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How To Enable Vulkan on Google Chrome in Ubuntu 22.04

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In this article, we will guide you through the process of enabling Vulkan on Google Chrome in Ubuntu 22.04. Vulkan is a modern cross-platform graphics and compute API that provides high-efficiency, low-level access to modern GPUs used in a wide variety of devices from PCs to smartphones.

Quick Answer

To enable Vulkan on Google Chrome in Ubuntu 22.04, you need to check your graphics card, verify the graphics driver, run vulkaninfo to check if your GPU is detected and Vulkan is supported, check the Mesa version, upgrade to a bleeding-edge Mesa version if necessary, and enable Vulkan in Chrome by changing a flag in the Chrome settings.

Checking Your Graphics Card

The first step in this process is to determine the type of graphics card your system is using. This can be Intel, AMD, or NVIDIA. You can check this by opening the terminal and typing the following command:

lspci | grep VGA

The lspci command lists all the PCI devices, while grep VGA filters the output to show only the VGA compatible devices – in other words, your graphics card.

Verifying the Graphics Driver

Once you’ve determined the type of graphics card you have, the next step is to verify the graphics driver you are using in Ubuntu. You can do this by typing the following command in the terminal:

glxinfo | grep "OpenGL renderer"

The glxinfo command provides information about the OpenGL and GLX implementations running on a given X display. grep "OpenGL renderer" filters the output to show only the OpenGL renderer string, which includes the name of the driver.

Running vulkaninfo

To check if your GPU is detected and Vulkan is supported on your system, you can run the vulkaninfo command in the terminal. If your GPU is listed in the output, it means that Vulkan is supported on your system.

Checking the Mesa Version

Ubuntu often uses older versions of software, including Mesa, which is the userspace part of graphics drivers. If you have an older Mesa version, it may cause compatibility issues with Chrome. You can check your Mesa version by typing the following command in the terminal:

glxinfo | grep "OpenGL version"

Installing a Bleeding-Edge Mesa Version

If you have an older Mesa version, you can try upgrading to a more recent version using the kisak-mesa PPA. This PPA provides bleeding-edge Mesa packages. You can add this PPA and upgrade Mesa by typing the following commands in the terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kisak/kisak-mesa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

The add-apt-repository command adds the PPA to your system. The apt-get update command updates the package lists for upgrades for packages that need upgrading, as well as new packages that have just come to the repositories. The apt-get dist-upgrade command upgrades your system by installing/upgrading packages.

Enabling Vulkan in Chrome

After upgrading Mesa, you can enable Vulkan in Chrome by opening Chrome and entering chrome://flags/#enable-vulkan in the address bar. Set the flag to “Enabled” and relaunch Chrome. This should enable Vulkan support in the browser.

Troubleshooting Chrome

If enabling Vulkan in Chrome causes it to stop working, you can try running Chrome from the terminal using the command HOME=/tmp/ google-chrome. This will store any changes in the /tmp directory, allowing you to easily undo them later if needed. Check the terminal output for any error messages or warnings that may provide further insight into the issue.

Checking Video Hardware Acceleration

If you encounter errors related to VAAPI (Video Acceleration API), it may indicate that video hardware acceleration is enabled but the necessary drivers are not installed. You can test if video hardware acceleration works outside the browser by running the vainfo command.

By following these steps, you should be able to enable Vulkan in Google Chrome on Ubuntu and resolve the issue of it being disabled. If you have any further questions or run into any issues, feel free to ask for help in the comments section below.

What is Vulkan?

Vulkan is a modern cross-platform graphics and compute API that provides high-efficiency, low-level access to modern GPUs used in a wide variety of devices from PCs to smartphones.

How can I check the graphics card on my Ubuntu system?

You can check the graphics card on your Ubuntu system by opening the terminal and typing the command lspci | grep VGA. This command will list the VGA compatible devices, which includes your graphics card.

How can I verify the graphics driver in Ubuntu?

To verify the graphics driver in Ubuntu, open the terminal and type the command glxinfo | grep "OpenGL renderer". This command will provide information about the OpenGL renderer, including the name of the driver.

How do I check if my GPU supports Vulkan?

You can check if your GPU supports Vulkan by running the command vulkaninfo in the terminal. If your GPU is listed in the output, it means that Vulkan is supported on your system.

What should I do if I have an older Mesa version?

If you have an older Mesa version, you can try upgrading to a more recent version using the kisak-mesa PPA. You can add this PPA and upgrade Mesa by running the commands sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kisak/kisak-mesa, sudo apt-get update, and sudo apt-get dist-upgrade in the terminal.

How can I enable Vulkan in Google Chrome?

After upgrading Mesa, you can enable Vulkan in Google Chrome by opening Chrome and entering chrome://flags/#enable-vulkan in the address bar. Set the flag to "Enabled" and relaunch Chrome to enable Vulkan support in the browser.

What should I do if enabling Vulkan in Chrome causes it to stop working?

If enabling Vulkan in Chrome causes it to stop working, you can try running Chrome from the terminal using the command HOME=/tmp/ google-chrome. This will store any changes in the /tmp directory, allowing you to easily undo them later if needed.

How can I check if video hardware acceleration is working?

You can check if video hardware acceleration is working by running the vainfo command in the terminal. If you encounter errors related to VAAPI (Video Acceleration API), it may indicate that video hardware acceleration is enabled but the necessary drivers are not installed.

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