Opengl 2.1 or higher is required! on Windows 10

Hi guys,

Trying out KiCad on Windows 10. Everything work except PCBnew cannot launch in OpenGL mode. The “Opengl 2.1 or higher is required!” pop out came out and KiCad crashes shortly after that. My graphics drivers is still the same version despite the Windows 10 upgrade. Has anyone facing the same issue? Previously the machine is running Windows 7.

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[quote=“rocketscream, post:1, topic:1299”]
My graphics drivers is still the same version despite the Windows 10 upgrade.[/quote]
Maybe that’s the culprit?
What’s holding you back from upgrading the graphics drivers to Win10 ones?

Hi Joan,

Both Microsoft and Intel (mine is a G43/G45 Intel Graphics) latest version stops at year 2013. And Microsoft claims it works in Windows 10. And Intel doesn’t want to make new drivers.

I uninstalled the KiCad and download 6154 and managed to launch in “default mode”, OpenGL still doesn’t work, but at least now I could work in Cairo mode. Also noticed the built was made using a Windows 8 machine, not sure if building in a Windows 10 would help.

This relevant to this?

Might help to get the exact spec for the board/chipset you’re running there.

If I were you I’d try to ask this question at some of the more hardware oriented websites like, or gaming hardware related website - people there will have more experience with troubleshooting this kind of stuff I’d bet.

I guess I’m not the only one. A host of other people that wanted to play Minecraft on Windows 10 with the same graphics chipset (Intel G45/G43 Express Chipset running on Microsoft WDDM 1.1 driver) had the same issue. Unfortunately both Intel and Microsoft ain’t making any new version of the drivers for Windows 10. Everyone is asking for them to do it but all pretty negative. Chipset is OLD for their standard I guess.

Also just tested on a newer machine on Windows 10 but it has a Intel HD Chipset (doesn’t use the WDDM drivers but some Intel HD drivers) and the PCBnew runs awesomely well and very responsive. Looks good on it too.

What a bummer.

I’ve got another pop out “Could not create OpenGL canvas”, and Pcbnew cannot launch in OpenGL mode. I tested on Windows10 on a brand new machine.(Intel Z170 Chipset, nVidia GeForce GTX980 graphics card) It happens on 4k UHD monitor, but runs well on WUXGA monitor.

OpenGL mode is troublesome to me.


I recently upgraded from Win 7 pro to Win 10 pro, 32 bit.

My graphics is Q43/Q45 (Intel Q45/Q43 Express Chipset running on Microsoft Windows 10 WDDM 1.1 driver) which seems to be rated the same as G43/G45 within the Intel matrix. However to my pleasant surprise I found that PCBNew seems to run OK. I can add components to the screen and no sign of it crashing. I wonder if I need to do something else to make the crash happen?

I also wonder if I do run into the problem in the future if there might be a hardware work around for a desktop PC. Could one possibly install a PCI Express low end but modern day graphics card to resolve the issue?

Thanks in advance for any enlightenment!


sure, if your machine allows for that - which we don’t know? Intel-NUC or most Laptops/Netbooks will have problems.


         My operating system is 32bit Windows 10 pro and it occurred to me that possibly the issue only applies to the 64 bit version of Win 10 ???

I am running Windows 10 Pro 64-bit and PCBnew does not display a window. I’m using a Philips 4K monitor driven by DisplayPort using an NVIDIA GTX 960 - apparently my driver supports OpenGL ES 3.2.

This issue has been posted here for some time now, a couple of months, is there some chance of a fix? Currently I run KiCad in a VMware virtual machine using Ubuntu where it seems to function OK - but should I really have to … ? :confused:

Bugs to be evaluated / fixed should be posted at:

You can ask a question here without having to report a bug first.

It will run on the default graphic mode but not on OpenGL mode and super slow on Cairo.

I have since migrated fully into Linux and running KiCad daily builds happily.
There’s no looking back…

Which Linux and desktop are you using?


Which Linux and desktop are you using?

Ubuntu 14.04 on the same machine as before.

Thanks. That’s where I’m headed.The desktop I was referring to is the graphical one.

I’m evaluating to buy a GeForce GTX 950 to be used w kicad under win10 64bit…
does anyone has this config?

Or could someone suggests a working in win10 64b, middle price Video Card?

thank you

I have an old GT610 and it runs perfectly fine with kicad (linux). I don’t think you need a gamer-card just to do layout.


I use kicad 3D quite heavily, so my requirements are for 3d-viewer rendering

moreover my query and the topic is on kicad’s Windows 10 OpenGL problems …