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1. Introduction

This is the Linux 3Dfx HOWTO document. It is intended as a quick reference covering everything you need to know to install and configure 3Dfx support under Linux. Frequently asked questions regarding the 3Dfx support are answered, and references are given to some other sources of information on a variety of topics related to computer generated, hardware accelerated 3D graphics.

This information is only valid for Linux on the Intel platform. Some information may be applicable to other processor architectures, but I have no first hand experience or information on this. It is only applicable to boards based on 3Dfx technology, any other graphics accelerator hardware is beyond the scope of this document.

1.1 Contributors and Contacts

This document would not have been possible without all the information contributed by other people - those involved in the Linux Glide port and the beta testing process, in the development of Mesa and the Mesa Voodoo drivers, or rewieving the document on behalf of 3Dfx and Quantum3D. Some of them contributed entire sections to this document.

Daryll Strauss did the port, Paul J. Metzger modified the Mesa Voodoo driver (written by David Bucciarelli for Linux, Brian Paul brianp@RA.AVID.COM integrated it with his famous Mesa library. With respect to Voodoo Graphics (tm) accelerated Mesa, additional thanks has to go to Henri Fousse, Gary McTaggart, and the maintainer of the 3Dfx Mesa for DOS, Charlie Wallace The folks at 3Dfx, notably Gary Sanders, Rod Hughes, and Marty Franz, provided valuable input, as did Ross Q. Smith of Quantum3D. The pages on the Voodoo Extreme and Operation 3Dfx websites provided useful info as well, and in some case I relied on the 3Dfx local Newsgroups. The Linux glQuake2 port that uses Linux Glide and Mesa is maintained by Dave Kirsch Thanks to all those who sent e-mail regarding corrections and updates, and special thanks to Mark Atkinson for reminding me of the dual cable setup.

Thanks to the SGML-Tools package (formerly known as Linuxdoc-SGML), this HOWTO is available in several formats, all generated from a common source file. For information on SGML-Tools see its homepage at

1.2 Acknowledgments

3Dfx, the 3Dfx Interactive logo, Voodoo Graphics (tm), and Voodoo Rush (tm) are registered trademarks of 3Dfx Interactive, Inc. Glide, TexUS, Pixelfx and Texelfx are trademarks of 3Dfx Interactive, Inc. OpenGL is a registered trademark of Silicon Graphics. Obsidian is a trademark of Quantum3D. Other product names are trademarks of the respective holders, and are hereby considered properly acknowledged.

1.3 Revision History

Version 1.03

First version for public release.

Version 1.16

Current version v1.16 6 February 1998.

1.4 New versions of this document

You will find the most recent version of this document at

New versions of this document will be periodically posted to the comp.os.linux.answers newsgroup. They will also be uploaded to various anonymous ftp sites that archive such information including

Hypertext versions of this and other Linux HOWTOs are available on many World-Wide-Web sites, including Most Linux CD-ROM distributions include the HOWTOs, often under the /usr/doc/directory, and you can also buy printed copies from several vendors.

If you make a translation of this document into another language, let me know and I'll include a reference to it here.

1.5 Feedback

I rely on you, the reader, to make this HOWTO useful. If you have any suggestions, corrections, or comments, please send them to me (, and I will try to incorporate them in the next revision. Please add HOWTO 3Dfx to the Subject-line of the mail, so procmail will dump it in the appropriate folder.

Before sending bug reports or questions, please read all of the information in this HOWTO, and send detailed information about the problem.

If you publish this document on a CD-ROM or in hardcopy form, a complimentary copy would be appreciated. Mail me for my postal address. Also consider making a donation to the Linux Documentation Project to help support free documentation for Linux. Contact the Linux HOWTO coordinator, Tim Bynum (, for more information.

1.6 Distribution Policy

Copyright (c) 1997, 1998 by Bernd Kreimeier. This document may be distributed under the terms set forth in the LDP license at

This HOWTO is free documentation; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the LDP license. This document is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but without any warranty; without even the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. See the LDP license for more details.

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