I've been looking at other questions, but none seem to answer my query. The closest I got gave me information about a ppa for 12.04. My computer's battery life is suffering under Ubuntu 12.10. I imagine the performance will be better if I use LLVMPipe, as it is aimed at lower end computers. How do I enable LLVMPipe?

I might add that going back to 12.04 is not an option, as my computer only works in Unity 2D, which didn't quite do it for me. As far as I understand, LLVMPipe is pretty much the same as regular Unity. However, I can't seem to find much information about it. If this is wrong, correction would be much appreciated.

  • This method does not force LLVM software rendering afiak, it only uses the low graphics unity mode that also happens to be used automatically when LLVM rendering is used. With this method you should be able to keep hardware acceleration and get better performance due to the turned off effects, which is even better than forcing software rendering anyway :)
    – user115332
    Apr 19, 2013 at 3:52

1 Answer 1


There is an environment variable you can set, UNITY_LOW_GFX_MODE



should replace your existing session with the "low graphics mode" desktop.

If for some reason you want to make it permanent

  • For your user:

    Add the line

      export UNITY_LOW_GFX_MODE=1

    to the file ~/.xprofile (create one, if it doesn't exist).

  • Or globally:

    Create a file /etc/X11/Xsession.d/99force-llvm and add above line (requires root permissions, see this answer about how to create a file as root).

    You can set this globally in one step by running the following line inside a terminal:

      echo "export UNITY_LOW_GFX_MODE=1" | sudo tee /etc/X11/Xsession.d/99force-llvm
  • I thought LLVMpipe is an auto-fallback if your machine doesn't support OpenGL?
    – Marky
    Oct 25, 2012 at 2:52
  • It is, this forces it if you want to. Oct 25, 2012 at 2:58
  • 2
    How can I tell if this is working? I'm having graphical problems that I suspect are related to my video card, but doing this hasn't changed anything.
    – namuol
    Dec 4, 2012 at 4:41

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