Stephen M. Webb stephen.webb at
Thu Jun 27 19:50:12 UTC 2013

On 06/27/2013 02:53 PM, Evgeni Golov wrote:
> I wonder: is this general SDL behavior? Or some weird combo of my
> GPU/drivers/Xorg/SDL?

When SDL is running its video initialization, it probes a (precompiled) list of possible video back ends.  As each
fails, it moved on to the next until the list is exhausted, in which case it uses the last (failing) back end.

If you do not give the X11 back end a default display, or give an invalid display, it will fail to initialize and some
other back end will be selected (which will likely also fail).  It looks like this flaky behaviour was fixed for SDL2.

It's possible the fallback framebuffer driver would work in SDL 1.2 if you were running with root privs.  Still, the
weird behaviour sounds like a bug in libSDL (it should handle total catastrophic initialization failure with more grace
and aplomb).

Stephen M. Webb  <stephen.webb at>

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