Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've spent the past 3 days searching and can't find anything. I have an optimus setup with ironhide and a GT520M nVidia card; how do I install the latest version of OpenGL?

I keep getting "GLX_ARB_create_context_profile is unavailable" when I try to run the program, because mesa implements an ancient library.

$ glxinfo | grep "OpenGL version"
$ OpenGL version string: 2.1 Mesa 7.11


optirun ./assign1
* Starting Ironhide X server ironhide                                  DON         
Enabling nVidia card succeeded.
.                                                                     [ OK ]
OpenGL profile requested but GLX_ARB_create_context_profile is unavailable
ERROR: Could not open window
ERROR: Could not initialize UI.
* Stopping Ironhide X server ironhide                                  DOFF
Disabling nVidia card succeeded.
share|improve this question
Are you using the proprietary drivers for NVIDIA? – Zoke Jan 15 '12 at 23:36
I installed the binary NVIDIA driver as pablomme mentioned. – Atlas Jan 17 '12 at 1:37
up vote 0 down vote accepted

The nvidia proprietary driver comes with its own OpenGL library, which should provide support for the latest OpenGL standard that your card is capable of. The free drivers use the OpenGL implementation in Mesa, which only supports OpenGL 2 (3.0 is coming in Mesa 8.0 for Intel only - progress is typically slow on this front).

You can use the Additional Drivers tool to install the nvidia binary-only driver.

share|improve this answer
Thanks! I installed the binary driver and it now glxinfo shows OpenGL version 4.2.0. However, I still get the error: GLX_ARB_create_context_profile is unavailable. – Atlas Jan 17 '12 at 1:38
I noticed that in glxinfo, my OpenGL Vendor says NVIDIA, while my GLX Vendor says VirtualGL. Why is it not also NVIDIA? I'm certain this is the problem. – Atlas Jan 17 '12 at 1:45
Interesting. In my case it says "NVIDIA corporation" for all of {glx server,glx client,OpenGL} vendor string. As far as I can tell, VirtualGL has to do with TurboVNC, but I can't find anything of the like in the repositories. Have you installed TurboVNC in your system? – pablomme Jan 19 '12 at 19:29
..or Bumblebee, which you may have installed for Optimus support. I'm afraid this is an either-or situation - you either get OpenGL 4+ without Bumblebee, or Optimus support with Bumblebee.. – pablomme Jan 21 '12 at 13:40
I've installed Ironhide - the successor to Bumblebee - so, that would explain it. I suppose I will have to try uninstalling Ironhide, and try it from there. Thanks for your help. – Atlas Jan 23 '12 at 22:24

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.