LLVMpipe is now commonly used as the fallback Linux software rasterizer on modern desktop distributions when no GPU hardware driver is available, but its performance still isn't anything to write home about and the OpenGL capabilities is still far behind that of core Mesa's OpenGL 3.3 support.
Just yesterday I wrote about easy projects for new developers to get involved with the open-source Mesa graphics drivers and already a set of 17 patches have appeared by a new open-source developer for implementing one of the "easy" OpenGL changes.
For those Linux users with C/C++ development experience that have been wanting to get involved with working on the open-source Mesa 3D/OpenGL drivers, a new Wiki page has been setup that outlines -- almost step-by-step -- some easy projects to get started on for adding new OpenGL features to Mesa.
The second release candidate of Mesa 10.0 has arrived. There's hope that the final version will be released next week.
Intel's open-source Linux graphics driver for supporting Broadwell is continuing to move along ahead of the availability of the new Intel processors in a few months time.
With Canonical's small X.Org team back to publishing patches on the Mesa mailing list, it looks like they might be trying again soon for pushing forward their Mir EGL back-end.
For those craving open-source OpenGL 3.2/3.3 drivers, the first release candidate to Mesa 10.0 is now available! The official release is a few weeks out and Mesa 10.0 overall is a humungous release for free software drivers with both new features and better performance.
The infamous GL3.txt documentation was updated over the weekend that provides a look at where the various Mesa/Gallium3D drivers come in with their support for the OpenGL 3.x and 4.x extensions. The Nouveau driver status was updated followed by some slight reformatting to the document to give an easy look at where the open-source OpenGL 3/4 support comes in today.
Libdrm, the DRM library that interfaces between the user-space graphics components (namely Mesa and the X.Org drivers) with the Linux kernel DRM drivers, is now up to version 2.4.48. Big with libdrm 2.4.48 is Intel "Broadwell" and AMD Radeon "Hawaii" GPU support.
After running a successful crowd-funding campaign, Timothy Arceri delivered on his word of implementing KHR_debug support for Mesa. The OpenGL 4.3 extension that came as a result of crowd-funding was successfully merged in Mesa and can be found with the forthcoming 10.0 release. Now the developer is back looking to implement more GL 4.3 functionality.
Late last month at the KVM Forum in Edinburgh was a status update on Virgil3D, the research project by David Airlie for a VirtIO-based 3D GPU for QEMU that's powered by Mesa's Gallium3D.
Thursday was a heck of a day for Mesa development activity with several new OpenGL extensions having been merged, the Xorg state tracker being nuked, and the new game developer-focused GLX extension landing. However, that was not all and in the last commits prior to branching Mesa 10.0 from Git master was the adding of DRI3 support.
Intel has been working to improve Linux gaming and as part of that earlier this year they published the GLX_MESA_query_renderer extension. The purpose of this GLX extension is to provide more system -- particularly graphics-related -- information than what's easily accessible right now. Just before the Mesa 10.0 branching, support for this useful extension was merged.
Just ahead of the Mesa 10.0 code branching, the Gallium3D Xorg state tracker has been eliminated.
With Mesa 10.0 that will be released in a few weeks time there is finally OpenGL 3.2 and 3.3 support. But with Mesa still being several years and revisions behind the latest Khronos Group specification, it's still a matter of implementing a lot of new GL4 functionality. Fortunately, there's many developers devoted to this task and on Tuesday there were patches for two new GL extensions.
Just ahead of the code branching of the Mesa 10.0 release this week, Marek Olšák has committed a number of improvements to the open-source RadeonSI Gallium3D graphics driver for providing open-source to the Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs and newer on Linux.
Following the X.Org Server 1.15 Release Candidate that introduces Direct Rendering Infrastructure 3 (DRI3 a.k.a. DRI3000), Keith Packard has proposed a set of patches that provide DRI3 support for Mesa drivers. The only patched hardware driver though for DRI3 is currently the Intel i965 DRI driver.
In addition to new improvements to Intel's Mesa driver, the Freedreno Gallium3D driver for Qualcomm Adreno/Snapdragon ARM graphics support has seen improvements too ahead of the Mesa 10.0 branching.
For those not comfortable in building Mesa and other open-source Linux graphics driver packages from source, the popular "Oibaf PPA" was updated this morning and it brings Mesa 10.0 Git to Ubuntu 13.10, 13.04, 12.10, and 12.04 LTS distributions. There's also other newer graphics packages there too.
Mesa 10.0 has many new 3D graphics features and we've known for a while the plan was to put out this next Mesa release in November. Now we have a better idea for when the Mesa 10.0 branching will happen and official release happen.
While there's many new features for Mesa 10.0, it's far from being feature complete and there's still many features that Linux desktop users would love to see added.
While Intel's Sandy Bridge hardware is now two years old and has been succeeded by Ivy Bridge and Haswell, the open-source developers working on Mesa are still struggling to address some GPU hang issues with the latest open-source Linux graphics driver for Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge.
Open-source developers are hoping to be able to introduce Hi10P support to NVIDIA's Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU) library.
Mesa 10.0 will hopefully be released by the end of November and with it will come plenty of new features and improvements to the open-source Linux graphics drivers.
While there's plenty of features coming to Mesa 10.0, one of the features not yet merged is support for an OpenGL extension to allow for better interoperability between VDPAU and OpenGL.
Mesa's Gallium3D can now handle OpenMAX! OpenMAX, short for Open Media Acceleration, is the Khronos standard for a C-language interface for abstraction of routines for audio, video, and image processing. With this initial implementation by AMD, the OpenMAX Gallium3D support allows hardware acceleration of MPEG-2 and H.264.
Last week OpenGL 3.3 support landed in Mesa and now to kick off the new week there's another important milestone for the open-source graphics project. The major milestone that just happened is the "Clover" Gallium3D state tracker for OpenCL/GPGPU support now can provide OpenCL ICD support.
Having delivered some new Ivy Bridge benchmarks of Mesa 10.0 Git this weekend, here's some complementary numbers looking at the Mesa 10.0-devel Git performance for a Haswell-based Iris Pro graphics core compared to the stable Mesa 9.2.2 release.
While it's just been two weeks since the Mesa 9.2.1 release, the second point release to Mesa 9.2 is now available with further bug-fixing.
It was just one week ago OpenGL 3.2 support was added to Mesa causing a major version bump so the next release will be known as Mesa 10.0. Last night, OpenGL 3.3 support with GLSL 3.30 was patched and now causing a possible version bump to mesa 11.0.
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