Introduction to DirectFB

DirectFB is a graphics library on top of the Linux frame buffer device. It offers maximum hardware accelerated performance at a minimum of resource usage and overhead.

Package information

Additional downloads

Installation of DirectFB



DirectFB needs a Linux kernel with frame buffer support. Check the documentation in the kernel tree (/usr/src/linux/Documentation/fb/) on how to enable the frame buffer device for your graphics card.

Install DirectFB by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr &&
make &&
make install

If you decided to add any optional image and video providers, then you have to install the DirectFB-extra package too:

./configure --prefix=/usr &&
make &&
make install


The current version of avifile does not work with DirectFB. You have to use the avifile version which can be found at or alternatively disable the avifile video provider by calling configure with --disable-avifile.

Configuring DirectFB

Config files

/etc/directfbrc, ~/.directfbrc

Configuration information

DirectFB is shipped with reasonable defaults but you might have to tweak things. There are several ways to do this. You may edit the system-wide configuration file /etc/directfbrc, the user-specific ~/.directfbrc or you may configure the DirectFB application via the command-line. Consult the directfbrc(5) manual page for details.


The DirectFB package provides dfbdump, dfbg, dfbinfo, dfblayer, directfb-config, directfb-csource and libdirectfb libraries.



This is a simple debugging tool for DirectFB that shows a list of surfaces and windows.


dfbg is a background configuration tool.


This tool enumerates input devices.


dfblayer is a display layer configuration tool.


directfb-config provides all flags to link static binaries with selectable drivers and other modules built in.


This is a C code generation utility for DirectFB surfaces.

libdirectfb libraries

They provide hardware graphics acceleration, input device handling and abstraction, integrated windowing system with support for translucent windows and multiple display layers on top of the Linux frame buffer device.