SDL2 X11 vs FB Library/Driver

I have come across two different versions of SDL2 for Linux Ubuntu 18.04 for Arm64.

One runs on top of X11 and the other appears to use the Mali FB directly. The Mali FB version is much better performance on my platform.

I tested ppssppsdl that seems to run under both setups (but faster on the Mali FB).

I have my own SDL2 emulator which runs fine on SDL2 X11 but that I would like to run on the SDL2 Mali FB driver/library.

When I attempt to do so the code complains it can’t find the SDL2 driver and it will not run on the SDL2 Mali FB library.

Could not initialize sdl2: mali-fbdev: Could not open framebuffer device.

However the PPSSPPSDL application has no trouble doing just this.

So what is the PPSSPPSDL application doing differently then a regular SDL2 application to ensure the Mali FB is being initialized?

What do I need to do in order to make my SDL2 application do the same.