Enable hardware acceleration in Chrome, Chromium, Opera, Slimjet

We often experience choppy graphics performance in almost any chromium based browser like Chrome, Chromium, Opera or Slimjet. Screen tearing and some dark flickers clearly visible when the browser window is opened, maximized or resized even using a compositing window manager.

Recently I faced a more saver graphics related issue with Opera 34, which is built on top of Chromium 47.

enable hardware accleration opera

with lots of error log, saying [0114/201913:ERROR:gles2_cmd_decoder_autogen.h(145)] : [.Compositor-0x2d881636c000]GL ERROR :GL_INVALID_ENUM : glBindTexture: target was GL_FALSE.

Clearly it was graphics related issue, enabling hardware acceleration solved this problem.

Hardware acceleration in a web browser means using the graphics card to render the content, it significantly reduces the CPU workload  while displaying graphics intensive content like HTML5 canvas.


How to check browser hardware acceleration enabled  or not

If fairly easy to check it, just type some specific URL in the browsers address bar,

  • Check Chromium hardware acceleration > chrome://gpu
  • Check Google Chrome hardware acceleration > chrome://gpu
  • Check hardware acceleration in Opera > opera://gpu
  • Check hardware acceleration in Slimjet > slimjet://gpu

Here is an screenshot of google-chrome’s hardware acceleration not fully enabled.

chrome enable hardware accleration


How to enable hardware acceleration in chrome like browsers

Chrome, Chromium, Opera and Slimjet are internally almost same. All of them are based on the Blink HTML rendering engine and V8 javascript engine and shares same code base from chromium open source project. So enabling hardware acceleration process will be very similar too.

Open up the browser and type chrome://flags in the URL bar to edit the launch time command line arguments.

  1. Find Override software rendering list and change it’s value to Enable from Disable .
  2. find Enable GPU rasterization then set it to Enabled from Default .

That’s it, now relaunch the browser and check hardware acceleration support by going to the chrome://gpu URL.

chrome enable hardware accleration


Testing hardware accelerated canvas

Test some hardware accelerated HTML5 canvas example in the links bellow. Or try some 1080p HD video on youtube.

  1. http://codepen.io/pixelgrid/full/ECrKd/
  2. http://fhtr.org/gravityring/sprites.html

CPU usage could be monitored by top, htop or any other GUI task manager like lxtask.

I tested it only on Archlinux and Debian testing, this guide should be similar for any OS or any distribution. So enjoy hardware accelerated browsing 🙂 .

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