The Gallium3D R600 Driver Now Has Texture Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 28 July 2010 at 08:59 AM EDT. 14 Comments
There's good news for those interested in the open-source Gallium3D driver for the ATI R600/R700 (Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 series) graphics cards: the R600g driver is beginning to work. While there's been the classic Mesa R600/R700 driver for months now that is working fine for most users, once finished the Gallium3D version should offer better performance, better OpenGL support (OpenGL 2.1 support off the bat, but that's still a ways behind OpenGL 4.1), and many other possibilities via Gallium3D's different state trackers.

Just last week we reported on the R600g driver dropping its custom compiler in an attempt to jump-start efforts elsewhere within the driver. A proper GLSL compiler will be introduced later for the R600g driver or it will be ported over from the R600 classic driver. With the compiler headache temporarily relieved, other work on the driver was done and it ended up running glxgears almost immediately.

While glxgears and a few Mesa demos were all that could run with the R600g driver last week, this week it's now possible to run more programs as the R600g driver's OpenGL support expands. Among other changes, committed to the R600g driver in Mesa was last night is the initial OpenGL texture mapping support, which is needed by practically all games, etc.

This initial OpenGL texture support is not complete but still there needs to be support added for texture overwriting, lod & mip-map handling, unnormalized coordinate handling, texture view with first level > 0, and other things, according to Jerome's Git commit message.

At least the R600g driver is beginning to move along, but we still have yet to see any open-source 3D driver for the ATI Radeon HD 5000 "Evergreen" series yet whether it's a classic Mesa implementation or a Gallium3D driver, but one should be here soon.

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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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