Many applications use OpenGL for graphics rendering. VirtualGL is an application that uses the Linux system’s graphics hardware to render OpenGL graphics and then pass it to the remote X server. This method bypasses the GLX extension.


VirtualGL connects to the physical DISPLAY :0 to access the graphics card.  Many video cards turn off DISPLAY :0 if there is no physical display connected.  Without DISPLAY :0 VirtualGL will fail.  The solution is to install a monitor connected to your machine.

Alternatively, there are dummy dongles that can be installed that fake an HDMI output signal so your graphics card thinks its connected.

Installing VirtualGL

VirtualGL is available on most modern Linux distributions from their standard repositories.
Debian/Ubuntu users

sudo apt-get install virtualgl

RHEL/Centos Users

yum install VirtualGL

Precompiled versions of the latest version are available at the VirtualGL website

Setting up the FastX server

  1. Install the FastX Server
  2. Log in as an administrator
  3. Go to the system menu > Profiles > Default Profile > Enable X11 TCP Connections
  4. Save
  5. Launch a FastX Session

When executing a command, run:

 vglrun -c proxy -- opengl_application app_options app_arguments

For more information and options see the VirtualGL Documentation

Advanced Set-Up

Using a 3D proxy with VirtualGL and FastX