I am wondering how to quickly test performance of my 3D graphics. Since glxgears is not benchmark what should I use. Also glxgears sometimes stuck at 60FPS, you cannot even compare before/after driver update (e.g. adding xorg-edgers PPA). Even glxgears doesn't really work out of box.

One possibility is screensavers, but you can't see FPS. I am also not willing to install 600MB nexuiz, specially if I am running on Live-CD. Other 3D games are also very big... Unigine tests are too demanding for opensource drivers (problems with too low OpenGL and probably texture compression (S3TC...)). I would also like to test OpenGL 2.x extentions.

How to quickly test your 3D performance?

7 Answers 7


Ubuntu since 11.04 comes with benchmarks glmark2 and glmark2-es2 which are quite good to perform simple benchmark (with shader) and are very light for download.

glmark2 is actively developed by Linaro group. With each new release, new and more demanding benchmarks are coming. https://launchpad.net/glmark2

Benchmark also runs well on devices (ARM, OpenGL-ES2 based), so it's good (hardware) cross platform comparison. glmark2-es2 running on OMAP4/powervr Pandaboard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5jg9D1lH5Y

  • 1
    What do the results mean? If I'm trying to determine if my system has hardware acceleration, how do I interpret the glmark2 results to get an answer?
    – Eyal
    Commented Apr 29, 2013 at 17:44
  • Vergy good 3D benchmark is hard to make, but glmark2 is better than glxgears but still simple
    – gsedej
    Commented May 24, 2013 at 17:22
  • 4
    On 15.10, it segfaults after installing the driver nvidia-352: bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/glmark2/+bug/1475902 Commented Oct 31, 2015 at 23:33
  • 1
    nvidia-375 and bug still there. Crash on start.
    – neves
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 1:45
  • @neves now worked for me on Ubuntu 16.10, NVIDIA 375.39, glmark 2014.03, NVIDIA GTX 1080 and NVS 5400M. Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 8:55

Unigine has a Linux version of their benchmarks with different shader levels support, could be worth checking out:


This is also included in the Phoronix test suite, which has lots of other automated graphics (and other) testing options as well.


In short, use the software centre to install php5-cli as a dependency for Phoronix, then download the Phoronix tarball and extract it. Detailed usage manuals can be found on the Phoronix site.

  • Tried the sanctuary demo myself with lucid and the radeon driver. Lots of complaints about missing capabilities. After lying to the engine in the startup batch file, got just a blank window. Here's the list of missing mesa implementations: # Lie to test to compensate for mesa deficiency export MESA_EXTENSION_OVERRIDE=+GL_ARB_map_buffer_range,GL_ARB_vertex_array_object,GL_ARB_half_float_vertex,GL_ARB_half_float_pixel,GL_EXT_texture_swizzle,GL_ARB_shader_object,GL_ARB_vertex_shader,GL_ARB_fragment_shader,GL_ARB_framebuffer_object,GL_EXT_framebuffer_multisample Commented Apr 8, 2011 at 7:11
  • Unity is very good benchmark, but does not work with opensource drivers. I want to test my old ATI 9600m GPU. Thanks for suggestion anyway. I am aware of PTS, but this is another layer, it's more about reporting that actually testing. There are applications that are already in Ubuntu repo.
    – gsedej
    Commented Apr 8, 2011 at 9:56
  • sudo apt-get install phoronix-test-suite on Ubuntu 15.10 helps to automate things: askubuntu.com/a/820264/52975 Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 17:25

The chromium-bsu and gltron games in Ubuntu have a much smaller installation footprint than nexuiz and both feature a FPS counter. If I wanted to quickly test, I'd go this way.

  • Thanks for an answer! Nice and small GL tests, but still too simple.
    – gsedej
    Commented Mar 25, 2011 at 11:15

glxgears stuck to 60fps may be due to VSync signal synchronization. Hope other benchmark application won't have same results, but depending on your graphic card you may bypass this. (but with risk to observe tearing on screen)

If you want to go on, I would suggest have a look to this discussion.

