Frequently brought up within the Phoronix Forums and elsewhere is the lack of a good graphical utility for configuring various elements of the open-source Linux graphics drivers.
APITrace has been around for a few years and has evolved into the best open-source application for OpenGL debugging and tracing/replaying of OpenGL events. APITrace also supports OpenGL ES and Direct3D/DirectDraw while new features continue to be added.
The latest Mesa Git benchmarks to share are of Intel's Iris Pro 5200 graphics found on the System76 Galago UltraPro.
The core Mesa library and Intel's open-source DRI Mesa driver is now in full compliance with the OpenGL 3.2 specification with GLSL 1.50. As a result, the Mesa version for the next release is being bumped from Mesa 9.3 to Mesa 10.0, as has been expected to be the case for some weeks now. Ahead of the Mesa 10.0 release planned for November, the Intel driver might also reach compliance with OpenGL 3.3 too.
With a number of new OpenGL extensions having been recently added to Mesa, here's a look at where the OpenGL 3.x/4.x support stands today in the open-source OpenGL implementation.
Yesterday Mesa received support for a new OpenGL extension and after that another useful OpenGL 4.2 extension was added to Mesa and implemented within the Intel OpenGL Linux driver. This latest extension can be used for a driver performance optimization.
With many fixes having landed, Mesa 9.2.1 was released on Friday along with Mesa 9.1.7 for providing improvements to the Linux OpenGL graphics drivers.
The necessary plumbing has happened inside Mesa for handling the OpenGL ARB_texture_query_levels extension and it's now implemented for the open-source Intel Linux graphics driver on Sandy Bridge hardware and newer.
For users of Haiku, the open-source BeOS-inspired platform, there's now better mainline support for the operating system with the open-source Mesa graphics drivers.
Multi-sample anti-aliasing (MSAA) support has landed for AMD's R600 GPU LLVM back-end for their open-source Linux graphics drivers.
With a series of commits today, Mesa finally has support for the ARB_texture_gather extension as is needed for OpenGL 4.0 compliance.
Eric Anholt of Intel has published his initial patches for implementing the "mega drivers" concept within Mesa.
One year ago a new Linux OpenGL ABI was proposed to make dealing with Linux OpenGL libraries easier and cleaner, among other benefits. The Linux OpenGL changes that will ultimately affect all Linux graphics drivers is nearing fruition.
While Gallium3D's software-based LLVMpipe driver that runs off the CPU isn't good enough for real-world gaming use or other cases, it can be a good driver to use for learning OpenGL and experimenting.
Eric Anholt at Intel's Open-Source Technology Center is still working on moving Mesa towards a "mega drivers" concept to further reduce disk space and to optimistically increase performance.
The next Mesa release will likely be out before the end of November and should contain OpenGL 3.2/3.3 support thus it will be called Mesa 10.0 rather than Mesa 9.3.
For those curious how the Mesa 3D graphics library started and evolved from there into now a critical piece of the open-source Linux desktop, here's the story.
Patches are pending to implement support for NVIDIA's VDPAU interoperability OpenGL extension within Mesa/Gallium3D.
Intel's Ian Romanick will take to the Linux Plumbers Conference tomorrow with a plea to work together to provide better capabilities across the Linux stack for better debugging and profiling of graphics applications/systems on Linux. The open-source Intel Linux Mesa developer himself calls the current graphics debugging situation on Linux a "disaster" to be fixed.
Ian Romanick of Intel has restored work on having a standalone Mesa GLSL compiler separate from the rest of the Mesa implementation. The purpose of this standalone compiler is largely for testing purposes by OpenGL game/application developers in trying to verify/validate behavior and be independent of the specific Mesa drivers.
The crowd-funded Mesa development effort for the OpenGL 4.3 KHR_debug extension was a success and the patches this morning were successfully merged into mainline Mesa.
It's been a while since having anything to report on the Lima driver project for reverse-engineering ARM Mali graphics, but now its "classic" Mesa driver is up to being able to run the "es2gears" OpenGL ES 2.0 test case.
Intel's Paul Berry merged a large stack of OpenGL Geometry Shader patches for the Intel DRI driver into mainline Mesa.
After about six months of development Mesa 9.2 was released this evening. The Mesa 9.2 release doesn't advance its OpenGL compliance in any major form for the prominent open-source drivers, but there are new features, GL extensions supported, and much better performance.
The independent open-source developer who sought crowd-funding for working on KHR_debug support for Mesa was successful in his fundraising goal and delivered today in posting 15 patches for Mesa to implement this OpenGL extension that assists game/application developers.
The Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver is capable of running some old OpenGL games on the CPU at low resolutions assuming your processor is powerful enough.
Mesa 9.2 was originally planned for release yesterday, but that didn't happen, and the new plan is to release next week.
Holding back Mesa from full support for OpenGL 3.2 has been support for OpenGL Geometry Shaders (and some GLSL 1.50 work). Geometry shaders have been toyed with for quite a while inside Mesa and this week is a new set of thirty patches out of Intel for implementing GS driver support for Ivy Bridge and Haswell hardware.
With the release of Mesa 9.2 due out as soon as Thursday, here's a continuation of the earlier Why Mesa 9.2 Doesn't Work For All Linux Users article covering the missing GL3/GL4 functionality from this key open-source graphics project.
While Mesa 9.2 has some performance improvements and many new features, this open-source 3D graphics library isn't cut for everyone.
1129 Mesa news articles published on Phoronix.