Ubuntu – How to enable low graphics mode (llvmpipe rendering) in Unity


I've been looking at other questions, but none seem to answer my query. The closest I got gave me information about a ppa for 12.04. My computer's battery life is suffering under Ubuntu 12.10. I imagine the performance will be better if I use LLVMPipe, as it is aimed at lower end computers. How do I enable LLVMPipe?

I might add that going back to 12.04 is not an option, as my computer only works in Unity 2D, which didn't quite do it for me. As far as I understand, LLVMPipe is pretty much the same as regular Unity. However, I can't seem to find much information about it. If this is wrong, correction would be much appreciated.

Best Answer

There is an environment variable you can set, UNITY_LOW_GFX_MODE



should replace your existing session with the "low graphics mode" desktop.

If for some reason you want to make it permanent

  • For your user:

    Add the line

      export UNITY_LOW_GFX_MODE=1

    to the file ~/.xprofile (create one, if it doesn't exist).

  • Or globally:

    Create a file /etc/X11/Xsession.d/99force-llvm and add above line (requires root permissions, see this answer about how to create a file as root).

    You can set this globally in one step by running the following line inside a terminal:

      echo "export UNITY_LOW_GFX_MODE=1" | sudo tee /etc/X11/Xsession.d/99force-llvm
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