Announcing The Lima Open-Source GPU Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 27 January 2012 at 10:26 AM EST. 17 Comments
There's still one week until the work will be officially announced, but the open-source "Lima" open-source graphics driver project has surfaced.

The Lima driver? This is going to be the open-source driver built for ARM's Mali graphics processors. Lima is what the project's being called for the story Phoronix exclusively broke last week, An Open-Source, Reverse-Engineered Mali GPU Driver.

Lima initially is about providing an open-source (OpenGL ES 2.0 supportive) user-space for ARM's Mali 200 and Mali 400 graphics processors, which is the embedded graphics processor being found in more mobile devices. The reverse-engineering and driver writing is being done by Luc Verhaegen and sponsored by Codethink.

The Lima code is to be pushed to this Gitorious project page. "Lima is a free software graphics driver for the ARM Mali GPUs. It aims to provide a free userspace, which will allow for increased flexibility and portability, and a lessened maintenance burden compared to ARM’s binary-only driver. Lima currently supports the Mali-200 and Mali-400 GPUs."

There was some effort to make it part of the project, but Luc's friction with other X.Org developers has caused problems. It looks like the project will now be formally organized at

The name Lima was used as ARM is already asserting its trademark of Mali against a more aptly named reverse-engineered driver like "reMali" or similar. Though like Mali, Lima is another geographical term while being a mixture of Mali's characters.

Luc will officially be announcing this ARM Mali open-source driver work next weekend at FOSDEM 2012 in Brussels, Belgium. I'll be there next week for the interesting X.Org and Wayland talks so you can expect coverage on Phoronix and my Twitter. I should also be doing some audio/video recordings.

Until Lima is officially announced, you can read the information about this forthcoming open-source GPU driver from last week's article. You can also checkout coverage of earlier FOSDEM events in the meantime.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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