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Old 08-06-2003, 07:22 AM   #1
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Registered: Apr 2003
Location: nottingham england
Distribution: Gentoo
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What is mesa ? do i need it ?

In an ever lasting struggle to install Plib, which has a dependancy 'OpenGL' which even though openGL programs on my system (tux racer + openGL screen saver) are working absolutly fine.

ive become lost in a mass of meaningless cr@p



and it seems no1 can help.

i decided to install Mesa, but while downloading, i was reading all the files about it. it seems to be a REPLACEMENT for openGL.

i have an NVIDIA GeFOrce4 with the latest drivers installed, shouldnt i have REAL openGL ????

can some1 point me in the right direction...

plib will not install cos it says that openGL is not installed on my system.

am i missing a library ?
should i have put a symbolic link somwhere ?

WHAT ????

and, isnt OpenGL meant to come as PART of linux ???

im using redhat 9.

ive just done a fresh install. frechly installed the NVIDIA driver (which wored fine) updated the XF86Config file properly.

and still, OpenGL is not installed on your system (plib rpm install)
or, Cannot find a working GL (tar install)

should i install MESA anyway ???
will i get a drop in performance ???

and why the H3ll is it so hard, to get OpenGL working on a system as common as Redhat 9, with a graphics card as common as NVIDIA geforce 4 !!!!

and wherever i go for help, all they tell me is to edit the XF86COnfig (which i always say ive already done (CORRECTLY)
and, are you sure u have installed NVidia binary .run file correctly in runmode 3.. YES !!!!!!!

ive been trying to get this thing installed for 3 days now.
it took 3 minutes under windows.

(and im so damn anti MS, so me saying that means ALOT !)

thanx to ANY1 wo can give any help at all......
i will be FOREVER in ur debt.
Old 08-06-2003, 09:42 AM   #2
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Ottawa
Distribution: Redhat 5.2, 6.0, 6.1, Mandrake 7.2, 8.0, 9.1, 9.2, 10.0, Gentoo, Debian 3.1r0
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I'll see what I can do, but I'm at work right now and my linux machine is currently at home & buggered...

Mesa is an older OpenGL implementation and CAN be used by the DRI (Hardware acceleration for X Window) system. However, it mostly does software acceleration unless you have a 3dfx card...

OpenGL in DRI uses a library called This library then loads the appropriate hardware accelerated library specific to your card.

I don't know much about the nVidia drivers, but I would guess that if you have them installed, should be dynamically loading them, and (the Mesa GL libraries) isn't needed at all.

Check the links on all of your * files, some of them may be pointing to the wrong place.

Also, if you have an older executable (Quakeworld comes to mind) they are sometimes linked directly to the file rather that to and will run terribly unless you have a 3dfx card or some kind of workaround... I can't recall precisely, but I think what I did was create a symlink between and and finally got hardware accelrated Quakeworld on my Rage128 but I digress...

The bottom line is, if you have DRI installed and the OpenGL drivers for your card, you should not need Mesa... DRI installs any part of Mesa that it actually requires, and full blown Mesa is only really needed if you have an obsolete 3dfx card or you want to try to use software rendering.

If it seems, as you say, that OpenGL is working, it doesn't look like you have a problem. If OpenGL wasn't working or you were using software rendering, you'd know, your 3D performance would be terrible, but it looks like you're ok.

What do you need to install plib for?

Also, GLU, GLUT etc... are simply libraries that run on top of OpenGL, don't worry about them, they are just abstractions to make programmers' lives easier..
Old 08-06-2003, 09:55 AM   #3
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Basically mesa is used for software 3d acceleration which is no good when you got hardware acceleration with your card.Actually it is no good anyway you look at it.You can have it on your system anyway - if your card does hardware acceleration it will continue to do so.GLU Glut and so on are development libraries that are required for some programs to compile.From what it sounds like whatever you try to compile doesn't because there are development lib's missing on your system.
Good luck in finding them - that's the main reason I use gentoo.
Old 08-06-2003, 01:15 PM   #4
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any advice on how to find these missing librarys ?

im using very common distribution (redhat 9) with a very common card nVidia GeForce4.

why has no1 else had this trouble !

plib is a portable game library, and just about every opengl FREE game ive found needs it.

ive found that if i try to use an OLDer version of plib, it gets past the ./configure stage, but fails to compile.

and when configure looks for X, it does not find it... now im new to linux, but im pretty sure without X i would be limited to Copmmand line only right ?.

i should have OpenGL, so i shouldnt need mesa right ???

AND, when you talk about DRI, how do you mean ?

in the instruction manual, it tells me to remove
"load dri"

from the xf86Config file.... should i leave it in ?

would that help ?

im starting to seriously dislike redhat !!!!
it freezes when i try to mount my cd-writer
it reezes when i try to use cdrecord to write data (audio is fine)

and as far as this plib thing goes, the only help i can find, is people saying...

tar zxvf thetarball
cd plib/
make install.

it seems for every1 else it reealy is that easy !!!

and since the box dies whenever i try to write a CD.
and i keep messing up my system trying to fiddle with opengl + other stuff i have to keep re-installing..

at the moment whenever i hit Ctrl+alt+backspace (should restart x.. the pc goes into sleep mode !!)

and its reealy not fun re-downloading mozilla fire bird + nvidia drivers every 5 minutes after a re-install.

this gentoo..... whats it like ?

unfortunatly, if i want to download it im gonna have to use windows since i can only burn audio on my redhat
Old 08-06-2003, 01:36 PM   #5
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Ottawa
Distribution: Redhat 5.2, 6.0, 6.1, Mandrake 7.2, 8.0, 9.1, 9.2, 10.0, Gentoo, Debian 3.1r0
Posts: 224

Rep: Reputation: 30
Well, my advice would be to first check on your RedHat 9 CD, they will most likely be there in RPM format, and plib as well.

If they are there, try installing the RPMs from the CD rather than using source packages, RPMs are generally more reliable if you get one that's built for your distro. They'll tell you if they have any dependency issues (which you then download the upgrade packages to and voila, no more issues..).

If they aren't on the CD, then look for them on or

check here:

download and install the ones for RedHat 9, they should work since they are built for your distro.

As for your compilation problems with plib, again, I would say to try and find an RPM install first.

With regards to DRI it stands for "Direct Rendering Interface" and it is the hardware 3D acceleration layer for XFree86 (X Window) version 4 and higher. I believe you need the "load dri" line if you want hardware accelerated X, it is most likely recommended to be removed because it could cause a lot of problems if you don't have it installed properly (sort of like safe mode or something)...
BTW, what "instruction manual" are you referring to?

If Tux Racer and the OpenGL screensaver are working fine, it would appear you don't have any problems with DRI or OpenGL, just worry about trying to get plib installed...

As for Gentoo linux, I have never used it, but from what I hear it is a sourcecode based distribution with automatic updates. i.e. there are no releases, you just type in some command line and the system connects to the internet and automatically updates itself to all the newest packages, checks dependencies, re-compiles for optimization etc... If you really like compiling everything, it may be the way to go, but as I said, I have never used it.


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