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Any works which contain material derived from this document must cite The Virtual GL Project as the source of the material and list the current URL for the Virtual GL web site.This product includes software developed by the Virtual GL is an open source package which gives any Unix or Linux remote display software the ability to run Open GL applications with full 3D hardware acceleration.With Virtual GL, the Open GL commands and 3D data are instead redirected to a 3D graphics accelerator on the application server, and only the rendered 3D images are sent to the client machine.Virtual GL thus “virtualizes” 3D graphics hardware, allowing it to be co-located in the “cold room” with compute and storage resources.
Other remote display software forces Open GL applications to use a slow software-only Open GL renderer, to the detriment of performance as well as compatibility.Whenever a window is created by the application, Virtual GL creates a corresponding 3D pixel buffer (“Pbuffer”) on a 3D graphics card in the application server.Whenever the application requests that an Open GL rendering context be created for the window, Virtual GL intercepts the request and creates the context on the corresponding Pbuffer instead.Virtual GL monitors a few X11 commands and events to determine when windows have been resized, etc., but it does not interfere in any way with the delivery of 2D X11 commands to the X server.
For the most part, VGL does not interfere with the delivery of Open GL commands to the graphics card, either (there are some exceptions, such as its handling of color index rendering.) VGL merely forces the Open GL commands to be delivered to a server-side graphics card rather than a client-side graphics card.It instead relies upon an X proxy to encode and deliver the images to the client(s).