From: John Stone (
Date: Thu Dec 29 2022 - 11:51:40 CST

  I finally had a chance to dig into this a little bit.

On the side of the current pro-viz oriented NVIDIA GPUs such as
RTX A[456]x00 and the new RTX 6000 Ada generation, the GPU hardware
continues to maintain full support for quad-buffered stereo,
stereo sync, and boards for multi-GPU framelock, etc.

I know from experience with recent Linux distros and the stereoscopic
projection systems at UIUC that even with full quad-buffered stereo
support in the hardware and video driver, the next issue is that some
(most?) of the current X-Windows window managers are incompatible with
quad-buffered stereo. To get around that problem at UIUC, we had to use
particular window managers and/or window manager versions. Last time
I/we had to deal with that, we ended up using KDE on the system driving
the 3-D projectors, but there are many of the simpler and/or more minimalistic
window managers that would probably also work. The main thing is that
the latest revs of GNOME weren't workable w/ quad-buffered stereo when
we last dealt with this.
I have to admit that I haven't really had an opportunity to do much with
this since before the 2020 COVID pandemic.

The issue that remains, assuming you get past the window manager stuff
is selecting compatible display hardware.
UIUC still uses a combination of a pair of passively polarized projectors
(thus 3-D passive stereo) with polarized glasses (also passive).
The system driving that setup is using an older generation GPU
at this moment, but I would expect that it would work fine with a
newer RTX A6000 or the like.

I don't presently have a good suggestion for things like active or
stereo 3-D TVs or monitors, but I'm sure they exist, it's likely
mostly a question of cost since they are now "rare".

UIUC has a bunch of LG TVs with passive stereo (polarized on even/odd scanlines)
that work fine with VMD even without specific GPU hardware support
via OpenGL stencil buffer tricks.

I've got to run, but this ought to give some information for the
time being until I manage to find out what current display/glasses
options exist for the classic desktop researcher using tools like VMD.

  John Stone

On Wed, Nov 02, 2022 at 11:26:47AM +0100, Vlad Cojocaru wrote:
> Dear all,
> Over the years we have been successfully using the NVIDIA 3D vision
> kit with NVIDIA Quadro cards for visualizing 3D in VMD on Linux.
> NVIDIA has discontinued 3D vision and now I am looking into some new
> equipment.
> Can anyone recommend a next generation 3d visualization solution for
> VMD (and other opengl applications) with high end NVIDIA card, and
> monitor on Linux ?
> Thanks a lot
> Best wishes
> Vlad
> --
> Dr. Vlad Cojocaru (PD, Habil.)
> ----------------------------------------------
> Guest Scientist / Fmr. Project Group Leader
> Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine
> Röntgenstrasse 20, 48149 Münster, Germany
> ----------------------------------------------
> Email:

Research Affiliate, NIH Center for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
University of Illinois, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801