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 Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

Direct3D 9 Support Released For Linux Via Gallium3D, Running Games

Mesa

Published on 17 July 2013 12:58 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa
97 Comments

Linux desktop systems can now have working support for Microsoft's Direct3D 9 API via a new Gallium3D state tracker. Unlike the earlier Direct3D 10/11 state tracker for Gallium3D on Linux, this new code actually can run D3D9 games and at better performance than what's offered by Wine.

Back in 2010, Direct3D 10/11 was natively implemented for Linux in the form of a Gallium3D state tracker. While Gallium3D is most often associated with OpenGL, its API agnostic and handles OpenGL ES, OpenVG, and even OpenCL for compute support, among other interfaces. Gallium3D can work just as well with Direct3D, but there has traditionally been not much developer interest in such a state tracker. This isn't to be confused with a translation layer whereby Direct3D commands are mapped into OpenGL.

The Direct3D 10/11 state tracker excitement was ultimately shortlived as the upstream Wine development community wasn't interested in adding support for it since it's a Linux-only solution and at that it's limited to those using Gallium3D, which is basically the open-source Radeon and Nouveau (NVIDIA) users. This D3D 10/11 state tracker was ultimately removed from Mesa since it wasn't being used and the code was suffering bit-rot.

Christoph Bumiller, a developer associated with the Nouveau graphics driver project, on Tuesday announced a Direct3D 9 state tracker. While D3D 10/11 support was short-lived, Bumiller believes the D3D9 situation is different. Christoph is actively maintaining this code (at least for now), it's written in C rather than C++, Gallium3D is better suited towards D3D9 at the moment than the newer versions of Microsoft's graphics API, there's more application coverage for D3D9, and most importantly this state tracker is in a working state where Direct3D games/applications can actually run.

Since Linux-native applications are using GL/GLES over D3D, Christoph modified Wine to use this D3D9 state tracker over the project's internal D3D-to-GL translation layer. With a patch atop Wine, the Direct3D 9 state tracker can work so that the graphics API is natively implemented for the hardware Gallium3D drivers rather than just translating the API calls into OpenGL.

Christoph says right now that Skyrim, Civilization 5, Anno 1404, and StarCraft 2 are among the D3D9 games now running on Linux. Testing has happened from the Nouveau NVC0/Fermi and AMD Radeon R600g drivers. The performance is reportedly quite good and can be up to two times better than the frame-rate when using Wine's current code.

This state tracker for now is being housed in an external Mesa repository but he's open to merging it to master if there's interest. The Wine changes for now are also in a separate repository. The announcement concerning this new state tracker can be found on Mesa-dev.

It will be interesting to see if this Direct3D 9 state tracker takes off for Linux and whether Wine developers will optionally support it for better performance.

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 News
  1. VirtualBox 5.0 RC3 Brings VMM Fixes, Takes Care Of Some KDE DnD Problems
  2. Ubuntu Is Finally Fixing Its Annoying GRUB Setting
  3. Firefox 39.0 Brings New Features, HTML5 Changes
  4. OPNsense 15.7 Released As Fork Of Pfsense
  5. The Less-Powerful Intel Compute Stick With Ubuntu Will Soon Ship
  6. Kodi 15.0 Release Candidate 1 Arrives
  7. Fedora 23: Python 3 Default Approved; Netizen Spin Rejected
  8. GNOME Shell & Mutter Just Landed More Wayland Improvements
  9. Ubuntu MATE Announces A Partnership With A PC Hardware Vendor
  10. Linux 4, GCC v. Clang & Vulkan Were Among The Hot Stories So Far This Year
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. 6-Way File-System Comparison On The Linux 4.1 Kernel
  2. How KDE VDG Is Trying To Make Open-Source Software Beautiful
  3. Attempting To Try Out BCache On The Linux 4.1 Kernel
  4. CompuLab's Fitlet Is A Very Tiny, Fanless, Linux PC With AMD A10 Micro
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. Kubuntu 15.10 Could Be The End Of The Road
  2. KDBUS Won't Be Pushed Until The Linux 4.3 Kernel
  3. Pinos Is For Linux Video What PulseAudio Is For Audio
  4. The State & Complications Of Porting The Unity Editor To Linux
  5. The Staging Pull For Linux 4.2: "Big, Really Big"
  6. Latest Rumor Pegs Microsoft Wanting To Buy AMD
  7. "PulseVideo" Coming To Complement PulseAudio?
  8. Exciting Features Merged So Far For The Linux 4.2 Kernel