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

Ubuntu Needs To Improve OpenGL Drivers For Gaming

Ubuntu

Published on 30 October 2012 09:18 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu
27 Comments

Discussions were held this morning in Copenhagen at the Ubuntu Developer Summit about improving audio and graphics support for Ubuntu Linux in order to propel the distribution as a first-rate gaming platform.

Ubuntu wants to be a great gaming platform and as part of that audio and graphics support are two of several areas that need to be improved.

Ubuntu's ultimate goal in terms of the graphics (OpenGL) support coverage is that there's a consistent experience between Linux and Windows / Mac OS X. Aside from Valve collaborating with NVIDIA and AMD to improve their closed-source Linux graphics drivers (along with Intel on their open-source graphics driver), at this UDS Copenhagen discussion was Valve possibly launching Jockey / Ubuntu Software Center directly when needed for prompting users to install the binary graphics drivers when needed for a game instead of using the slower, less-featureful, and buggy open-source graphics drivers.

What Ubuntu developers are looking to push to game developers as the recommended API Is using OpenGL 2.x and OpenGL ES 2.0 where the functionality is the same, which would mean the broadest possible hardware coverage across different devices. The closed-source NVIDIA / AMD graphics drivers meanwhile support OpenGL 4.x while the open-source Mesa/Gallium3D drivers are around OpenGL 3.0~3.1 for the most part.

Briefly talked about was how to handle the full-screen window mess for X11. Of the possibilities discussed here for Ubuntu was creating a resolution manager for ensuring the temporary resolution change is handled accordingly, do GPU scaling rather than changing the mode, or extending the window manager hint that was proposed recently by Ryan Gordon.

When it comes to the audio support for gaming on Ubuntu, they're generally in much better shape than on the graphics side. There's a near feature parity with audio support to Windows, but there are some patents relating to surround sound that might prove troubling to Linux users, there isn't much hardware support for offloading effects to sound cards under Linux, and PulseAudio latency issues might be problematic. JACK was talked about as having lower-latency than PulseAudio, but then users would lose Bluetooth audio support and other features. The numbers tossed out for audio latency were 5ms on Ubuntu when using raw ALSA or 25ms when pumping the audio through PulseAudio.

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. 13-Way Low-End GPU Comparison With AMD's AM1 Athlon
  2. ASUS AM1I-A: A Mini-ITX Board For Socketed Kabini APUs
  3. Mini-Box M350: A Simple, Affordable Mini-ITX Case
  4. Overclocking The AMD AM1 Athlon & Sempron APUs
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Ubuntu 12.04.4 vs. 13.10 vs. 14.04 LTS Desktop Benchmarks
  2. AMD OpenCL Performance With AM1 Kabini APUs
  3. A Quick Look At GCC 4.9 vs. LLVM Clang 3.5
  4. Are AMD Athlon/Sempron APUs Fast Enough For Steam On Linux?
Latest Linux News
  1. Getting Hit By The Variable Performance Of The Public Cloud
  2. Git 2.0 Test Releases Begin With Many Changes
  3. Wine 1.7.17 Works On Its Task Scheduler, C Run-Time
  4. The Improv ARM Board Still Isn't Shipping; Riding A Dead Horse?
  5. Debian To Maintain 6.0 Squeeze As An LTS Release
  6. Wasteland 2 Is Finally Released For Linux Gamers
  7. FreeBSD Advances For ARM, Bhyve, Clang
  8. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" Officially Released
  9. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS vs. 14.04 LTS Server Benchmarks
  10. QEMU 2.0 Released With ARM, x86 Enhancements
  11. Running The Unity 8 Preview Session On Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  12. R600 Gallium3D Disables LLVM Back-End By Default
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Suggestions about how to make a Radeon HD 7790 work decently?
  2. The GNOME Foundation Is Running Short On Money
  3. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  4. Radeon 8000M problematic on Linux?
  5. Linux Kernel Developers Fed Up With Ridiculous Bugs In Systemd
  6. After Jack Keane, RuseSoft will briing Ankh 3 to Linux through Desura
  7. Suspected PHP Proxy Issue
  8. Change installation destination from home directory