NVIDIA Reportedly Working On A Unified EGL Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 8 March 2013 at 01:08 AM EST. 35 Comments
A Canonical developer has posted on his blog about alleged improvements they are working on NVIDIA with to benefit the Mir Display Server.

Thomas Voß, one of the Mir developers at Canonical, wrote on his blog about some of the Mir work they are engaging in at Canonical and their vision.

Their requirements for their future graphics stack were tailoring towards EGL and OpenGL (or OpenGL ES), minimal assumptions about the driver model, ability to leverage Android GPU drivers, ability to leverage current hardware compositors, efficient use of memory/GPU/CPU, tight integration with the Unity shell, an efficient and secure input subsystem with mobile support, full testing all over, and adaptable to future requirements. With those requirements, Mir was started.

Perhaps most interesting and new from his blog post though is this bit: "For the closed-source desktop drivers: We are in active conversations with GPU vendors to enable Mir on those drivers/GPUs, too. [Updated] More to this, we are working together with NVIDIA towards a more unified driver model sitting on top of EGL."

We've known since the announcement that Canonical would be pushing for the binary NVIDIA and AMD graphics drivers to add the necessary requirements for running Mir. The interesting part though is the update by Voß that they are working with NVIDIA on "a more unified driver model sitting on top of EGL."

I haven't heard anything out of NVIDIA or other sources about this more unified driver model. EGL support though is nice regardless and NVIDIA will still need to continue supporting GLX for a long time to come due to their enterprise focus and that the X Server won't disappear anytime soon. EGL support will also benefit Wayland too and can be used on modern X.Org. Upstream X.Org developers consider GLX deprecated in favor of EGL.

NVIDIA's primary interest (and source for revenue) on the Linux side is through workstation customers, but after that, Ubuntu is very important to them and their desktop customer base so they are certainly listening and factoring in Canonical's plans. The same story goes for AMD and their Catalyst driver, but chances are NVIDIA will be first to the table with a nice EGL driver.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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