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VMware Releases Its New Gallium3D Driver

Mesa

Published on 16 November 2009 10:08 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa
30 Comments

Last Friday during the Gallium3D workshop we learned that the Tungsten Graphics developers that were bought out by VMware have been working on a virtual Gallium3D driver that would be used by guest operating systems running within VMware's virtualization platform. This is especially interesting considering that it will allow virtualized guests to have accelerated access to X11, OpenGL, OpenCL, X-Video, XvMC, and all sorts of other possibilities that's just limited by what's supported by the available state trackers.

This afternoon Jakob Bornecrantz has pushed out this initial Gallium3D driver for use in VMware guests. This driver is called the VMware SVGA driver and can be found in this Git commit, which adds 30,000 lines of code to Mesa's master tree.

VMware's Gallium3D driver requires X Server 1.7.x and the vmwgfx kernel driver. The VMware graphics kernel driver is being published tomorrow. VMware hopes that vmwgfx will make it into the mainline Linux 2.6.33 kernel. To use this driver you will also need to be using VMware for your virtualization needs.

This VMware Gallium3D driver stack is considered as being "production ready" while the kernel driver and DRI/X.Org state trackers are considered "beta quality" for the time being. VMware is looking to stabilize both of these state trackers for Mesa 7.7. If the release schedule is met, Mesa 7.7 will be released by Christmas, which would be very exciting with the first two production quality state trackers for Gallium3D.

We will be testing out VMware's Gallium3D SVGA driver in the near future.

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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