To disable Vsync, run glxgears like this:

vblank_mode=0 glxgears


by Kishonti Ltd. is considered a golden standard in the industry.

You can download a free version of their benchmark at: https://gfxbench.com/linux-download/

Then run their scripts:

sh gfxbench_gl-linux-qt-4.0.13+community_64bit.sh

Kishonti makes money by selling more specialized versions of those benchmarks, and also source code as well if you pay an expensive license.

Youtube contains rendering of most of their high level benchmarks, e.g. Car Chase: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ9FyMtNdV4


Previously at https://askubuntu.com/a/33841/52975 , but here go more details.

After Ubuntu 18.04, there is no more package in the repos, you just have to download it from the website: https://www.phoronix-test-suite.com/?k=downloads

sudo apt-get install php-cli php-xml
wget https://phoronix-test-suite.com/releases/phoronix-test-suite-10.8.4.tar.gz
tar xfz phoronix-test-suite-10.8.4.tar.gz
export PATH="$PATH:$(pwd)/phoronix-test-suite"

Further details at: CPU benchmarking utility for Linux

On Ubuntu 16.10 we could just:

sudo apt-get install phoronix-test-suite

From there on, we can list all available tests with:

phoronix-test-suite list-all-tests

This gives suite ID, descriptions and type e.g.:

pts/3dmark                  3DMark Wild Life Extreme        Graphics  
pts/ai-benchmark            AI Benchmark Alpha              System    
pts/aircrack-ng             Aircrack-ng                     Processor

We can also list suites, which are lists of several tests:

phoronix-test-suite list-available-suites

So just pick one of the Graphics tests or suites like pts/glmark2 (pts == Phoronix Test Suite) and run it:

phoronix-test-suite install pts/glmark2
phoronix-test-suite run pts/glmark2

PTS seems to be a front-end for several benchmarks.

pts/glmark2 seems to download glmark2 source code, build it, and run it on an actual window, just as if you were launching it as usual, so results might actually be representative.

From the suites, a particularly representative graphics one may be pts/desktop-graphics.

glmark2 getting started

https://askubuntu.com/a/194468/52975 mentioned it, here are a few more pointers. Install:

sudo apt install glmark2

The help shows all benchmarks and their options:

glmark2 -l

E.g. to run the benchmark terrain with duration of 1 second instead of the default 10 seconds:

glmark2 -b terrain:duration=1

or for multiple options:

glmark2 -b build:duration=1:model=horse

enter image description here

Each test outputs a "glmark2 Score" line on the command line, e.g. on Ubuntu 23.04:

    glmark2 2021.02
    OpenGL Information
    GL_VENDOR:     NVIDIA Corporation
    GL_RENDERER:   Quadro M1200/PCIe/SSE2
    GL_VERSION:    4.6.0 NVIDIA 515.105.01
[build] duration=1:model=bunny: FPS: 2780 FrameTime: 0.360 ms
                                  glmark2 Score: 2780 

According to https://github.com/glmark2/glmark2/issues/31 that number is simply:

the average of all the FPSs from the benchmarks that were run

so we gladly see that it is not limited to the screen refresh rate.

Their source code is at: https://github.com/glmark2/glmark2 and the license is GPL-3.0.


Check out SPEC.org:

The Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) is a non-profit corporation formed to establish, maintain and endorse a standardized set of relevant benchmarks that can be applied to the newest generation of high-performance computers. SPEC develops benchmark suites and also reviews and publishes submitted results from our member organizations and other benchmark licensees.

  • Thanks for answer, but I can't help with this. They do offer GPU testing, but true other programs (like Maya, etc...)
    – gsedej
    Commented Mar 24, 2011 at 22:00

The Uningine bechmarck is now on https://benchmark.unigine.com/

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