Minecraft OpenGL crash loading game

Minecraft seems to be everywhere and one of the nice things about it is that it will run quite happily on Linux (actually there are some things like manipulating ‘.jar’ files that are probably easier on Linux), and if you are a thinking of trying out Linux but are put off by not being able run Minecraft then the good news is that getting it too work on Linux isn’t hard – but occasionally something unexpected happens as it did to me recently.

I’d was just finishing off a new install of Debian 8.0 (jessie) and checking to see if everything still worked when I found that the current version of Minecraft crashed when launching the game. It looks like the crash is also connected to the recent updates that have been made since release 1.8.1 as that version still worked – so if you are running Minecraft on Linux and are having problems after upgrading to a later version this may also fix your problem if you are getting the same error message.

  at ave.ar(SourceFile:560)
  at ave.am(SourceFile:361)
  at ave.a(SourceFile:310)
  at net.minecraft.client.main.Main.main(SourceFile:124)
Caused by: java.lang.ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException: 0
  at org.lwjgl.opengl.LinuxDisplay.getAvailableDisplayModes
  at org.lwjgl.opengl.LinuxDisplay.init
  at org.lwjgl.opengl.Display.
  ... 4 more
Launched Version: 1.8.5
  LWJGL: 2.9.4
  OpenGL: RuntimeException: No OpenGL context found in the current thread.
  GL Caps: 

Note – I’ve inserted some line breaks in the text above so it is readable without having to scroll horizontally.

It looks like the program is trying to initialize the display and fails when it attempts to get the available display modes. Minecraft has worked previously on this system with the same version of the nVidia driver so it was unlikely to be a driver problem and since I had just re-installed Linux from scratch using only the minimum number of required packages I was reasonably sure that this problem was being caused by a missing utility from a package that I’d not installed. The question was which one?

For no particular reason (other then that I use a rather old KVM switch that requires my display settings to be tweaked a bit to work properly) I decided to check to see what X windows thought the current display mode was in case that was causing problems – and for once I got lucky.

$ xrandr
bash: xrandr: command not found

Oops – that isn’t supposed to happen…

To fix the problem I decided to install the missing package – but which package contains ‘xrandr’?

Fortunately there is an easy way to find out – just paste the following URL into your browser’s address bar to return a list of all packages containing a filename ending in ‘xrandr’


File                            Packages
/usr/bin/lxrandr                lxrandr
/usr/bin/unxrandr               arandr
/usr/bin/xrandr                 x11-xserver-utils
/usr/lib/xbmc/xbmc-xrandr       xbmc-bin 
/usr/share/menu/lxrandr         lxrandr

So the missing package that contains 'xrandr' is 'x11-xserver-utils', which I can install using 'apt-get'.

$ su
# apt-get install x11-xserver-utils
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Suggested packages:
  nickle cairo-5c xorg-docs-core
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 158 kB of archives.
Setting up x11-xserver-utils (7.7+3+b1) ...
# exit

Now I don't know exactly why this fixes the problem but it looks like after version 1.8.1 Minecraft may be using 'xrandr' to get the available display modes, since after I'd installed it not only was I able to see my current display modes but Minecraft also started working again.

$ xrandr
Screen 0: minimum 8 x 8, current 1920 x 1200, maximum 16384 x 16384
VGA-0 connected primary 1920x1200+0+0
(normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 540mm x 350mm
  1920x1200     59.95 +  59.88* 
  1920x1080     60.00  
  1680x1050     59.95  
  1600x1200     60.00  
  1600x1000     60.00  
  1280x1024     75.02    60.02  
  1280x960      60.00  
  1024x768      75.03    60.00  
  800x600       75.00    60.32  
  640x480       75.00    59.94  
DVI-D-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DVI-D-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

Phew - That should keep someone quiet for a bit...

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2 Responses to Minecraft OpenGL crash loading game

  1. Thank you for pointing that out. Using Gentoo I forgot xrandr after the last reinstall. “emerge -av xrandr” did the trick.

  2. Cheers for this, installed the latest version (1.10) and it wouldn’t start with the same OpenGL error on Arch Linux.

    Arch being very “install only the packages you really need” i was missing xrand … doh!

    Installing “sudo pacman -S xorg-xrandr” solved this issue for me :)

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