OSMesa State Tracker + LLVMpipe Support Published
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 11 March 2013 at 09:40 PM EDT. 5 Comments
Brian Paul has published an initial OSMesa state tracker along with OSMesa support for the LLVMpipe and Softpipe drivers.

OSMesa is the API exposing Mesa's off-screen rendering capabilities. The off-screen rendering infrastructure isn't dependent upon any specific operating system windowing system, or graphics hardware. OSMesa rendering is simply done in user-space with main system memory. An example use-case all along for OSMesa has been "to use Mesa as an off-line, batch-style renderer."

Up until now OSMesa has just been exposed through some simple demos bundled within the Mesa source tree, but now Brian Paul has made OSMesa into a Gallium3D state tracker that can be used by LLVMpipe and Softpipe. So in effect it's the Gallium3D software fallback drivers being able to do off-screen rendering to this OS-independent windowing-system-independent hardware-independent interface.

The Gallium3D OSMesa state tracker is just over 800 lines of code plus there's a few other Mesa patches to make this work by Brain turn out nicely. Brian acknowledges though, "The OSMesa interface is pretty old and ugly but I think most OSMesa users would rather not have to port their apps to a new interface."

Those interested in seeing the OSMesa Gallium3D patches until being merged can find them on the mesa-dev list.

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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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