Graphics related problems

Sometimes the design software crashes while using the CAD/GUI.

It might be due to the graphics adapter or graphics card drivers.
Try the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Update the graphics device drivers
    Download and install the latest device drivers from the manufacturer’s website:
    (2 common graphics device downloads page)
    NVidia graphics cards drivers
    ATI / AMD graphics cards drivers

  2. After updating the device drivers, we can continue further by disabling the vertical synchronization feature of this cards. This feature can be accessed from the NVidia or AMD/Catalyst control panel

  3. Even with the latest device drivers, and the issue persists, try to disable hardware acceleration on your system.


Access the graphics card settings from the supplied application/control center or from Control Panel > Display > Screen Resolution.


  1. Test OpenGL with the following:


    You should see the revolving glxgears window.

    glxinfo > glx.txt

    The glx.txt file will be use to troubleshoot any issues.

  2. Updating the MESA graphics drivers in certain cases as described below.

    The Mesa library is an open source software implementation of the OpenGL specification and is generally used on Linux when hardware implementations (for use with a hardware graphics card are not available) – this is very typical when using a VNC connection. The Mesa library, as it is typically distributed in older versions of RHEL, has problems when rendering lines in OpenGL that cause it to crash the X server and end your session. This is why it often fails when zooming on line plots, or when rendering lines (such as the grid lines) at different zoom levels. Using RHEL 6.5 or higher should fix the problem.
  • We have the instructions below which provide a simple fix that will not affect any other software on your system by configuring Lumerical software to use an updated version of the mesa library.

    • Download the updated mesa library.

    • Save the file mesa-<version>.tar.gz to /opt/lumerical/<version>/lib

    • Extract the file;

      tar –xzvf mesa-<version>.tar.gz
    • This step is not required when using 2020a R4 and higher.
      Create a simple shell script ( to ensure that the new graphics libraries in /opt/lumerical/<version>/lib will be used instead of the default system version.
      (bash script shown using 2019a release)

      • Change your script file to be executable
        sudo chmod a+x
      • Run the above script file first then execute or run the design tool as:
        /opt/lumerical/2020a/bin/fdtd-solutions $@    
        /opt/lumerical/2020a/bin/mode-solutions $@
        /opt/lumerical/2020a/bin/device $@
        /opt/lumerical/2020a/bin/interconnect $@

    Mesa library update notes

    • If the design software, eg. FDTD, MODE are installed on a different location or the mesa library files downloaded from above are in a different location, update the -graphics-fix shell file with the correct location.
    • If you are using the default installation location for the software, it will require admin or root access. To avoid this, install the mesa library in a different location and update the -graphics-fix shell script accordingly.
    • This Mesa library is distributed under the license terms described at:
  1. Try to run FDTD or MODE Solutions with the -noaccel suffix;

    cd /opt/lumerical/2020a/bin/
    ./fdtd-solutions-noaccel &
    ./mode-solutions-noaccel &
    ./bin/device-noaccel &

Note: The “-noaccel” option might not work with certain Linux installations and should revert back to using the default options after updating your graphics device drivers.

2 posts were split to a new topic: FDTD crashes on Linux Mint