Linux Graphics Advocacy

The Linux Operating System is arguably the finest operating system in existence. It is currently one of the hottest sellers, out pacing many Windows products. Its strengths lie in its advanced features, its incredible robustness and stability, its compatibility with Unix standards, its support for Intel x86/Pentium/II/Pro(TM), PowerPC(TM), Alpha(TM) and Sparc(TM) processors, and, of course ... its price. It has strong corporate support with the likes of RedHat, Caldera, and SuSE, and is becoming increasingly popular in the commercial world, where server features, scalability, and robust software are the important factors. With its broad support for games, desktops, and productivity apps, it has also become a popular operating system for the home user. You can now buy Linux off-the-shelf at most CompUSA, Computer City and other shopping-mall computer outlets, as well as at many technical bookstores.

However, it's rise in the graphical client world has barely begun, and your help is needed to further it. There are a variety of commercial and non-commercial applications, such as The GIMP, a PhotoShop(TM)-like image manipulation & paint tool, ElectroGIG, a commercial 3D modeling tool, the POV-Ray ray-tracing engine and modeling infrastructure, the CorelDraw graphics design package, not to mention games, such as Quake. Many more are listed at the LinApps, the SAL and the X: End of Story web sites. A partial listing of OpenGL apps for Linux can be found at Mesa web page. But conspicuous in its absence is the support of the accelerated 3D hardware vendors, who, despite record sales of Linux and an install base estimated at 6 million users, want to throw their weight behind Microsoft and Windows NT. Similarly, the vested interests behind the commercial OpenGL implementations have managed to completely ignore the rising tide of Linux.

This page is a call to software and hardware developers to put their support behind accelerated 3D for Linux. There already exist several efforts in this area, which you are urged to join.

Followup discussions about these topics should be posted to the comp.os.linux.development.system USENET newsgroup.

Last updated December 1997 by Linas Vepstas.
Linas can be reached at

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included at the URL, the web page titled "GNU Free Documentation License".

See also Linas Web Page