I've written some simple HTML games for my kids on the Pi. The latest one uses a Canvas but the performance is terrible (and I get the yellow "running hot" square).

I measured by code running in my render loop but it takes < 1ms per frame; yet the framerate was 4fps!

I stripped everything back to a really basic canvas that I just clear and render the framerate too and I get an appalling 11fps. I presume it's not hardware accelerated but that still seems incredibly poor for what's being done here (on my Chromebook I still get 60fs with hardware acceleration disabled).

Here's a full sample HTML page which I'm loading in Chromium on the Pi3. Is it normal to get 11fps? Can I do anything to improve it?

<canvas width="1920" height="1080"></canvas>
// Set up canvas + 2D context
var c = document.querySelector("canvas");
var ctx = c.getContext('2d');
ctx.fillStyle = "black";

// Start render loop
frames = 0;
startTime = performance.now();

function tick(ms) {
    // Clear canvas before rendering
    ctx.clearRect(0, 0, c.width, c.height);

    // Calculate framerate
    var time = (ms - startTime)/1000;
    var fps = frames++/time;

    // Output framerate to canvas
    ctx.fillText(fps, 100, 100);

    // Request next frame

And a runnable jsfiddle: https://jsfiddle.net/0upg2b99/. On my desktop and Chromebook I get 60fps so I'm sure the maths is correct.


I'm using Raspbian Jessie Lite with Chromium 49 installed like this:

wget http://launchpadlibrarian.net/249903476/chromium-browser_49.0.2623.108-0ubuntu0.
wget http://launchpadlibrarian.net/249903480/chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra_49.0.2623.108-0ubuntu0.
wget http://launchpadlibrarian.net/237755896/libgcrypt11_1.5.3-2ubuntu4.3_armhf.deb
sudo dpkg -i chromium-browser_49.0.2623.108-0ubuntu0.  chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra_49.0.2623.108-0ubuntu0. libgcrypt11_1.5.3-2ubuntu4.3_armhf.deb
sudo apt-get -f install -y

I'm running it using startx (I don't have a desktop environment):

tee ~/.xinitrc > /dev/null <<EOF
xset s off                                              # don't activate screensaver
xset -dpms                                              # disable DPMS (Energy Star) features.
xset s noblank                                          # don't blank the video device
setxkbmap -model pc105 -layout gb       # Fix keyboard mapping
unclutter &                                             # Hide mouse pointer after inactivity
chromium-browser --start-fullscreen --start-maximized --kiosk http://localhost/


I've checked the Chrome flags, and hardware acceleration for canvas is enabled. Disabling it made no difference. Enabling the flag that claims to override the GPU blacklist and use the blacklist anyway made it worse. Enabling canvas rendering list(?) also made no difference.

  • I'm not 100% sure of the state of things on the Pi 3, but Chromium has historically been pretty underperformant on every other model of Pi. Could be a non-starter.
    – goobering
    Jul 4, 2016 at 13:46
  • Anecdotally, IMO ffmpeg is generally underwhelming as well. I don't know whether other systems can exploit the GPU for this without using a glcanvas element (this isn't something I know much about), but if so, the Pi probably does not, which might be part of the explanation.
    – goldilocks
    Jul 4, 2016 at 13:51
  • I'm a wee bit sceptical about this one, but there's a short clip of someone playing Youtube clips at a decent looking framerate here. He lists his installation steps here, which include a couple of graphics optimisation options. Could be worth a punt.
    – goobering
    Jul 4, 2016 at 14:07
  • @goobering Worth a shot; I'll have a look. Thanks! Jul 4, 2016 at 14:13
  • 1
    You won't be able to actually do GPU acceleration in Chrome without the open source graphics driver enabled in raspi-config. Jul 4, 2016 at 19:46

1 Answer 1


Enable the experimental 3D driver via raspi-config , it will improve performance. Note that this driver does not support video acceleration yet (which was added to Chromium for Raspbian in 2017).

  • Seems that currently this is disabled at the moment as a bug was found regarding video playing. The linked thread gives more details but as of today, no definite answer has been posted there or if a new release fixing the bug was made.
    – DarkCygnus
    Nov 5, 2019 at 16:52

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