KiCAD 4.0.5 in linux - 3D Footprint Viewer Renders Very Slow

I noticed this issue with the footprint viewer. I’m using an old notebook to test the waters in linux, but I seem to be struggling with legacy support.

Notebook: Dell Precision M4300, Core2D 2GHz, 4GB RAM, Nvidia FX360M quadro graphics card, 1920x1080 15" display.

OS: Debian 9 (stretch) 64-bit

Graphics Driver: nouveau initially, now nvidia proprietary legacy driver 340.102.

KiCAD version: 4.0.5, 64-bit. This is the latest I can get through the vetted repositories. I looked for 4.0.6 but no luck.

Under nouveau, the 3D performance of KiCAD was actually very good. The performance of streaming media OTOH was terrible. I could not view a video @480p without frame dropping, never mind expanding it to full-screen. So I turned on hardware acceleration in the browser. This fixed the streaming issue, but caused the laptop to freeze for several seconds, then reboot. If I turned off hardware acceleration in the browser, sadly it still would crash when using KiCAD’s 3D viewer, or FreeCAD (I was trying to create a 3D model for KiCAD) just not as frequently.

Under nvidia, streaming video is great, no crash/reboot cycles, but… now the 3D display in KiCAD (and FreeCAD) is super slow, not usable. It looks like the OpenGL rendering is not being pushed into the nvidia card.

I can either have good KiCAD performance and unusable video with occasional crashes, or I can have great video but unusable KiCAD 3D/FreeCAD. I am not sure where to turn, or if this forum is just the wrong place to ask for advice.

Thanks in advance for any knowledge shared.

There are some threads about nvidia cards in this forum. I don’t have a Nvidia card, so no much help from my side.

There is also a ppa for ubuntu stable/nightly versions. I guess these versions work also in Debian.

tips: use the latest KiCad nightly builds, install proprietary NVidia drivers and try to disable refresh synch (I don’t know how to do it for Nvidia, probably in the GUI configuration)