Gallium3D Picks Up Networking Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 1 June 2009 at 07:43 AM EDT. 15 Comments
The folks at Tungsten Graphics, which are owned by VMware, have been busy with new software releases so far this summer. Mesa 7.5 is coming along well and the Gallium3D driver architecture is now merged into the Mesa mainline code-base for release with Mesa 7.6. When it comes to Gallium3D an OpenVG state tracker has been released along with two OpenGL ES state trackers to accelerate the OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0 APIs. There are also OpenCL and OpenGL 3.1 state trackers under development.

While not currently an end-user feature or as prominent as a new state tracker being introduced, Gallium3D in Mesa has picked up network support. Yes, Gallium3D now has simple network capabilities like initializing sockets, listening to ports, creating connections, etc. This work was pushed out into the public realm with this Git commit. These network functions are not being deployed so that you can create a Multi-GPU configuration over a high-bandwidth LAN or anything exotic like that, but actually to provide a remote debugging utility.

Adding over 2,000 lines of new code to the Mesa/Gallium3D code-base is now a Gallium Remote Debugging Protocol (found in this commit). This protocol uses TCP and IPv4 and contains the needed support for sending commands to shaders, textures, etc over a network.

After the network support was added to Gallium3D and the Gallium Remote Debugging Protocol introduced, VMware's Jakob Bornecrantz introduced a few applications taking advantage of this support. Now living within Gallium3D is a simple client, simple server, shader information, shader dumper, a shader disabler, context dumper, texture information, and texture dumper programs. All of these open-source applications use the Gallium RDP.

Ending out his Monday morning in Europe, Jakob also committed Gallium Remote Debugging Protocol support to the Gallium3D trace driver, which is used for tracing incoming calls and providing this remote debugging support.

This network / remote debugging support may not be something for Linux gamers or desktop users to get excited about, but it should certainly help out those working on graphics drivers and is a feature not previously found in Mesa.
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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 Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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