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The Current State Of OpenGL 3, OpenGL 4 In Mesa 9.2

Mesa

Published on 15 July 2013 11:00 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa
15 Comments

With the release of Mesa 9.2 being a few weeks out, here's a current look at the OpenGL 3.x/4.x support levels within Mesa.

The current overview of the modern OpenGL functionality offered by Mesa can be found in the latest GL3.txt Git.

OpenGL 3.1 support has been done in Mesa for some time, but OpenGL 3.2 is still a work in progress ahead of the Mesa 9.2 release. Holding back proper OpenGL 3.2 support in core Mesa is full GL Shading Language 1.50 support (GLSL 1.50) and finishing up OpenGL Geometry Shaders support. Not all Mesa drivers are supporting OpenGL 3.1~3.2 though with the modern AMD "RadeonSI" Gallium3D driver for instance still being limited to OpenGL 2.1 compliance.

The good news is that once OpenGL 3.2 is done, the OpenGL 3.3 changes are already merged too. All key OpenGL 3.3 functionality is complete, including most of the GLSL 3.30 shading language changes.

Following OpenGL 3.3 is OpenGL 4.0 and that's where there will be much work ahead. OpenGL 4.0 in Mesa still requires all of the GL Shading Language changes and support for numerous new extensions like GL_ARB_gpu_shader_fp64, GL_ARB_sample_shading, GL_ARB_shader_subroutine, and GL_ARB_tessellation_shader. A few OpenGL 4.0 extensions are complete but there's still much ahead. A lot more work is needed for OpenGL 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3 support.

A new Khronos OpenGL specification is still expected this year, but it's unlikely that in this calendar year that Mesa will even be able to hit OpenGL 4.0 compliance. OpenGL 3.2~3.3 is nearly there, but for GL4 functionality much of it is to be completed.

Aside from the GL3 text documentation, another resource for missing items on OpenGL support in Mesa can be found from the missing functionality Wiki page.

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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