How to run ParaView (including the binary release) using Mesa on Windows

Mesa is an alternative OpenGL implementation that let you run graphic application while not using your GPU driver.

It can be very useful for a number of cases :

ParaView has been shipped with Mesa on Linux and MacOS for a long time, but building it on Windows is not something we have been trying to do so far.

Thankfully, a github project is providing release of Mesa for Windows that can be used directly.

Disclaimer : This code is not supported by Kitware and the binary are not built by Kitware, use as your own risk.

Here is a steps by steps guide to use this with ParaView (tested with 5.8.0) on an up-to-date Windows 10.

You can check that it is actually working in Help -> About


@cbourcier @Michael : FYI

Thanks so much for this step by step procedure, got it working for my use. I experienced this problem with Paraview crashing when I use it with windows RDP.

I am a beginner on these things, can I ask how do I actually turn MESA off? When I try to launch now without RDP, i.e. on the actual computer, paraview only shows a black render screen. I want to use mesa when using RDP and the original display driver when running locally. My idea is to have separate environment variables for this, but is there a better way to easily do this?


You need to remove the .dll files you copied into the bin directory.

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I have paraview 5.6.0 and mesa 21.0.2. I’ve followed your procedure but when I start paraview I get the error message:
The application was unable to start correctly (0cx0000142). Any idea what I’m doing wrong?


No idea at this point, please open your own topic.

If someone is unlucky and found themselves struggling to debug or develop ParaView with VS2019 on a Windows 10 Azure VM/Remote Desktop like me, you’d probably come here. So, here’s an update for you (Relax, it just got better. Windows doesn’t have to be a pain always…)

The original repo link by @mwestphal is much convenient and better now. It provides scripts for per-app or system-wide deployment. I prefer system-wide deployment so that it’s centralized.

Select option 1 or 2 or 4 in the cmdlet and deploy. By default, it installs mesa 21.1.0. This supports up to a 4.6 context should you want that.

The 5.9 release binary for ParaView seems to pick up a 3.1 compat context.

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For those who mesa-dist-win did not work as expected, you could also possibly grab the OpenGL3d.dll from Mesa3D For Windows - Federico Dossena and follow the same instructions as the one given in the OP.

This has worked for me in Virtual Machines instances of Windows 10.

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