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How to fix libGL error: failed to load driver: swrast?

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  • 2 min read

Ubuntu or other Linux distros aren’t exactly known for their support for GUI-intense tasks. However, most modern Linux distros do come with pretty good GUIs and can even run modern games. 

In this article, we’re talking about the “libGL error: failed to load driver: swrast” error on Linux, which happens when running Steam on Linux, its causes and what you can do to fix the problem. 

Also read: How to install Steam on Linux?


What causes this error?

An issue primarily causes the error with the 32-bit OpenGL driver provided by the libgl1-mesa-dri package. Other causes include:

  • Outdated driver version. 
  • Missing dependencies. 

Also read: Spectrum error codes explained


How to fix this?

Here are three fixes you can try out. 

Install the Mesa package dependencies

You should first ensure you have all the dependencies installed on your machine to ensure the base graphics drivers for your OS. You can do this by using the following command, provided your distro uses apt-get. 

sudo apt-get install -y mesa-utils and libgl1-mesa-glx

Reinstall GPU drivers

Another thing you could do is try and reinstall your GPU drivers. If your Linux distro uses apt-get as the default package manager, you can do this by using the following command. 

sudo apt install --reinstall libgl1-mesa-dri

Alternatively, this command can install all required drivers for your distro.

sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall

For Nvidia GPUs

Installing the Nvidia docker package can also help fix the issue if you’re using an Nvidia GPU. 

sudo apt-get install nvidia-docker

Additionally, sometimes you might have to overwrite the default Nvidia system drivers with the latest one from their website. 

Also read: How to fix Error: Command ‘GCC” failed with exit status 1?

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