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Graphics are drawn using the OpenGL API
- Using accelerated renderer such as XFree86
- Through GLX calls on Linux; Mesa/X11 is too slow
The scene graph is managed by the PLIB library
- FlightGear's loader passes file names to SimGear
- Visibility and clouds are specified by weather model
Separate XML-derived objects are also used
- The Head Up Display is drawn in front of scenery
- The Instrument Panel is drawn beneath the scenery
- A big improvement over the previous C++ method
TerraGear's world scenery is currently three full DVDs
Most peripherals, such as a joystick, are accessed through operating system services whose implementation may be equivalent, yet very different, under the various operating systems. FlightGear currently supports Windows, FreeBSD, Linux, Solaris, MacOS, Irix and OS-X. For those services which are common across most video games, the independent project PLIB offers a simple API that acts as a Portable Library.
Compared to Windows, MacOS and the Unix's, the various distributions and releases of Linux-based operating systems are very similar. There are important differences, most of which cause problems when trying to build and test
PLIB, so these rarely impact FlightGear directly.
Any Linux user can download the source, compile it and safely expect it to run provided OpenGL works.