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MangoHud, a new open source Vulkan overlay layer for gaming on Linux

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Today, the first official release of MangoHud went out, a new open source Vulkan overlay layer for gaming on Linux. This enables you to get a HUD on your games with fancy details like FPS and Frame Timings, GPU and CPU utilization, GPU and CPU temperature reporting and more.

Originally a fork of the Mesa drivers "with the overlay files modified to produce the hud", it's now an entirely new project separate from Mesa and it works across different GPUs including NVIDIA. Their intention is to be an alternative to the Mesa overlay and the DXVK HUD and they've certainly got my vote as it works great!

Pictured: MangoHud (top left) with Jupiter Hell on my Manjaro/NVIDIA system.

It also has logging capabilities, so it can be useful for some benchmarking too. Allowing you to start and stop the logging with the tap of a button to record things like FPS, CPU & GPU utilization. I can see all sorts of uses for a handy open source project like this.

What I also appreciate is how easy it is to use. Once installed, all you have to do is add this as a launch option for a game on Steam for example:

MANGOHUD=1 %command%

Impressive stuff, I was looking for something exactly like this not long ago and came up completely short. Will definitely be keeping an eye on this.

You can find MangoHud on GitHub.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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42 comments
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vipor29 4 Feb
awesome,looks just like the msi afterburner hud
Shmerl 4 Feb
I'd prefer developers improving Mesa HUD instead of forking and then not upstreaming things.

Logging capabilities were taken straight from the Mesa HUD for the reference. It had it all along.

And Mesa HUD (i.e. Vulkan overlay) works for all Vulkan drivers as well, including Nvidia.


Last edited by Shmerl on 4 February 2020 at 11:23 pm UTC
lejimster 4 Feb
Quoting: ShmerlI'd prefer developers improving Mesa HUD instead of forking and then not upstreaming things.

I believe this is FlightlessMango's HUD? He modified DXVK_HUD and added stuff to it originally, but I believe the stuff he added wasn't of interest to the upstream project. I agree with you, its better to see this work go upstream but sometimes this work is rejected for whatever reason.
Liam Dawe 5 Feb
Quoting: ShmerlI'd prefer developers improving Mesa HUD instead of forking and then not upstreaming things.

Logging capabilities were taken straight from the Mesa HUD for the reference. It had it all along.

And Mesa HUD (i.e. Vulkan overlay) works for all Vulkan drivers as well, including Nvidia.
A HUD like this not being tied to drivers is a good thing. Faster updates for starters, easier to install across any distro and so on. Many reasons why as a standalone project it can be a big benefit.
Shmerl 5 Feb
I don't see why it can't be developed at its own pace, and upstreamed at the same time, unless for some reason it can't be accepted back.
Alm888 5 Feb
Quoting: ShmerlI don't see why it can't be developed at its own pace, and upstreamed at the same time, unless for some reason it can't be accepted back.
nVidia users do not use Mesa, so bundling the utility with it would mean needless drag in the system.
Shmerl 5 Feb
Quoting: Alm888
Quoting: ShmerlI don't see why it can't be developed at its own pace, and upstreamed at the same time, unless for some reason it can't be accepted back.
nVidia users do not use Mesa, so bundling the utility with it would mean needless drag in the system.

How much drag is there?

.
/usr
/usr/lib
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libVkLayer_MESA_overlay.so
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libvulkan_intel.so
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libvulkan_radeon.so
/usr/share
/usr/share/bug
/usr/share/bug/mesa-vulkan-drivers
/usr/share/bug/mesa-vulkan-drivers/control
/usr/share/bug/mesa-vulkan-drivers/script
/usr/share/doc
/usr/share/doc/mesa-vulkan-drivers
/usr/share/doc/mesa-vulkan-drivers/changelog.Debian.gz
/usr/share/doc/mesa-vulkan-drivers/copyright
/usr/share/lintian
/usr/share/lintian/overrides
/usr/share/lintian/overrides/mesa-vulkan-drivers
/usr/share/vulkan
/usr/share/vulkan/explicit_layer.d
/usr/share/vulkan/explicit_layer.d/VkLayer_MESA_overlay.json
/usr/share/vulkan/icd.d
/usr/share/vulkan/icd.d/intel_icd.x86_64.json
/usr/share/vulkan/icd.d/radeon_icd.x86_64.json
Alm888 5 Feb
Quoting: ShmerlHow much drag is there?

/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libvulkan_intel.so
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libvulkan_radeon.so
/usr/share/bug/mesa-vulkan-drivers
/usr/share/bug/mesa-vulkan-drivers/control
/usr/share/bug/mesa-vulkan-drivers/script
/usr/share/doc/mesa-vulkan-drivers
/usr/share/doc/mesa-vulkan-drivers/changelog.Debian.gz
/usr/share/doc/mesa-vulkan-drivers/copyright
/usr/share/lintian/overrides/mesa-vulkan-drivers
/usr/share/vulkan/icd.d/intel_icd.x86_64.json
/usr/share/vulkan/icd.d/radeon_icd.x86_64.json


That is for starters. And then the package dependency hell kicks in and this all goes downhill. Fast.

Remember, before libGLVND we could not even have two OpenGL implementations installed at once, so installing Mesa was not an option.

IMO, the less dependencies a project has the better. And Mesa here is clearly redundant. Of course, I think it would be better if the original "Mesa Vulkan Overlay" project was untied from the Mesa in the first place.

Offtopic: There are lots of problems with Mesa. It being critical system component and thus "frozen in stone" in the Ubuntu LTS releases for two years for many people is the most prominent. And in order to not be stuck with hugely outdated software Ubuntu users resort to hacks like untested unstable repositories (due to NIH syndrome Canonical® calls them "PPA"s) thus throwing the whole idea of stable supported system out the window. :)
Shmerl 5 Feb
That's a problem with Ubuntu, not with Mesa. No one is forcing you to use a distro with outdated graphics support. And if you are so inclined to use it instead of a distro which keeps such things up to date, you'll figure out how to work around such kind of issues.

Personally, I don't recommend Ubuntu for gaming.


Last edited by Shmerl on 5 February 2020 at 6:51 am UTC
Quoting: ShmerlI'd prefer developers improving Mesa HUD instead of forking and then not upstreaming things.

Logging capabilities were taken straight from the Mesa HUD for the reference. It had it all along.

And Mesa HUD (i.e. Vulkan overlay) works for all Vulkan drivers as well, including Nvidia.

At first I didn't make this project for the community, I made it to help myself with my benchmarking videos. However, now that more people are interested in it and find it useful for themselves it has become a community project. As such, upstreaming most changes would be pointless as they are geared towards ease of use in regards to gaming. Most changes are not in line with what Mesa is going for with their hud, for example displaying debugging/low level Vulkan information.

The Mesa overlay did have logging capabilities but were not really in line with how I wanted to use it (for example uploading/parsing on flightlessmango.com for benchmarks), so it has been rewritten, not simply copied and pasted.
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