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The First Shots Of "Limare" Running On Linux

Free Software

Published on 03 February 2012 10:52 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
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For open-source fans, here's the first shots of Limare running, in advance of the official announcement this weekend.

Limare is the open-source program (the code will be dropped by early next week) that was designed to assist in reverse-engineering the ARM Mali 200/400 graphics processors. It's a simple program, similar to reNouveau or the r600demo back in the day, for drawing simple objects to the screen.

But first of all, if you didn't read the Phoronix exclusive by now, this weekend at FOSDEM in Brussels there will be the announcement of an open-source reverse-engineered ARM Mali graphics driver for Linux / Android. The work was originally started by Luc Verhaegen and sponsored by Codethink. This driver is going to be part of the Lima Project.

Here's how Luc described Limare to me in advance of the official announcement tomorrow from FOSDEM. "Limare is our driver precursor, where we slowly build up the knowledge on the mali gpu. First, a single frame EGL/openGLES2 application is written to target specific functionality. Then the command stream to render this single frame is captured and analyzed. Then, using the same input data (shader source, attributes and uniforms) as the EGL/openGLES application, the limare infrastructure is expanded or improved until it shows the same render."

Here's some screenshots of Limare from an ARM Mali 400 graphics processor. The support for the ARM Mali 200 is the same. MSAA 4x is already being used for anti-aliasing as the bits have already been discovered. Additionally, "They are upside down, as that is the way that the panels are laid out on my mali devices, which is also why they are 800x480. The backgrounds are grey as that is the easiest way to tell whether we still have a cleared FB, or whether something went catastrophically wrong and we only rendered black."

The First Shots Of "Limare" Running On Linux


Luc started off with a smoothed triangle...

The First Shots Of "Limare" Running On Linux


And then a smoothed strip...

The First Shots Of "Limare" Running On Linux


He then showed off a smoothed fan.

The First Shots Of "Limare" Running On Linux


Limare then rendered a flat quad.

The First Shots Of "Limare" Running On Linux


Limare was also then able to render a triangle and flat quad.

The First Shots Of "Limare" Running On Linux


Ending out Limare, then rendered a cube on the ARM Mali 400 with this open-source user-space. The Lima stack isn't yet up to handling glxgears, but it's getting closer.

More details on this Codethink-sponsored open-source Mali driver will be published following his Lima graphics talk on Saturday at FOSDEM. The LimaDriver.org web-site is also now up with additional details on the driver and information about its Git repository, IRC channel, mailing list, etc.

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 .
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