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10 February 2012, 15:58

Mesa 3D 8.0 supports OpenGL 3.0 and GLSL 1.30

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The Mesa project has released version 8.0 of Mesa 3D – the first version of the OpenGL implementation and 3D driver collection to support OpenGL 3.0 and version 1.30 of GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language). As usual, the features supported are dependent on the hardware and drivers used: the i965 driver for recent Intel graphics cores should already include everything required for OpenGL 3.0 and GLSL 1.30. According to a presentationPDF given by a group of Nouveau developers at FOSDEM, Mesa 3D driver NVC0 also supports both technologies. NVC0 operates as a driver for many Fermi generation graphics cores, which are primarily used in GeForce 400 and 500 series models.

Other enhancements mean that the graphics drivers included in Mesa 3D now support some of the latest AMD, Intel and NVIDIA graphics cores, though this does not include the Southern Islands chips used on Radeon HD 7950 and 7970 graphics cards. Some of the improved hardware support requires the use of up to date versions of the Linux kernel, Libdrm and the appropriate driver, as the Mesa 3D drivers interact with these components.

Some of the code in the Fedora development tree also been incorporated into Mesa 3D and the llvmpipe software rasteriser. This will allow the Mutter compositing window manager in GNOME and the GNOME Shell to run smoothly on systems with graphics drivers that do not use their graphics hardware's 3D support.

The developers have designated version 8.0 a development release – users looking for stability should either stay with a previous version or wait for version 8.0.1. The software is used by almost all Linux distributions. While the current release was originally designated 7.12, the leap to version 8.0 was made once it became clear that it would be able to offer support for OpenGL 3.0 and GLSL 1.30.

Some housekeeping has also been done: the i810, mach64, mga, r128, savage, sis, tdfx and unichrome drivers have been removed, as they only support the first generation DRI interface, and do not support DRI2. Additionally, the "classic" r300 and r600 drivers have been removed, as these Radeon GPUs are now supported by the r300g and r600g drivers, based on Mesa 3D's Gallium3D infrastructure.


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