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GL-Z – A tool to monitor Vulkan and OpenGL on Linux, Windows and macOS

With the growth of games in the Linux world, especially after more frequent Vulkan implementations, a demand has been created for testing, benchmarking and analysis to gauge platform performance. Today you will find a very useful tool for monitoring your CPU and GPU on multiple platforms.

There are a lot of monitoring tools for Linux, however, it is less common to find one that bundles several features into 'one thing' and on top of that works exactly the same on other operating systems for ease of comparison. That's why GL-Z is so interesting .

When it comes to Vulkan, the API itself includes some options for viewing the FPS rate, among other things in that regard, even Steam itself has an FPS counter, but the amount of frames on the screen is one of the factors you think about. may want to monitor, although for OpenGL there is the GLXOSD project, GL-Z becomes more interesting because, besides monitoring OpenGL, it can also monitor the Vulkan on all platforms.

GL-Z Capabilities

GL-Z Linux Settings

The GL-Z a bit weird. The main way of working the application is a window that allows the creation of several other smaller windows, each responsible for monitoring something different, such as the CPU or GPU. It works exactly the same on any system, but there are variations, you can run smaller windows to monitor specific things, for example:

Monitoring OpenGL with GL-Z

GL-Z features include:

  • Cross-platform support, 64-bit Windows and Linux, macOS and Raspberry Pi;
  • OpenGL information, with general data, extensions, usage and memory;
  • Vulkan information, such as general and extended data (as in OpenGL) for each connected Vulkan device
  • CPU monitoring, showing usage on Linux and Windows;
  • GPU monitoring, displaying usage, temperature on Linux and Windows, with the ability to export data to a plain text file;
  • CPU and GPU data can be captured and exported to a cvs file for easy analysis.

GL-Z also has open code and has configuration files very simple to understand and modify, for example, changing the image that appears at the bottom of the window, adding any of your wish is just modifying a file inside a folder called "date".

The application also has a minimal impact on your hardware, making it ideal for monitoring, consuming only 16 MB of RAM and virtually unattended for processor and video card use.

Download and use of GL-Z

Any platform can be downloaded from the official website, the Linux version is compressed in tar.gz format, just extract, as you would any file of this type.

Inside the folder where the files were extracted you will find the following files:

Linux executables

GL-Z works as a portable application and does not need to be installed, which is very cool.

The circled item is the executable binary, just double clicks it to open the main application, if you have a problem running it like this, check in the file properties if it has the execution option checked.

There are some ".sh" (Shell Scripts) files that can also be run by double clicking, these are marked with arrows in the image above, just make sure your file manager is set to open this type of file, with it you can open variations of GL-Z, like the one in the image above where we show the software monitoring only OpenGL.


– You can use GL-Z running while you play and enable log capture via the "tools" menu;

– If you want to see a monitor while playing, just right-click on the edge of the window and ask it to be "always on top";

– All data capture logs you make will be in the program folder itself with the name "log" somewhere in the file.

If you want to display FPS overlay the game, similar to what FRAPS does on Windows, use a simple parameter at game startup, as we show in this article.

See you next time!

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