1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Valve Finds Value In Open-Source Drivers; L4D2 Running On Mesa

Michael Larabel

Published on 29 August 2012
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 3 of 3 - 11 Comments

To some surprise, Eric Anolt then fired up Left 4 Dead 2 running from his Linux laptop using the Intel Mesa DRI driver. It worked! There was the one rendering bug, but the performance was reasonable. The experience isn't completely fluid, but it's playable on the open-source Intel Linux graphics driver.

Eric was running the latest open-source Intel Linux graphics driver code -- kernel and Mesa. He was running what's effectively Git master, building it with the patented texture-float support for floating point textures, and using the external S3TC texture compression library. Again, the L4D2 performance is playable with the latest Intel hardware on the latest code, but further performance improvements will arrive in the coming months.

While not the focus of this Intel presentation at the 2012 GStreamer Conference in San Diego, there's likely some wondering now about the open-source Radeon and Nouveau (NVIDIA) drivers with Valve's games on Linux. Months ago I did put Valve in contact with Nouveau and Radeon developers, but there isn't any active communication with those camps at the moment. This isn't entirely surprising though since the official AMD developers working on the open-source Radeon Linux driver have a hard enough time working on hardware support for GPUs that were released the better part of one year ago. On the Nouveau side they're all community-based and resources there are also stretched thin with working on OpenGL, new hardware enablement, etc. NVIDIA and Radeon hardware also has the respective binary graphics drivers to complement the open-source drivers -- which are much faster and provide much better OpenGL compliance -- while on the Intel Linux side there's only this lone open-source driver.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980: The Best GPU For Linux Gamers
  2. ROCCAT LUA: A Linux-Friendly Gaming Mouse
  3. Cheetah Mounts: The Affordable Way To Put Your TV On The Wall
  4. Scythe Mugen MAX
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Preview: Radeon Gallium3D Performance For CS:GO On Linux
  2. XWayland Linux Gaming Performance With GNOME Wayland On Fedora 21
  3. EXT4/Btrfs/XFS/F2FS Benchmarks On Linux 3.17
  4. Fedora 21 Alpha First Impressions: It's Great
Latest Linux News
  1. KDE Plasma 5.1 Now In Beta
  2. Systemd & Debian Were Most Popular In September
  3. Microsoft Announces... Windows 10 With A Start Menu
  4. Borderlands 2 Launches On Steam For Linux
  5. Debian Jessie Might Get Rid Of The kFreeBSD Port
  6. Fedora Might Try A New Scheduling Strategy For Its Releases
  7. AMD's Catalyst Working On A GLSL Shader Cache
  8. OpenMP 4.0 Offloading Is Closer For GCC 5
  9. Wayland Presentation Extension Added To Weston
  10. Intel Skylake Support Rolls Out To Mesa's DRM
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  2. Nero CD/DVD Burning Software On Linux Is Dead
  3. New Group Calls For Boycotting Systemd
  4. FSF Issues Statement On Shellshock Bash Vulnerability
  5. X.Org Women Outreach Program Only Turns Up Two Applicants So Far
  6. X.Org Is Looking For Some Female Help
  7. Advertisements On Phoronix
  8. NVIDIA Alerts Nouveau: They're Starting To Sign/Validate GPU Firmware Images