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How to Use Nvidia’s 3D Vision With OpenGL in Linux Applications

November 21st, 2011 · 7 Comments · Other S3D Tech


Nvidia’s 3D Vision is still only supported officially under Windows operating systems and with Direct3D-based games and applications in stereo 3D mode, however that does not mean you cannot use it otherwise. There are quite a few people that have tried making 3D Vision work under Linux and they’ve managed to succeed in replicating the communication with the 3D glasses, so you can use them with OpenGL apps in Linux. That of course does not mean you would be able to play games in stereo 3D mode under Linux, it simply means that you are able to integrate unofficial 3D Vision support in your Linux application for example. You can take a look at what Bob Somers have done by following the link below in order to understand a bit more about the communication that goes between the active shutter glasses and the PC while you use stereo 3D mode. And if you are interested yo should also check out the libnvstusb open-source project – a portable library for accessing the NVIDIA 3D Stereo Controller under Linux. The library comes with a simple example to give you an idea how you may be able to use it to add support for 3D Vision in your Linux projects.

For Bob Somers information on how to use 3D Vision With OpenGL on Linux…

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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jonathan // Nov 22, 2011 at 00:48

    This is great news ! It means that the nvidia glasses could be used with other drivers (Tridef, Iz3d) and hence different hardware ( AMD comes to mind :-P ). But I guess the support can’t be official, since Nvidia must have blocked it from a legal standpoint.

  • 2 Chris Lux // Nov 22, 2011 at 11:41

    only seems to work with Quadro cards due to the need for quad buffer stereo.

  • 3 Nick 3DvB // Nov 22, 2011 at 17:37

    Cool! Might have to try this with the linux builds of DOOM 3 and Quake 4

  • 4 Matthias // Nov 23, 2011 at 13:49

    I really wonder if and when Nvidia realizes that

    1. Stereoscopic 3D is (at least it should be) mainstream now
    2. Not everyone loves Windows and Microsoft – like they do :-/
    3. Some people really would like to use stereo 3D in Linux.

    I really hate Nvidia for intentionally crippling their normal products in order to sell a few overpriced professional products.
    I wonder which of them gives them more profit.
    What I think is that the profit from their normal products is the main part and that the business volume of the professional products is tiny in comparison. That would mean that we all pay the development costs of products, that only a few people can (or are willing to) afford, and that in turn the products that we can afford get intentionally crippled afterwards.

    That really sucks (big time)!

  • 5 Matthias // Nov 23, 2011 at 14:07

    It is really like I thought. The business volume of the normal graphics cards is nearly three times bigger (645 million $) than that of the Quadro and Tesla cards (230 million $)

    … but we get the crippled products.

  • 6 Bloody // Nov 23, 2011 at 21:01

    The 3D Vision was originally meant for gamers willing to play in stereo 3D mode and not for professionals, and since the primary gaming platform is Windows it is no wonder that it is the focus for the product.

  • 7 losstAdmin // Dec 28, 2012 at 01:05

    Here is the current link ( as of 12/27/2012 ) for Bob Somers’ work with Linux and Geforce OpenGL 3D.

    http://users.csc.calpoly.edu/~zwood/teaching/csc572/final11/rsomers/

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