Firefox supports hardware acceleration on Linux

Recently, Firefox developer Martin Stransky introduced the latest WebRender function of Firefox 84, saying that it is the first hardware acceleration function implemented by Firefox on a Linux system, reaching an important milestone in the development of Firefox for Linux.

It is reported that WebRender, also known as Quantum Render, was developed by the Mozilla team in September 2015 and built with Rust. It aims to enhance the browser online experience in a new way and push web browsing to the maximum FPS.

As early as 2017, Mozilla launched the Firefox Quantum engine to improve user experience, which greatly improved the performance of Firefox, but WebRender was not ready at the time. It was not until May 2019 that Mozilla added the WebRender function to the Firefox 67 beta, and only supported desktop computers running Windows 10 with Nvidia GPU card for testing.

In the recently released version of Firefox 84, the WebRender function is adapted to the Linux system for the first time. According to Martin Stransky, the Firefox 84 version will first support the Gnome/ version of WebRender, and Firefox 85.0 will support the Gnome/Wayland version of WebRender. Among them, Fedora will be the first Linux distro to enable the Gnome/Wayland version of WebRender in Firefox 84.0.

Martin Stransky said that for various reasons, Firefox WebRender still has many limitations at this stage. For example, due to Nvidia’s relatively small support for open source, by default, the Firefox WebRender function on Linux is currently limited to some AMD GPUs that support Linux well.

In addition, currently, Firefox WebRender only supports enabling in Gnome. The reason is that Gnome is more friendly to hardware acceleration, while KDE provides the option to disable/restrict hardware acceleration settings. This allows Firefox WebRender to adapt to KDE. However, the Mozilla team is also continuing to work hard to complete the remaining adaptation work, their ultimate goal is to cover the Firefox WebRender function to all Linux users.