The State Of Mesa OpenGL GL3/GL4 Updated
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 18 November 2013 at 12:18 PM EST. 20 Comments
The infamous GL3.txt documentation was updated over the weekend that provides a look at where the various Mesa/Gallium3D drivers come in with their support for the OpenGL 3.x and 4.x extensions. The Nouveau driver status was updated followed by some slight reformatting to the document to give an easy look at where the open-source OpenGL 3/4 support comes in today.

With the forthcoming release of Mesa 10.0 there is now OpenGL 3.2 and OpenGL 3.3 compliance. That compliance is for core Mesa and the Intel DRI driver. The Radeon and Nouveau drivers don't have as advanced OpenGL support since most of the upstream GL / GLSL enablement is done by Intel developers and thus the focus on their own driver while the Radeon/Nouveau support usually trails.

With the GL3.txt updates this weekend, this is where things stand today overall for OpenGL 3.x:

OpenGL 3.2 and OpenGL 3.3 is where the Radeon (R600 and RadeonSI) support comes in behind Intel and Nouveau with their NV50 and NVC0 (Fermi and Kepler) Gallium3D drivers.

The OpenGL 4.x state is much direr overall. The Khronos Group published the OpenGL 4.0 specification in March of 2010 and we'll be lucky if we see it in H1'2014, or four years later. There's a lot left to with accomplishing OpenGL Shading Language 4.0 along with other features like the tessellation shader support. OpenGL 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4 also have a lot more left by which time it's completed in Mesa there will almost surely be OpenGL 5.0. There's also the possibility of binary Linux GPU drivers by that time supporting the Mantle API on Linux. Anyhow, at least the OpenGL and GLSL support in Mesa keeps advancing. The OpenCL support is also slowly but surely improving.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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