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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Additional Software (PETs, n' stuff) » Browsers and Internet
Linux Chrome hardware acceleration a 'no-go', say Google
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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 4446
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct 2018, 17:52    Post subject:  Linux Chrome hardware acceleration a 'no-go', say Google
Subject description: Won't support hardware acceleration for Linux users. The 'flags' don't actually DO anything...
 

Evening, all.

Just a tidbit of information I thought some of you might be interested in.

For anyone who's ever tried to get the new, web-based version of Google Earth running in Chrome, followed all the publicly-available tips/tricks/tweaks, and STILL ended up with:-

'Sorry, your browser doesn't support WebGL...' (which is the one component necessary for it to work, 'cos that's what this has been built round)

.....then here is the reason why.

https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2018/10/hardware-acceleration-chrome-linux

WebGL is required. Hardware acceleration needs to be switched on.....and your graphics card/chip/discrete GPU/whatever, needs to support WebGL (equivalent to certain features available in the current Windows DX11/12).

Google are citing the hotch-potch state of GPU drivers under Linux, and the vast number of different hardware/distro/kernel/proprietary driver combinations to be found on this side of the fence, as the main reason why they point-blank refuse to support this feature for the Linux version of Chrome.

They put the browser's overall stability first & foremost. You can go into Settings, enable 'Hardware acceleration', check under 'chrome://gpu', and find it says that it's enabled.....but for us, the 'switches' don't actually do anything.

Apparently, it's possible to get a 'patch' installed to enable this feature for Nvidia cards.....but only if you take the time required to compile & install an experimental, unstable version of Chromium itself. And even then there's no guarantees.....

So; no 'new' Google-Earth on t' web if you run Linux. It almost goes without saying that this feature is fully supported for Windows/Mac users, doesn't it? Rolling Eyes

(*sheesh*)


Mike. Wink

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musher0

Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 13147
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct 2018, 18:34    Post subject:  

Hi, Mike_Walsh.

Quite a downer indeed.

I'm certainly not a specialist of Chrome nor of Google Maps, but I had sort
of a "tit for tat" reaction... I did some minimal research on alternatives to
Google Maps, and got this:
https://alternativeto.net/software/google-earth/?license=opensource&platform=linux

Would anyone know if any of the above Linux AND Open Source
alternatives
to Google Maps work on that Chrome browser?

So we poor little Linuxian orphans can pinpoint where we exist in the world?
(Snif.) Crying or Very sad

Just a thought.

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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 4446
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct 2018, 18:52    Post subject:  

Hi, musher0.

Hah! 'Poor little Linux orphans', indeed.... I like it, I like it!

As far as Google Maps is concerned, I've got several of those working. Bing; the AA (Automobile Association); Michelin.....to name but three.

There's also the 'Cruiser' app which 666philb originally discovered, and I made up some packages for.....but you need Java installed for that one, and the map quality is nowhere near as good as Google's, I'm afraid.

-------------------------------------

Re; your list you linked to. I've investigated Marble before now (I liked the look of it).....but the trouble with it is that it's part of the KDE project. Which means massive amounts of KDE-specific dependencies (including over 80% of the full Plasma desktop package; makes for the usual 'hyper-bloat'). Plus, it's Qt5-based; another 'monster'.....and one which I've had zero luck with since it started becoming the standard graphics 'tool', this last 18 months or so (itself requiring large quantities of other dependencies). The actual Marble 'app', by contrast, is a truly miniscule 180 kb in size.....yet requiring more than half a gigabyte of various inter-related stuff to function at all..!!!

Which is bloody RIDICULOUS.

As for the NASA Whirlwind item, that's a developer tool for adding embedded maps/satellite stuff into websites, etc; all Javascript & CSS stuff. You certainly can't download it, click on it, and just 'use it', OOTB. Doesn't work like that, apparently.

The remainder of the list? Two are also developer tools, one is just a set of libraries.....and the rest have been discontinued.

-------------------------------------

I was rather looking forward to trying out some of the new features in the web-based Google Earth.....but nothing on this earth will persuade me to poke my nose over t'other side of 'the fence' again. Not even at 'gun-point'..! Laughing

I'll stick with the early 6-series Google Earth Linux package. At least that has the advantage of working in pretty much any Pup, from the early 5-series onward.....despite being a few years old now. And it's a self-contained package....and does everything I want it for.


Mike. Wink

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musher0

Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 13147
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct 2018, 22:32    Post subject:  

Thanks for the quick survey of Google Maps alternatives, Mike_Walsh!
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dancytron

Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 1162

PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct 2018, 23:13    Post subject:  

Another alternative would be to use a real GIS program.

Harder to learn, more complicated, you've got to find your own maps, but more powerful in the end.

Viking is one that is fairly accessible. https://sourceforge.net/projects/viking/

Udig is another one that I posted about 5 years ago http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?search_id=230865590&t=83904

Qgis and grass are two other ones. They seemed harder to me, more for professionals (read I gave up before I figured them out).
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ETP


Joined: 19 Oct 2010
Posts: 1117
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed 10 Oct 2018, 08:52    Post subject:  

Hi Mike,

In conjunction with engaging hardware acceleration in the Chrome advanced settings you may wish to give
the flag below a try. Currently those settings enable me to run the web-based version of Google Earth on a variety of Pups
with my old Nvidia GeForce GT 610.
chrome://gpu shows as follows with the vital WebGL items at the bottom. The output is in fact identical to Windows 10.

Graphics Feature Status
Canvas: Hardware accelerated
Flash: Hardware accelerated
Flash Stage3D: Hardware accelerated
Flash Stage3D Baseline profile: Hardware accelerated
Compositing: Hardware accelerated
Multiple Raster Threads: Enabled
Native GpuMemoryBuffers: Software only. Hardware acceleration disabled
Out-of-process Rasterization: Disabled
Hardware Protected Video Decode: Hardware accelerated
Rasterization: Software only. Hardware acceleration disabled
Skia Deferred Display List: Disabled
Skia Renderer: Disabled
Surface Synchronization: Enabled
Video Decode: Hardware accelerated
Viz Service Display Compositor: Disabled
WebGL: Hardware accelerated
WebGL2: Hardware accelerated
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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 4446
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Wed 10 Oct 2018, 10:50    Post subject:  

Hi, ETP.

Y'know, I suspect my problem is that I'm not using a proper, 'discrete' graphics card at all, but rather an elderly, integrated chip that dates from almost 15 years ago.....the ATI Radeon Xpress 200 series.

I doubt the chip is even capable of what WebGL requires, never mind actually running it. With only 2 vertex and 2 shader pipelines?? And running at 275 MHz???

That said, Google Earth 'Pro' runs well on it.....and, despite its advancing years, it still gives a lovely crisp, sharply-defined picture. I've no plans to replace the old Compaq desktop any time soon; funds just won't permit.

I have to accept this, and 'work within my means...'!


Mike. Wink

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