This option will not work if you do not have a VR (stereo) display.

There's also -display to choose which monitor it will run on, -fullscreen to run it fullscreen and -geometry set by WxH+X+Y to launch it at a given resolution (WxH) placed a specific place (X+Y). There is also a -info option.

The -fullscreen option is a bit buggy. It will actually launch glxgears fullscreen over two monitors on a triple monitor setup.

Mesa's HUD options for getting a "heads up" display showing FPS and other data on AMD GPUs can be used with glxgears:


The above image with the small HUD graphs above glxgears shows what happens when you launch it with:

GALLIUM_HUD=".w250.h180.c70fps:70,.w250.h180.c80temperature:80" glxgears -geometry 1800x1000

There are a lot more HUD options available. Run GALLIUM_HUD="help" glxgears to see them all.

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