How to benchmark the GPU on Linux

How to benchmark the GPU on Linux

Linux is not known for its gaming capabilities and possibilities. Naturally, there are not many GPU benchmarking tools available for users to test their graphics hardware. However, there are some benchmark test suites that can help you pinpoint various aspects of GPU performance. These are very important for reaching reliable conclusions, for comparing technical and numerical values, or for satisfying how things work. Technically speaking, all GPU benchmarking tools available in Linux can of course only be tested under the OpenGL renderer. Although your GPU may be compatible with some versions of Direct3D, this renderer cannot be tested under Linux.

GLX gear

GLX gears is a popular OpenGL test that is part of the “mesa-utils” package. Use the following command to install the package on Ubuntu:

sudo apt install mesa-utils

You can call it by typing “glxgears” on the terminal.


This will open a window containing an OpenGL rendering of a simple arrangement of three rotating gears. Measure the frame rate every five seconds and print it out on the terminal. This tool is very old and very basic, only testing a small part of today’s OpenGL capabilities. Dating back to the past, it was used to determine whether a proprietary driver was installed and functioning normally, because the performance of the open source driver was so good that it was completely noticeable in this test. Nowadays, you will not notice any difference between the two (in glxgears).

GL Mark 2

GL mark is a richer benchmarking tool developed by the well-meaning people behind the Linaro release. Contrary to glxgears, glmark provides a series of tests involving all aspects of graphics unit performance (buffering, buildings, lighting, textures, etc.) so that more comprehensive and meaningful tests can be carried out. Each test is performed for 10 seconds, and the frame rate is calculated separately. Finally, users will get performance scores based on all previous tests. I like the simplicity and perfect operation of this tool. You can find it as a precompiled package under the name “glmark2” in most distributions. Install by:

sudo apt-get installĀ glmark2

On Ubuntu.

After installation, you can run it by typing “glmark2” on the terminal.


GL Mark 2

OpenGL benchmark

Unigine benchmark products

Finally, for users looking for something more advanced than the first two tools, there are four benchmarking tools that use the Unigine 3D engine.These are Valley, Heaven, Tropics and Sanctuary, they provide free versions, you can Downloaded From the Unigine website. These benchmarking tools have real-time ambient light occlusion, interactive light from different light sources, HDR rendering, realistic water and dynamic sky with atmospheric light scattering. Users can also set anti-aliasing levels, texture quality and filtering, anisotropy and shader quality. In addition to clicking the “benchmark” button to test your hardware in ten steps, you can also wander freely, change the time of day (which changes the world’s lighting) and accurately determine the conditions of the most “bent” hardware.

Unigine GPU benchmark test

Linux GPU benchmark tests are running

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