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Graphics Open Source Software

Mesa 10.2 Improves Linux's Open-Source Graphics Drivers 58

An anonymous reader writes "Mesa 10.2 was introduced this week as the new shining example of what open source graphics (and open source projects in general) are capable of achieving. The latest release of this often underrepresented open source graphics driver project has many new OpenGL and driver features including a number of new OpenGL 4 extensions. The reverse-engineered Freedreno driver now poses serious competition to Qualcomm's Adreno driver, an OpenMAX implementation was added for Radeon video encoding support, Intel Broadwell support now works better, the software rasterizer supports OpenGL 3.3, and many other changes are present."
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Mesa 10.2 Improves Linux's Open-Source Graphics Drivers

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  • While I'm pleased to see a longstanding opensource project is alive & well, I'm not sure if it's really relevant anymore.

    Slashdotter, what say you?

    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by haruchai ( 17472 )

      That should be Slashdotters, as in plural, sorry.

    • by rroman ( 2627559 ) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @12:00AM (#47188783)
      I think that Mesa is necessary. I'm developing UI in QtQuick2 and it does only work with OpenGL 2 and above. Since there are platforms that don't support OpenGL 2 I have to have fallback to software rendered graphic. Mesa saves the day. If there was no Mesa, I'd be forced not to use QtQuick2 and stick to Qt widgets, which are not really designed to run well on mobile devices. And for the record, I do think, that QtQuick2 is the future of Gui development.
      • by GNious ( 953874 )

        you're doing OpenGL in QtQuick2? Is that even, uhm, sane? :)
        Any links to (open source) examples would be welcome, as I had a look recently, and simply got scared.

        Disclaimer: I use QML et al to develop a Jolla app, and have another app in an early planning stage, where I still need to figure out how to make nice graphs.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        winforms or wpf is simpler...

      • by cide1 ( 126814 )

        Ive been working on a platform that is Linux running on a 1 GHz, 32 bit ARM, where we want to run an already existing Qt Quick 2 application. We have run mockup applications with X using the virtual framebuffer and the mesa software renderer, and found performance to be really bad. On the order of 1 FPS or so. Any suggestions on ways to make the software renderer more usable? My understanding is that LLVM would help here, but only works on x86 and x64.

    • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

      err.. Mesa has formed the basis of opengl support in linux since the 90s.. It's still used today.

    • by Sits ( 117492 ) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @01:27AM (#47188941) Homepage Journal

      Unless your graphics driver provides a full 3D stack (userspace GL libraries down to kernel drivers) you will be using Mesa on Linux. You are probably thinking of Mesa as purely a software renderer whereas it is also used as a frontend to open source 3D drivers and uses DRI to provide access to the hardware's acceleration.

      I've yet to see binary any drivers use Mesa.

    • While I'm pleased to see a longstanding opensource project is alive & well, I'm not sure if it's really relevant anymore.

      Slashdotter, what say you?

      The main OpenGL stack of Linux is not relevant? Interesting.

      • It's relevant, but if you install a video card, you are going to use the vendor's OpenGL stack for most of your rendering, and that's probably the majority of users.
        • by thue ( 121682 )

          My impression is that basically all Linux distributions install the open source drivers by default. And in my experience, installing the proprietary drivers is messy.

          And most distributions uses 3D in the window manager by default.

          So I imagine that many more Linux users use the open source drivers (which in turn use Mesa) than uses the proprietary drivers.

          • Interesting -- I would have thought if you buy an NVIDIA card that it won't work properly without NVIDIA's driver. Same for ATI. You're saying that Mesa gives hardware support for those cards?
            • by thue ( 121682 )

              Yes. There are free software projects making a driver for each of those, build upon Mesa. Both AMD (a lot) and NVIDIA (in small measure) has actually contributed to those projects, in addition to their closed source drivers.

              • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

                Just because a libre driver exists doesn't mean that people are going to want to use it. Those of us interested in performance are far more likely to immediately dump those libre drivers for something that actually works well.

                Free Software zealotry in this area really only makes sense if you are actively avoiding all of the software that would need a good OpenGL implementation. Most of that stuff is not Free Software either.

                • by thue ( 121682 )

                  For dual screen setups, using the proprietary drivers is an absolute mess, while the open source drivers work perfectly. And the free drivers are perfectly adequate for non-high-end-gaming. I can play Minecraft at 1920x1600 with the open source Radeon driver at acceptable framerates.

            • Both ATI and NVidia cards have quite decent functionality on Linux without those vendors' drivers.

        • by Arker ( 91948 )
          "It's relevant, but if you install a video card, you are going to use the vendor's OpenGL stack"

          No, in fact, that's one thing I definitely will NOT be using.

          "that's probably the majority of users."

          Gnu/linux has indeed gotten 'easy' enough to attract some clueless noobs, but I really doubt they are the majority.

    • by Arker ( 91948 )
      What, did we miraculously evolve past the need for video drivers while I was sleeping?

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan