Luc Modularizes Mesa, DRI Drivers
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 14 March 2010 at 07:07 PM EDT. 26 Comments
Last month at the X@FOSDEM meeting in Belgium, Luc Verhaegen gave a talk on cleaning up the Linux graphics driver stack. This talk was met by some that agreed with his views and, well, others that didn't exactly see eye-to-eye with him. He shared with everyone his views on changes that should be made to the Mesa/X.Org/DRM stack, including some greater modularization, in an effort to make the testing / build process easier, drive greater maintainability of drivers, and unifying components by providing more shared libraries and formalizing different APIs.

Luc showcased his xf86-video-unichrome driver that he modularized according to his proposed changes, but that didn't satisfy everyone since the VIA Unichrome driver is not nearly as complex as the Radeon, Nouveau, or Intel Linux drivers. As a result, Luc has begun modularizing everything himself in an attempt to prove the feasibility of this design.

Over on his Cgit page Luc is now hosting branched Mesa DRI drivers for the Intel i810, Intel i9xx, Mach64, MGA, R128, Savage, SiS, Tdfx, and Unichrome that are done according to his philosophy. There's also the Mesa DRI SDK headers that he has created. The modularized Mesa Radeon driver will also be there once the server has updated. Luc also has other changes pending that should be committed shortly.

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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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