OpenGL and Windows Remote don't play along nicely.

OpenGL and Windows Remote don't play along nicely.

Solutions for this are dependent on the use case and answers are fragmented across the vast depths of the net.


A RDP session of Windows does not expose the graphics card, at least not directly. For instance you cannot change the desktop resolution and GraphicsCard drivers usually just disable their setting menus. Starting a OpenGL context higher than v1.1 fails because of this. The, especially in support IRCs, often suggested "Don't use WindowsRemote" is unfortunately not an option for many. In many corporate environments Windows Remote is a constantly used tool and an app has to work there as well.

Non-Coder workarounds

You can start the OpenGL program, allowing it to see the graphics card, create an opengl context and then connect via WindowsRemote. This always works, as Windows remote just transfers the window content. This can be accomplished by:

  • A batch script, that closes the session and starts the program, allowing you to connect to the program already running. (Source)
  • Using VNC or other to remote into the machine, start the program and then switch to Windows Remote. (Simple VNC program, also with a portable client)
  • Set the environment variable "QT_OPENGL" to "angle" (if that doesn't work, try the next one)
  • Set the environment variable "QT_OPENGL" to "software" ("weakest" performance wise, but will often work) 
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